Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I have replaced the battery and alternator and the charging system light keeps popping on and then the car dies after a day or two

asked by on

I recently was driving my car and all of the indicator lights came on and when I would push on the gas I would slowly move then jerk to get to a faster speed and it became difficult to steer. Bought a new battery, and replaced the alternator. Every once in a while the charging system light (the one that looks like a battery) will come on. Sometimes it stays on for the whole day, and sometimes it says on for a few minutes going on and off during those 20-30 minutes. Then after a few days the car will die. Sometimes after it sits it will start again and last for a day or so, but continue on the same cycle mentioned above. I had the battery and alternator tested and they are fine. Talked to a service tech at a mazda dealer on the phone and he said it could be corrosion in the cables connected to the battery. Any idea if this is the problem and if not, any other ideas? Thanks

My car has 151000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The problems you are describing do seem to lead me back to the charging system circuit. If the vehicle shuts down because of a dead battery, the problem has to be in the charging system as it is designed to maintain the battery charge while the vehicle is in use. Loose battery cables or corrosion like the technician said can cause problems as well. Consider hiring the aid of one of our mobile experts for a personal diagnosis of your charging system.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • I have replaced the battery and alternator and the charging system light keeps popping on and then the car dies after a day or two

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: jerking when you get up past 45mph and is shutting off

Hello. If the engine is misfiring and shutting off at this speed, then that can be caused by a number of issues. Most of the time, this is caused by a failing distributor. These are a common problems on this...

Q: What hose do I need to buy (the one that sits next to the water pump above the alternator)?

Hi - rather than just "throw parts at it," it is a better investment to determine the real problem, and only buy the parts you need. I would recommend having your oil and fluids inspected by a professional mechanic, such...

Q: Brake lights on constantly

Hi there: It's quite possible that you have a faulty electrical relay from the fuse box to the brake lights that is supplying power to illuminate the light at all times. It's also possible that a brake sensor on top...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...