Q: What does it mean when the Charging System light comes on in the dash?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What does it mean when the Charging System light comes on in the dash?

Your dash is information central – gauges and warning lights provide you with a great deal of important information. If your Charging System light comes on (it looks like a little battery), it means there’s something wrong. It should come on and then go off immediately after cranking the engine. Follow these brief Tips

  1. Turn off all of your accessories (radio, air conditioner, etc.). Do not use any electrical components (power windows).

  2. Do not turn off the engine.

  3. Have your charging system tested immediately (this should test both the battery and the alternator, as both can cause this problem).

Tip

Be careful how far you drive if the Charging System light is on. If the battery is dead, the alternator should supply enough power for the engine, but if the alternator has failed, you can only drive as long as the charge in the battery lasts.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

What others are asking

Transmission problems

A diagnostic is only meaningful if there is a specific identification of a part or parts that have failed, are worn out, defective or the like. The bearings in the differential that you refer to are not visible for inspection,...

Sparkplug wires melting in sparkplug socket.

From what you've described, the cylinder head overheated which caused the wires to melt. Your engine is overheating and the white smoke from the exhaust indicates that the head gasket is blown or cracked. You should have the car looked...

How do I adjust the brightness of the instrument panel in a 2012 Ford F-150?

The Instrument Panel is a place for you to monitor and adjust your vehicle’s performance. The brightness of this panel can be dimmed or brightened to meet your needs. To adjust the brightness. Press the Left and Right control...

Car hard to start after replacing battery

Hi there. If the engine is hard to start it can be caused by a number of things. If the engine cranks very slow then the problem is more than likely from a bad battery cable or a starter that...

Would a bad pcv valve make the engine run hot

Hi there. From the description you have provided, your vehicle's bad PCV and coolant loss are not related. The PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve is designed to remove combustion gases that get past the piston rings into the engine. Typically,...

Car was cutting off at random, now it won't start.

Hi there. It sounds like there is a possibility of a fault with the MAP sensor system for the P0108 code, an EGR fault for the P0401, and a catalytic converter fault for the P0420 code. Your concern could be...

Clicking/clunking noise coming from passenger side when car accelerates or when the transmission is down shifting it seems.

If the clicking noise is fast and repetitive, and occurs when turning and accelerating, the noise can often be from a failing CV joint, which is part of the axle shaft on each of the drive wheels. If its a...

The freeze plug failed and coolant mixed with oil. The tech says because it would be impossible to clean out all the gunk, I need

If the engine was run with coolant mixing with the oil it can damage the internal engine bearings and pistons. If it is severe enough the engine would need to be replaced or the entire engine rebuilt and all parts...

How do I calculate the load carried ?

It’s easy to think that your car can carry pretty much whatever you can cram inside, but that’s not actually the case. Your car has a weight limit, and it’s probably not as high as you think. This limit includes...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Nissan Altima
While While it may not be quite as modern and sporty looking as some other models, the 2012 Nissan Altima is still a huge contender in the mid-size sedan category. With both four- and six-cylinder options and a CVT (continuously...
The Best Used Cars to Buy for First Time Car Owners
Owning Owning your very first car is an exciting time in a person’s life. Likely you want to put a lot of thought and research into the process to ensure you get something that meets your needs, is fun to...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Need a Lot of Trunk Space
Many Many people focus more on interior room than cargo carrying capacity. That’s natural if you have a large family or regularly carpool, but what about drivers who need to carry a lot of stuff most of the time and...