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Q: Car battery light is on

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I was driving and my car battery light turned on. It has never turned on before and I decided it'd probably be best to just drive back home (10 minutes of driving on it). When I got home I checked the battery and it didn't have much of that stuff caked on the battery which I brushed off. Even after I brushed it off the car battery light still came on when I turned the engine on. Car lights don't seem dim yet. I won't be driving on it until I figure out the problem. Was going to bring battery in to the local auto parts store to get it checked. Do you think it could be something with the electrical system possibly? And if possible about how much do you think it would cost for a fix and how long? Thanks

My car has 104000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The battery light comes on to indicate that...

The battery light comes on to indicate that the charging voltage is low. It usually means there is a problem in the car’s charging system. if the battery is in good condition, the car can still run for a short time until the battery voltage begins to drop. You did the right thing by going straight home. The first thing you want to do is make sure your alternator belt is intact and tight. If the belt is gone, that may be the only problem that you have. Nevertheless,the next thing to do is to have the battery load tested . If you have never replaced the battery in your car, it’s probably about due for one. Replacing the battery probably won’t make the light go out. but having a good battery is necessary for testing the alternator. Once you are satisfied that there is a good battery in your car, weather it is the original or a new replacement, you can load test the alternator. You’ll probably find that it’s not performing as it should and needs to be replaced. The tests I’ve recommended require special equipment that I’m guessing you don’t have. By contacting Your Mechanic, you can have a technician come to your home with the right tools to check out your car and advise you as to what needs to be done.

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