My Battery Light is on, Now What?
Don’t panic if your car battery light has lit up on your dashboard. When starting the car, it is normal for this to light up, but if it’s still showing a few seconds later, what should you do?
The good news is, just because the battery light has turned on, it may not be that you need a new battery just yet. It could also be the result of other issues, some of which are only minor, including corrosion and loose battery cables.
What does it mean when the battery light stays on?
If the battery light has lit up on your dashboard when you start the car and does not disappear after a few seconds, you need to pay some attention to your battery. In instances where the battery itself is the issue, there will also be other indicators that the battery charge is weak, including the stereo not turning on, and power windows moving up and down slower than usual.
A battery warning light will appear when there is some sort of battery charging issue where the vehicle is not receiving enough voltage from the car battery to effectively operate.
- A loose or corroded battery cable
- A problem with the alternator or voltage regulator
- Damaged cells or plates inside the battery
- Faulty wiring in the vehicle's electric charging system
Do I need a new battery, or is it another issue?
Certainly, there will be instances when the battery light appears on the dashboard because the battery is on its way out and needs replacing. A car battery has a service life of approximately 3 years. How long your battery will last is impacted by many factors including the climate where you live and your driving habits.
As previously mentioned, there are other reasons why the battery light may be triggered, including loose clamps and corrosion. To find out if this is the issue, you can take a look for the following:
Corrosion appears as a white, ashy substance around the car battery terminals (the positive and negative metal connections on the top of the battery). This is an indicator that the battery is leaking. Overtime corrosion builds up, creating difficulties when attempting to start your car.
The good news is that you can clean the corrosion by sprinkling the area with baking soda and using a small amount of water to neutralise the acid. Once you have cleaned the corrosion, it is important to monitor the condition of your battery. If it reappears you will need to have the battery and charging system inspected by a professional.
Built-up Grime on the Battery Terminals
Over time, grime can build up around the battery terminals. This built up grime adds a layer of resistance between your vehicle and the battery, compromising its performance. You can clean away grime using the same process for cleaning away corrosion.
Again, if you are at all unsure, please contact us for expert advice and assistance.
Loose Cable Clamps
Vibrations experienced during everyday driving can loosen the cable clamps. When this issue is not identified, the cells within the car battery may become damaged resulting in premature battery failure.
If you identify loose clamps, ensure that you have them safely replaced by a technician. This will ensure that the battery remains secure and avoid damaging vibrations.
What if the battery light is still on?
If you have visually inspected your car battery for signs of corrosion, built up grime, loose clamps, and the battery case does not appear to be cracked or bulging but the battery light is still on - it’s time to contact the professionals at Collie Tyrepower
In these instances, it may be an issue with faulty wiring, or a mechanical issue that needs to be identified, such as a problem with the alternator or voltage regulator.
Battery Maintenance in Collie
If you’re experiencing a check battery light, slow starting on cool mornings, or just want your battery and charging system tested, come chat with the qualified technicians at Collie Tyrepower.
We are your one-stop shop for tyres, wheels, servicing, and more! Call today on (08) 9734 2869 or visit our store located at 44 Johnston Street, Collie.