Training to Become a Mechanic? Here are the Top Reasons Why a Battery Light Is On

A battery warning light might suddenly appear on a vehicle’s dashboard for a number of reasons, but it’s always important to pay attention to this signal. Vehicle batteries are responsible for supplying the energy needed to power a vehicle, and ignoring the warning signs may result in an inconvenient or possibly even dangerous situation for drivers. 

If you’re launching your career as an auto mechanic, you’ll be responsible for evaluating automotive issues, coming up with an accurate diagnosis, and determining the solution that will best solve each problem. When it comes to identifying the reason for an illuminated battery light during your career, familiarizing yourself with some common causes will help you to make an efficient diagnosis and solution. Below, explore the different reasons for an illuminated battery light in a vehicle.

Once You Become a Mechanic, Check the Status of the Battery

Vehicles are typically equipped with a 12-volt battery, which stores energy and obtains charge via the alternator belt. These 12-volt batteries are typically expected to last for around 3 to 5 years. As a battery ages, its voltage may decrease as a result of leaking electrolyte or breaking electrodes. When the battery begins to approach the end of its lifespan, the battery light may illuminate on a driver’s dashboard, signaling that it’s time to replace the battery. With this in mind, after you become a mechanic, one of the first things you should do when the battery light illuminates is to check the battery.

A vehicle’s battery may need replacing if it’s more than 3 to 5 years old

Examine the Alternator and Alternator Belt

The alternator or alternator belt, from which the battery obtains charge, are other possible reasons for triggering an illuminated battery light. If the alternator is faulty, it won’t produce an accurate amount of voltage for the battery, meaning that the battery is either charged excessively or insufficiently. Over time, this can affect the battery’s performance and limit its charging capacity. Additionally, it’s possible that the alternator belt might become damaged, developing cracks or eventually breaking. When this happens, the alternator belt won’t be able to spin the alternator or deliver power to the vehicle’s power steering system, air conditioning system, and other accessories. Given the important role that the alternator and alternator belt both play in the battery’s ability to obtain charge, it’s important to check these components if a vehicle’s battery light is illuminated.

A malfunctioning alternator belt could lead to problems with a vehicle’s battery

Are the Battery Terminals or Cables Defective?

Problems with a vehicle’s battery often stem from its terminals or cables. As a professional auto mechanic, it’s important to examine each of these components when the battery light appears on a vehicle’s dashboard, as both of them can affect a battery’s capacity to generate charge. A vehicle’s battery receives power through the battery terminals, which conduct the electricity used by the battery. If the terminals are exposed to moisture, a leaking electrolyte solution or hydrogen, corrosion can occur, reducing the ability of the terminals to conduct electricity. Attached to the terminals are the battery cables, which transfer power from the battery to a vehicle’s other components. If these cables crack or become loose around the battery terminal, this may compromise the flow of power, preventing the battery from getting enough charge. 

Now that you’re familiar with the most common reasons for an illuminated battery light, keep them in mind as you begin your automotive career so you’ll be ready to assist customers experiencing battery trouble!

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