Battery Warning Light
Instrument Panel Cluster battery warning light.
In most modern vehicles there are about fifteen warning lights and indicators in an average instrument cluster. Warning symbols like check engine light, air bag warning light, battery symbol, low motor oil light, ABS brakes, low fuel and others. Most drivers are very familiar with some of the warning signals that come on and off during driving a vehicle, like green "headlight on" indicator or low fuel warning light, or seat belt sign. There are other dash symbols that you only see blink for a few second during starting sequence of the car and then they disappear. A red colored battery light is one of the indicators together with air bag, traction control, low oil pressure, that light up only when cars is turned on but engine is not running.
Do I need New Battery If My Battery Light is On?
A lot of people think that red battery symbol on their dashboard lets them know that it is time to replace car battery. Often customers are very puzzled and ask us why their battery light did not come on if their vehicle's battery was getting weak or old. When you have a dead battery and you need a car jump, it's most likely you forgot to turn something off after you parked your vehicle and that caused car battery to get depleted.
The real function for battery warning light on your dash is to inform the driver about charging system problem or failure. Vehicle charging system is an electrical system responsible for keeping your cars auxiliary battery fully charged while driving. The system is comprised of multiple electrical parts (alternator, fuses, junction boxes, relays and charging cables) to keep battery full, but not overcharged to ensure maximum battery life (average 3-5 years).
Alternator or Charging Relay Failure
Most of the time battery warning light comes on when vehicles alternator stops working and is no longer charging the battery. In this case it is the best NOT TURN OFF the vehicle and drive immediately to auto repair station or closest dealer (if you shut your car off, battery might not have enough charge to crank over.) If you experience dead battery, or left the lights on and can not start please call San Diego Roadside Service for dead battery jump and emergency towing.