Is Your Car Battery Warning Light On? Don’t Panic and Try These 8 Steps

Have you ever been driving along the highway when your car battery warning light comes on? There is no worse feeling when this happens. Especially if you don’t know what’s caused it or how to fix it. This can be a stressful situation for any driver. But our expert team has put together eight tips to help you stay calm and resolve this situation. Take a look at our top tips below.

Find a Safe Place to Pull Over

Although it is easier said than done, the best thing to do in this situation is to stay calm and remain safe. If your car battery warning light comes on, find a safe place to pull over away from traffic and turn your car off. This will keep both you and your car out of harm’s way while you work out what the issue is. By continuing to drive, you may end up stuck in the middle of traffic and cause an accident.

If there is nowhere safe to pull over, it is best to take any potential stressors off of your battery. To do this, switch off all electronic devices. For example, your radio, air conditioning and headlights (if it’s not dark). By doing this, you will reduce the stress and increase the range on your car battery.

See if the Problem Persists

Once you have switched your car off for a little while, try starting it up again to see if the problem persists. It’s normal for your car battery warning light to come on as you start your car and switch off right afterwards. But, if the problem persists, you know there’s a bigger issue. If the battery light comes on again, do not drive it.

Understand the Problem

It’s easier to remain calm if you understand what the potential issue may be with your car. The purpose of the car battery warning light is to show when there is a major issue with the charging system. When this light comes on, the most likely reason will be the alternator. An alternator charges the car battery and powers the electrical system when its engine is running. When the car battery warning light comes on, it’s likely that the alternator is no longer doing its job. This means it is no longer providing charge to the battery or any of the car’s electrical systems. This could be for a few reasons including:

  • The regulator inside the alternator may have failed
  • The serpentine belt that drives the alternator may have dislodged or come off
  • Your battery has failed and is not letting the alternator provide charge

Most issues that cause this light to come on will require professional help. A professional can diagnose the problem and carry out repairs. It is best to rely on a professional as there are risks involved with charging and its electrical system.

Charging Your Car Battery

There are a few ways to try and restart your car. By charging your car battery, you may save some money and increase your car battery service life. Although you will have to invest in the right equipment, it is worth it in the long run. Most chargers are user friendly and if you do your research, you will find the right equipment for a good price. Take a look below to see the three main battery charging methods.

Jumpstarting Your Car

Jumpstarting your car is especially useful during an emergency situation. There can be many reasons for why your battery has died. However, a weak or dead battery essentially stops you from successfully starting your car. Jumpstarting your car will get you back on the road so you can find professional help for your car’s issue. Unless your battery has a failed cell or a problem obstructing proper power flow, this is the quick solution for you. All you need for this quick fix is another vehicle with a good battery and a set of jumper cables. Before you jumpstart your car, check your car owner’s manual. This will help you see if you need to follow any specific safety precautions or preparations. It will also tell you if it is possible or safe for you to jumpstart your car.

Fast Battery Charging

A fast battery charger is a fantastic tool for any car battery emergencies. This tool works like a set of powered jumper cables. This means you can jumpstart your car without needing another vehicle. By using this charger, your car battery gets a boost of high current energy to help restore its power. This tool is another way to get you back on the road so you can find professional help for your battery issue. A fast battery charger will recharge a dead battery from anywhere between minutes up to 3 to 4 hours. This all depends on the amperage flow. The first step to using this tool is to make sure it is turned off. Then, similarly to the jumpstart method, connect the charger cables to the correct terminals on the discharged battery. Then simply follow the instructions from your specific fast battery charger model. A brand new fast battery charger can start around $40 depending on the quality, brand and model.

Slow Battery Charging

Slow battery charging does exactly what it sounds like. This charger delivers a slow electric current to your battery for around 12 hours. This technique has some advantages over its faster counterpart. Not only does it restore car battery plates, it helps the battery keep charge for longer. It also prolongs its service life. This system is useful to maintain your battery and increase its service life. This battery charger is ideal for drivers with more than one vehicle. Especially if they’re only driven occasionally or for short trips. By using a slow charge on these vehicles, it will help maintain the batteries. This means you can avoid any car battery warning light emergencies.

Contact Your Mechanic

If you are unable to start your car or the problem persists, it’s best to call on a professional. A car mechanic can diagnose and fix the issue at hand. As modern cars are complex systems with plenty of technology, there could be a bigger issue. A mechanic has the tools and experience to dig deeper to identify the cause. and fix it.

Sandgate Auto Electrics has a team of mechanics who can solve any problem with your car battery. We are an RACQ approved auto electrician and mechanic that locals have trusted for over 50 years. We use the latest technology to diagnose and fix any issues at a reasonable price. We are located in Sandgate, North Brisbane, and we look after clients from Brisbane right through to the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. Contact us on (07) 3269 3158 if you have any car battery issues you’d like us to help with. You can also visit our contact page if you’d like a free quote or to book a service.