When you notice your battery warning light illuminate your dashboard—the light shaped like a battery with a plus (+) and minus (-) sign on it—this means the charging system isn’t functioning properly.  A faulty charging system can stem from several issues, and our team at Collision 24 has the full breakdown right here.

For our drivers in Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton, read on to find out what it means when your battery light comes on, and what to do if this happens while you’re on the road.

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Is It the Alternator or the Battery?

Well, it could be both. As you may already know, the alternator is the lifeline of the battery—it generates power, keeping the battery charged. However, when there’s an issue with the alternator, the battery will begin to lose power.

This could mean that you either need to replace the alternator or the alternator belt. Still, don’t panic just yet! We have a few other options for you to check first.

Some Other Causes…

The battery light is essentially a warning light that means something is off. It’s never anything to wait to have checked out, but here are a few other options it could be signaling:

  • A faulty battery. A bad cell in a battery means a bad charge and a low voltage. This could mean you need to replace the battery.
  • Battery terminal buildup. You should often clean off any corrosion on your battery terminals, as excessive buildup can disrupt power flow and cause the warning light to pop on.
  • Bad wiring. A bad or loose ground wire can also interrupt the power generating to the battery.

Is It Safe to Drive with the Battery Light On?

The short answer is, no. The safest option here is to first, turn off everything in the vehicle that uses power. This means the radio, interior lights, air conditioning or heating systems, and other accessories, such as heated seats or steering wheel. Keep the headlights on if you’re driving at night.

You should then pull the car over and call for a tow. There’s no set time for when the battery might die altogether, so your best bet is to bring it to your auto technician immediately to have it checked out before the problem worsens, and your vehicle doesn’t start at all.

The Warning Signs

There are a few red flags to look for to avoid your battery giving out on you altogether. If you experience a slow start to your engine, this is a big indicator that the battery is losing steam. Additionally, your check engine light may appear on the dash.

Sometimes, batteries just get old and need to be replaced. Normally, a battery can last up to three years, but you can should have its condition checked out every few months, or at least annually.

Contact Us at Collision 24 for Your Battery Questions

If you’re in the areas of Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton, and have any more questions regarding your battery life or vehicle maintenance in general, contact us at Collision 24 today!