Keep an eye on your vehicle’s battery indicator light regularly because its role is to indicate certain anomalies. It is, therefore, an essential element in a motor vehicle. Let’s look at what the battery light is for, how it works, the main causes of a battery malfunction and the symptoms that should alert you.
What is a battery light?
The battery light is a vehicle battery charge indicator that emits a red light when the ignition is turned on. It is placed on the dashboard of control instruments, as are other lights.
Good to know: the battery indicator is generally symbolized by an icon schematizing a rectangle containing a + and a – topped by two terminals.
Battery indicator: how it works
The battery indicator light comes on when the vehicle is powered up, as soon as the ignition key is turned, even before the engine is started. It goes out as soon as the engine is activated if there is no problem with the battery.
The battery light is essential because it allows you to check the battery charge level to operate electrical devices such as the window regulator, lighting, rear window defroster, windshield wiper, car radio, etc.
Good to know: If the battery light comes on when the engine is running, it may be an alternator problem.
Battery light anomalies
The battery light stays off when the engine is turned on when there are signs of a weak battery. The most common causes are:
– The engine speed is low at start-up.
– The intensity of the lighting is reduced, mainly when several electrical elements are operating at the same time.
– A loss of windshield wiper speed.
Good to know: If any of the above symptoms occur, it is advisable to recharge the battery or replace it. A specialist can take care of this type of work.
Leading causes of battery discharge
A battery can be discharged for the following reasons:
– The use of the vehicle’s electrical elements such as the cigarette lighter, rear window defrost, CD player or lighting, for example, when the engine is turned off, but the ignition is on. A battery is charged, at least partially, when the engine is running.
– Cold weather: significantly reduces the battery’s energy capacity, especially when the vehicle is parked outside all the time.
Good to know: when a vehicle is immobilized for an extended period, it is advisable to disconnect the battery terminals to prevent the battery from discharging.
Battery light: how to maintain your battery?
Let’s now see how to prevent the battery light from indicating an abnormality. It is sufficient to carry out some simple gestures such as:
– Remove sulphate deposits from the battery terminals: clean terminals have better contact with the terminals.
– Remove acid residue from the battery tray and apply a coat of rust inhibitor.
– Check the battery fluid level regularly and, if necessary, top it up with distilled or demineralized water to cover the batteries completely. This is only possible if the battery is equipped with filler caps.
Good to know: it is advisable to check and recharge the battery at the beginning of the winter to ensure that the vehicle starts quickly during the winter period.
How much does a battery cost?
The price of a battery depends on the type of vehicle it equips, its power, its brand, and where it is purchased.
For a low-capacity battery, the price is between $40 and $100.
whereas a medium-capacity battery costs between $150 and $250.
Some high-end vehicles have a minimum purchase price of $300 for a battery, and in some cases, it can cost much more than that!
Good to know: choosing your battery according to the model and type of vehicle you own is crucial because it is essential to observe a specific amperage.