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Why is my Battery Light On?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

The battery light in your car is there to signal a problem with your car’s battery, but in some cases it can indicate a bigger underlying problem. The battery light can come on while you are driving or while remaining stationary but in any case the issue should be dealt with as soon as possible. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons the battery light comes on in the car.

Warning Signs

Apart from the battery light coming on while you are driving there are some other warning signs that may signal a problem. If your headlights are not functioning as brightly as they should be that can be a sign that you have a battery problem. Another sign of a battery charging problem is a clock that stops keeping time, or dim dashboard lighting.

Once the light comes on your battery is no longer holding a charge, so you will not be able to turn your car off and restart it. If you are driving your car and the light comes on you should try to get to a mechanic or service center immediately without turning the car off.

To keep your car running until you get help, turn off any extra functions that draw power from your car. The car stereo, air conditioning, and power windows all draw power from the car’s battery so not using those functions can preserve your battery life.

Common Problems

Common causes of battery problems include connection issues, battery corrosion, or alternator problems.

If corrosion is the issue you may be able to see buildup on the battery or the battery connectors. Cable problems can be a little bit more difficult to spot, but wear on the cables can often be seen. Alternator belt problems can cause the battery to stop charging, but this can be difficult to see without removing the engine covers.

One final common cause of battery problems is fuse problems. To check for fuse problems check the fuse box, commonly located in the car’s interior.

If you are driving and your battery light comes on, make sure to turn off any extra car functions that draw power, such as air conditioning and the stereo. Once you have reached a safe destination, check for obvious signs of problems, such as a blown fuse. At Hillmuth we can quickly diagnose your car’s problem and repair any issues we find to get you back on the road quickly with our Maryland battery service center.

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