Car Battery Light: What It Means
When your car battery light turns on, it usually means that your battery is not charging correctly or that the battery is malfunctioning. The battery light will illuminate whenever the charging system does not charge the battery with a voltage above approximately 13.5 volts.
Numerous things can trigger this warning, so it’s essential to take steps to ensure that you know what the actual issue is before you start to replace parts. If you’re unsure of what is causing the problem, then it’s a good idea to seek a professional opinion.
Here are a few common issues that can cause your car battery light to turn on:
Loose Car Battery Cable
A loose cable can cause your Car Battery Light to turn on. Sometimes this can happen through no fault of your own, and you may just have hit a hard bump in the road, or you may have just installed a new battery, and the cable has come a little loose.
If you want to tighten the cable then make sure the battery cable terminal is seated as far down as possible on the battery post and then take a wrench to tighten it, the most common size is 10mm for most vehicles. Tighten the nut on each terminal to ensure the cable doesn’t come loose again.
Corrosion At Battery Terminals
If you suddenly find that your vehicle is difficult to start, then, it could mean that the battery terminals have corroded. When there is corrosion present at the battery terminals, then they cannot transmit power to the battery or a bad cell is unable to receive charge. If this happens, then the battery light will stay on.
The easiest option to get rid of this problem is to clean the terminals; this can be done with a mixture of baking soda and water. If you notice a white-ish or crusty substance where the cables meet, then you have corrosion. If cleaning the corrosion off doesn’t work, then you may want to think about getting the battery itself replaced.
The average alternator will last around 5 to 7 years, and it’s the device that keeps the battery charged up and supplies power to the electrical components when the engine is running. When you take a reading of the alternator with a multimeter, the reading should be between 13.6 to 14.6 volts. If your alternator shows a reading of 12 volts or below, then the battery light on your car will light up, and things need looking into.
If your alternator does run out, then the remaining power in the battery will only last a matter of minutes. If you have a faulty alternator, it will either need to be replaced or rebuilt. If you’re not sure of the status of the alternator, then seek a professional opinion to get an answer to your concerns.
Get A Professional Opinion
If your battery light has turned on and you want to see what’s causing the problem then get a professional to give your car a look over. At Jiffy Lube, we can inspect your vehicle, and our expert staff can quickly determine what’s causing the issue and if you need a car battery replacement.
Contact your local Jiffy Lube today to come in and find out what’s causing your battery light to turn on. Our experts can determine what issue is and have you back on the road in no time!