Each modern vehicle on the road today has a 12-volt battery that is rechargeable. This battery provides energy to virtually every electrical component of the vehicle, such as its ignition system, engine control unit, headlights, radio, interior lights, and so on. If the battery fails to recharge or dies altogether, then your vehicle will not be able to function.
In the old days, car owners only had two ways of knowing when their car batteries were about to die. They would either need to test the voltage of the battery or wait until their headlights start to flicker. Now, in modern vehicles, the dashboard contains a battery light which illuminates whenever the computer detects the battery is low on voltage or about to die. This is convenient because it gives you the chance to replace your battery before it dies. That way, you won’t get stranded somewhere while you’re driving.
The Top 5 Causes
There are a variety of causes which can contribute to the car battery light going on while driving. Below are the top 5 causes for you to consider. Sometimes you will experience more than one cause, but this list will give you a rough idea of what to look for in your vehicle. Once you figure out the cause(s), you can work to correct the problem. This could mean fixing certain components or replacing entire components or parts.
Weak Battery – If your battery is over 2 years old, then you should be expecting it to die very soon. This is especially true if you drive your vehicle frequently every day or live in a hot geographical region, like Florida. Car batteries tend to die a lot faster when they’re used in hot temperatures. If your car battery is on the verge of death, it will cause your car light to come on at any time.
Bad Alternator – Alternators typically last about 4 to 5 years in a vehicle. As you know, the alternator is responsible for keeping the battery fully charged as you are driving the vehicle. But if the alternator is going bad, then it won’t be able to keep the battery charged. This will cause the car battery light to illuminate once there is an inconsistency in the charge. Once the alternator completely dies, the power that is left in the battery will be exhausted in a matter of minutes.
Bad Alternator Belt – The alternator belt is what connects the crankshaft and alternator together. If you have a bad alternator belt, then your alternator won’t be able to function properly. As a result, your car battery won’t receive the charge it needs to power your vehicle’s electrical components. So, your car battery light will come on because of this.
Bad Ground Wire – The ground wire of your vehicle connects to the negative terminal of your car battery. If the ground wire ever becomes excessively damaged or worn out, it will affect the flow of power to the electrical components of your vehicle. Furthermore, it will cause the battery light to come on as you are driving.
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Too Many Accessories – If you want to preserve your car battery power, then you’ll need to use as few extra electronic accessories in your vehicle as possible. One of the big reasons that car batteries die so quickly these days is because people have all sorts of electronic gizmos in them. These accessories drain the battery power at accelerated rates. Aside from the massive amount of battery power that air conditioners and heaters use, you have smartphones, GPS systems, DVD players, televisions, and phone chargers now being used. If this sounds like your situation, do not be surprised when your car battery light comes on sooner than it should be.