What to Do When Your Battery Dash Light Comes On


When you turn the key in your car, you expect it to start. If you just hear a click, click, click, you probably get that pit in your stomach before getting a jump and maybe even a new battery. If your car has a battery symbol on the dash that comes on when the battery is running out of power. Here’s what to do if you see that light.  

Interpreting Your Dashboard Battery Light

When your battery light comes on, it typically means that something is wrong with the battery because it is not recharging. Your battery could be old, bad, damaged or drained. It could also mean that something is wrong with your electrical system. The alternator could be bad. It could also be a problem with the drive belt. Check your owner’s manual to get specifics for your car. While you can drive with the battery light on, you may not get more than 30 minutes to an hour of power before the car stops. It’s recommended to take the vehicle to your mechanic or to a place where you can check the battery. If you continue to drive, it could damage the electrical system, or your vehicle may stall out.

Actions to Take When Your Battery Light Comes On

Although you may want a mechanic to check the electrical system in your car, you can check the battery first. Check the age of the battery to see if it’s still under warranty. If it’s old, then that may be your problem. You’ll want to replace the battery. If it’s not old, look for any visible damage or corrosion around the terminals. If you find corrosion, you can try to clean it off. Just be cautious and use the right equipment because corrosion can be damaging to your skin. Check the connections. If the connections are loose, you can tighten them up. If that doesn’t help, check the battery’s health with a voltmeter. If your battery has a good voltage reading, it could be the alternator or another component of your car’s electrical system. If the car battery keeps dying but alternator is good, you probably have to replace the battery.

Battery Dash Light

It’s normal for the battery light to come on when you start the car. It should go off pretty quickly. If it stays on, don’t panic. It just means that your battery may need some attention. You may need to reset the battery dash light once you’ve replaced the battery. Some systems need 15 to 30 minutes to recalibrate after a new battery is installed. Drive normally for a short time to see if it goes off. If it doesn’t, check with your mechanic to see if there’s another issue or if your car has a reset button. If you do need to replace your battery in the vehicle, get a free VIN lookup to find the right parts. Get the right battery that fits in your engine and will keep your car running well.


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