Most every car today contains a rechargeable 12-volt battery. This battery powers all of the electrical components in your car, from the engine’s control computer and ignition system, to the radio and headlights.
Why did the battery light come on?
The battery is vital to the car’s operation but, like all batteries, it will eventually go dead if it’s not recharged. Thankfully all cars have a built-in recharging system. For most cars, the system consists of an alternator and a voltage regulator, that keep the battery charged and provides electricity to the vehicle when the engine is running.
The battery light indicates a charging issue with this system. Because the battery is so vital to your car’s ability to function, all vehicles are equipped with a battery light on the dashboard to warn you if the recharging system fails. A simple circuit monitors the voltage that the battery is producing and turns the battery light on if it is low. If the battery light stays on while you are driving, the most common cause is a broken alternator belt or a failed alternator.
Is it still safe to drive my car?
When the battery light comes on, you can still drive your car to your mechanic. You will not damage anything. But you want to get to the garage before the battery fails and your car dies. Your car can operate normally for a short period of time, running off of the energy stored in the battery until the battery goes dead; once it dies, nothing in your car will work.
At V&F, our expert mechanics use latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.