Battery Warning Light-All You Need To Know
What does it mean when the battery warning light illuminates on your car’s dashboard, while the engine is running?
It basically means the alternator is not charging the battery.
Some cars have a volt gauge and a battery warning light, others just a light to warn of malfunction.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Electrical System Main Components
In the above illustration, we see the basic components making up a car’s electrical system, in relation to the battery warning light, we will consider the Battery(far left) and Alternator(far right)
The battery supplies the car’s system with electricity, but the alternator is responsible for keeping the battery charged(filled with electricity)
Cars runs mainly on a 12-volt system, but when being charged constantly the voltage goes up to approx, 14 volts, compensating for a drop in voltage due to long cabling and other various factors.
Connected between the Alternator and the Battery is a warning light in the shape of a battery icon(top in the illustration-on the dashboard), this warning light illuminates when the ignition is turned on, to indicate the circuit is functioning.
When the car is started the battery warning light goes out immediately, indicating the charging system is working correctly.
When the battery warning light illuminates while the engine is running, it indicates the battery is not being charged, this is a dire situation.
After the battery depletes, the car will stop due to inadequate or no electric power and cannot be started again as the battery has no more power/voltage.