Does your battery light remain on even after you start driving? The glowing symbol warns or alerts you about your car’s battery. It’s an issue that most electric car (EV) owners fail to understand.
Be calm, for the solutions to this matter are easy. This problem comes from the car’s charging system.
While driving, you’ll have a few minutes before you stop and check the matter. You’ll correct the problem and continue the trip if you have the skills.
So, here we’ll focus on why your battery light is on in the car and how to fix the problem. You’ll also understand if driving while these lights are on is safe.
Table of Contents
What does it mean when Your Car Battery Light is on?
If you have an EV or any modern car, this light is one of the essential aspects of your dashboard. It helps you know your battery is working as you start the car.
It also tells you about the life of your car battery. So, once you start the car, it will come on and be off after you start moving.
But once you keep seeing it, the car asks for some action. Your battery may be low or has some other electrical fault.
This sign shouldn’t make you panic. Together with your car, you’ll still be safe.
The battery allows you to drive for some time to a mechanic or your final location. Stop if your destination is far and you have already called the mechanic. Restarting the car takes a lot of power.
But sometimes, you shouldn’t ignore this battery light. Your engine will stall in the middle of the road. Remember, no one wishes to be part of the rising number of road accidents every year.
How Long Can You Drive Your Car with the Battery Light On?
When you see the battery light on as you drive, you can drive your car for 30 to 60 minutes. It will vary with your battery’s power, car type, load, and accessories.
Top Reasons Why Your Car’s Battery Light is On
Before solving this issue, you should first know its source. So, the battery light might be on because of the following key aspects:
1. You are using many Accessories in the Car
It’s fun and amazing to pimp your EV. You can add LED lights or a robust system.
These features are power-hungry. They’ll use up more power than your alternator can provide.
Remember, your battery also gets its extra power from the alternator. Once the accessories use up this power, the car battery will be low. After that, the system will warn you with a flashing battery light.
2. Battery Terminal Corrosion
Any mechanic or car expert will tell you that battery corrosion is the worst thing to happen to your car. The event comes from leaking battery acid, moisture in the battery, and many more aspects.
Also, when the heat levels are high, the battery will corrode. It creates a greenish, bluish, and whitish form on battery terminals.
These elements prevent your battery from conducting power. Your car’s system will note it as a problem and alert you via the battery lights.
3. Wrong battery Terminals and Cables
Your battery cables help supply power to your car. But sometimes, they may be old or cracked.
Also, it interrupts the power flow if you don’t connect them well. Power supply becomes a problem in the car.
Besides, such cables can cause a fire in the car. So, your car will send some warnings to address the issue.
4. Bad Alternator Pulley
This component makes your alternator function well for long drives. It can go wrong if you don’t service your car for a long time.
The pulley needs enough grease to hold the alternator. If there’s no or less grease, the pulley won’t work well and will become noisy.
Such an issue reduces power flow from the alternator. Your car will warn you about it using the battery lights.
5. Poor Wiring
Like a fuel-powered car, an EV has many wires that provide a smooth power flow. The battery will be at risk if the wires break or have a poor connection.
Poor wiring comes from mistakes by the person who connected them. Also, the wires may be stiff and old.
Since most EVs are smart, the system will warn you about this problem. It occurs through the battery light on the dashboard.
The wires can damage the battery if you don’t attend to the problem. Sometimes, they can cause a fire.
6. Poor Alternator
The car alternator may be dead or in a bad state. It won’t be supplying power to the battery. So, the battery light will keep flashing to alert you about the issue.
Your battery may be getting too little or too much voltage. A voltage way above or below the range kills the battery.
Ignoring the sign will cost you much more damage. The table below should guide you to your car’s proper voltage after you check it.
|State of the Car||Voltage|
|Resting Mode (Off)||12.6|
|Needs a Recharge||12|
7. Old or Weak Battery
Your battery might be old if you keep seeing this light every time you drive. Most EV batteries can last from 3 to 5 years.
It varies with how you handle the item. As the battery ages, the electrodes break.
If it’s weak or aging, the electrolyte can leak. Then the battery power will drain fast.
This act makes the battery light flash as you drive to warn you. Such a battery has no voltage.
