Transportation Science

What does a car dashboard's battery light mean?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Every car has a battery light on the dashboard that goes on whenever the battery's recharging system malfunctions. The battery light will be activated if a simple circuit in your car detects that the alternator is producing low amounts of voltage. Usually, battery charging problems are caused by a broken alternator belt. A more serious problem, however, can be total failure of the alternator. The battery light will remain on while you're driving. You can continue driving even while the battery light is on because the vehicle is using energy that's been stored in the battery. Driving your car while the battery light is on will not cause any mechanical damage. But if the light is on, it's likely your battery isn't being recharged, and it will eventually die. Once it does, the car will shut down completely.

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