For many drivers, when the battery light on their dashboard turns on, it can be concerning. When your battery light comes on, your car’s electrical system is malfunctioning and needs attention. The causes of the battery light turning on, the length of time you can drive with it on, the dangers of doing so, and what to do if it does will all be covered in this article.
Causes of the Battery Light Coming On
There are many possible reasons why the battery light starts to illuminate. An alternator that isn’t working properly is one of the most typical causes. While the engine is running, the alternator is in charge of charging the battery. The battery light will illuminate if the alternator is malfunctioning and the battery won’t be charged. A dying battery is another typical reason for the battery light to come on.
A battery typically lasts between three and five years, and when it is getting close to its end of life, the battery light may start to illuminate. Battery cables that are loose or corroded can also turn on the battery light. Sometimes a straightforward issue, like a blown fuse or a loose battery terminal, will cause the light to turn on.
How Long Can You Drive With the Battery Light On?
The specific cause of the light turning on will determine the response to this question. It might be safe to drive for a short while if the issue is a minor one, like a blown fuse or a loose battery terminal. However, it might be necessary to stop driving right away if the issue is more serious, such as a broken alternator or a dead battery. In general, it is best to have the car checked out by a mechanic as soon as the battery light appears.
Risks of Driving With the Battery Light On
Driving with the battery warning light on can stress the battery and alternator, possibly resulting in further damage. In some situations, driving with the battery light on can be risky because it could cause the car to stall or lose power. If the driver is left stranded if the car breaks down and the light is brought on by a dying battery. In addition, a battery that is not being charged will lose its charge and eventually die if the battery light is on.
What to Do If the Battery Light Comes On
The first thing to do if the battery light comes on is to get the car checked out by a mechanic as soon as you can. Sometimes the issue is a straightforward one that can be resolved, like a blown fuse or a loose battery terminal. However, the vehicle might need to be taken to a repair shop for more involved repairs if the issue is more serious, such as an alternator that isn’t working properly or a battery that is starting to fail.
You can also use a multimeter to check the battery’s voltage if it is on its way out. If the battery voltage is 12.4 V or higher, it is charged, and you can keep driving. If the voltage falls below 12.4 V, it’s time to replace the battery.
Finally, the battery light on your dashboard serves as a warning sign that there is a problem with your vehicle’s electrical system. To prevent further damage and potential risks, it’s critical to have the vehicle checked by a mechanic as soon as the battery light illuminates. It’s also critical to keep in mind that operating the vehicle while the battery light is on can put stress on the battery and alternator and possibly exacerbate existing damage. When it comes to the electrical system of your car, it is always preferable to be safe than sorry.
Regular maintenance and check-ups can assist in preventing problems from developing, and spotting problems early can help you avoid needing to make expensive repairs down the road. Always pay attention to the warning lights on your dashboard, and don’t disregard the battery light if you see it start to illuminate. Make the necessary preparations to guarantee the dependability and safety of your car.