Most people usually put more focus on the engine, transmission, and tires but pay very little attention to the battery until an issue arises.
Although it is widely underrated, the car battery plays a huge role and if it is not in good shape your car may stall. But, have you ever noticed that your car battery light is flashing on the dashboard?
When your car battery light is flashing, then that is an indication that there is a problem that needs to be fixed. So, what exactly could be the problem? Read this article until the end to find out.
Why is the car battery light flashing?
Flashing battery light on the car’s dashboard can be caused by a failing alternator, poor connecting cables, a damaged voltage regulator, or a loose battery.
If you have noticed that the battery warning light is on, when you turn the ignition key, and remains on even when the engine is running, then that is a clear indication that there is something either with the battery itself, the connection, or other components that works alongside the battery.
The battery light is supposed to turn on, then turn off when the engine starts. If it remains on when the engine is started, or if it’s flashing then there are some problems that need to be closely inspected by a mechanic.
The car battery light is flashing because the car is not getting enough power from the battery to enable it to operate as it should.
All vehicles are equipped with a 12V rechargeable battery that powers everything, including the ignition system, headlights, DVD system, engine control computer, and much more.
If the battery is not charged, then it will eventually die. That is why all cars are equipped with a built-in recharging system which includes the voltage regulator and the alternator which charges the battery and provides the much-needed power when the engine is running.
All vehicles are heavily reliant on the battery and that is why there is a car battery light on the dashboard to warn you if there is a problem with the recharging system.
If there is enough juice to start the engine, your car will start but it won’t last for long because the battery is not charging properly. This means that the chances of stalling are high if the problem is not fixed quickly.
Possible causes of a flashing car battery light
A faulty alternator
One of the top reasons why the car battery light is flashing is because there is a problem with the alternator. The alternator plays a crucial role in powering the car electronics and also charges the battery when the engine starts running.
If it is faulty or damaged, then the battery will automatically take over and that will make the battery light on the dashboard flash. When the performance of the alternator drops to a certain level, the car battery light will start to flicker.
If the alternator is damaged, then you will have no choice but to replace it with a brand new one, and this will cost anywhere between $500 and $1000.
Damaged voltage regulator
Another reason why the car battery light is blinking is that the voltage regulator is damaged. The voltage regulator plays a vital role in ensuring that voltage remains stable in your car.
It is usually fitted between the alternator and the car’s electrical equipment, which includes the battery.
When the voltage regulator is damaged, it will not be able to control voltage. As a result, the voltage will start dropping and if it reaches a point where the battery does not get sufficient charge, the sensor will take note and alert you by blinking the car battery on the dashboard.
Replacing a faulty voltage regulator will you anywhere between $330 and $450.
Poor battery connections
If the cables that connect the alternator, voltage regulator, and battery are damaged, then they will not transmit power as they should, resulting in a low battery.
These cables usually carry substantial current, especially when starting the engine and if they are not in good shape, then they will not be able to power the car as well as charge the battery when the car is on.
Loose battery cables can also cause corrosion to set in at the terminal, leading to poor connection. Fixing damaged cables will cost anywhere between $20 and $50.
Do you need to be concerned if the car battery light flashes?
YES, you need to be concerned because the warning indicates that the battery is not getting enough power. It should concern you because if the battery is not charging, it will eventually die causing your car to stall.
Remember that the battery plays a crucial role in starting the engine and also powers other electrical components in the car. So, if you notice that the car battery light is flashing, you should take your car to a trusted mechanic to identify and fix the problem.
Can a blinking car battery light mean problems only with the battery?
NO, a flashing car battery light does not indicate that there is a problem only with the battery. Instead, it could also indicate that there is a problem with the charging system which includes the alternator, voltage regulator, or the cables.
Therefore, if you notice that the battery is in good condition but it is still not charging, then the problem could lie with the charging system.
Can I drive with a blinking car battery light?
YES, you can drive but it will not be for long. If there is a blinking car battery light, it means that your battery will discharge soon. So, although you will be able to drive your car, it will just be a matter of time before the battery runs out and your car stalls.
Can a faulty ECU cause a car battery light to flash?
YES, a faulty ECU can cause the battery light to flash. ECU controls a series of actuators on the engine to ensure optimal engine performance.
If the ECU detects a problem with the amount of current coming from the alternator, it will immediately trigger the battery light to flash.
If you have noticed that your car battery light is flashing, you should take action immediately because it indicates that the battery is not being charged.
If the problem is not fixed soon, then your will risk stalling the car at any time. There are multiple reasons that could cause the battery light to flash. Take your car to a reputable mechanic to identify and fix the problem.