Q: Charging System Failure on van

asked by on

I am having the Charging System Failure warning light come on in my van. My electric assist power steering locks up as soon as it does. My battery is currently reading 11.2 amps, though when I first started the van up it was at 11.4, and dropped to 11.2 as soon as I tried to turn. I checked the battery leads, and they are tight, snug, and free of corrosion. I saw online where it said it could be that the cables are loose, the battery is bad, or the alternator is weak. I checked the cables, as stated, and they are fine. I have no way to test the battery or alternator. My guess is that the battery is holding a charge of above 11.2, but that the alternator dumps out when it tries to charge on it. Another option is that the alternator is weak and cannot charge and maintain the running of the van.

It definitely sounds like you are experiencing a charging issue. The alternator is the component responsible for charging the battery in a vehicle. System voltage needs to be a minimum of 12 volts. Anything less than this could potentially create issues with electronic components. The easiest way to diagnose a faulty alternator is to disconnect the battery’s positive + cable while the engine is running. If the engine stalls the alternator is not charging. If it continues to run the alternator is good. If you need help, an experienced technician, such as one from YourMechanic, can test your charging system and determine what repairs you should move forward with.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Charging System Failure on van

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Will a 19 gallon tank fit on a 2003 Chevy trailblazer ltz currently has a 22 gallon tank

You can try looking on www.car-part.com as there are plenty of listings for the 22 gallon tank. The 22 gallon tank was an option (substituting for the 19 gallon tank of course) in that year and so would probably require...

Q: Battery Discharge

This may be a sign of a weak battery, a failing voltage regulator or failing alternator. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the battery while...

Q: Radio booms and quit working

When this occurs, the most likely cause is the radio's amplifier. Depending on what audio unit, your car was equipped with this may be located inside the radio itself or it may have a standalone amplifier. When the amplifier dies,...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...