8. Bad Alternator (Serpentine) Belt
This item is vital in running any EV. Using the power from the engine crankshaft, it spins the alternator to charge the battery.
It also runs your car’s steering, accessories, and air conditioning systems. If it breaks, the effects on the car will be immense.
Your car’s accessories and steering won’t work well. Be sure that the battery light will flash.
9. Poor Ground Strap
Any EV without a ground strap won’t have a complete power flow. It completes the connection between the engine and the car’s system.
It comes because of a dead battery or a low voltage. Your headlights will go off if the strap is dead or poor. The system will keep reminding you about this problem.
10. Blown Fuses
Your car may have a dead fuse, though it’s challenging to realize. These items protect the car’s electrical elements from a power surge or fault.
But once the electricity overpowers the fuses, they blow. You’ll notice some aspects as the powerful music has gone off. The battery light will come on the dashboard to warn you.
11. Look at the Temperature Gauge
Sometimes you’ll see this light during hot weather. It comes when you are on a long road trip or after you park your car in the sun.
Your car battery will overheat and lose power. Also, overheating comes in because of charging problems.
So, on the dashboard, the battery light will be on and blinking. The temperature gauge will also warn you.
Battery Light Being On? How to Fix
When this issue occurs, here are the solutions to apply. If you can’t handle some of them, please call a mechanic for help.
1. Check the Battery for Corrosion
Once you stop the car, observe the battery for any damage or corrosion. Removing the chemicals isn’t a demanding activity.
Let a pro do the work if you can’t handle it. It’s here where you check if the clamps are tight or weak. Also, there shouldn’t be any leakage from the battery.
2. Look at the Alternator
Your alternator is like the car’s second heart. Ensure all wires are in the correct spot.
Ensure you use a multimeter to check the alternator’s voltage. It should have a proper voltage range unless it needs replacement.
3. Tighten Loose Battery Clamps
While checking the battery and alternator, look out for the clamps. Sometimes, they may be loose or worn out. Use a wrench or a pair of pliers for a perfect job.
It might be a minor aspect. But if you don’t make the clamps tight enough, there won’t be proper power flow from the alternator to the battery.
4. Look at the Fuse
Sometimes, everything might be working great except for the fuses. However, they have fewer direct issues with the battery not having power.
It’s safe to replace them if they are blown. It allows proper power flow in your car. Get the proper fuses for a perfect replacement.
5. Clean the Battery Terminals
If you notice any dust or corrosion on the battery terminals, clean them. Such dirt prevents your battery from working well.
You can clean the terminals using some household items and some grease. Remove the covers and cables. After that, give the terminals a good scrub.
6. Switch off some Accessories
Reducing or switching some of the car accessories can solve the issue. These aspects, like the radio systems or fancy lights, can draw more power than the alternator would provide.
It’s excellent and cozy to have the items in your car. But you can avoid them to save battery power.
7. Replace the Serpentine Belt
If you check and see that the alternator cable is dead, it’s time to get a new one. It saves your charging system from further damage.
If you aren’t sure, let your mechanic do the work for you. Also, get the proper alternator belt that fits the one on your car.
8. Correct the Wiring
Since the battery light might be on because of poor wiring, please correct it. It prevents your car from having further electrical damage.
If you have the skills, look at every cable in the charging system to see that they are working. If you don’t trust your skills, let your EV Car Company or mechanic do the wiring for you.
9. Replace the Car Battery
Consider a new battery if the current one is old or dead. Like the alternator, use a multimeter to test for its proper voltage.
If it’s off, trickle-charge the battery and check for the voltage again. Remember, replacing an EV battery isn’t hard.
Get a genuine battery that fits your car’s needs. It should come as the last thought if the above tips don’t work.
Your car’s battery is essential to its operation. So, the system will alert you of any possible threat to the car’s power flow. This light will appear on your dashboard as you drive because of an issue in the car’s charging system.
Some issues, like having too many car accessories, are easy to fix. Others, like bad wiring and replacing the battery, can be tough, but you can do it.
If all the above tricks fail, contact a mechanic. But expect at least one of them to help you turn the battery light off.
Have you ever fixed this problem without calling a mechanic? How did it go?