Many car owners have reported the issue of the “Battery Discharge warning” light. Since the cause is unknown to them, it’s worrisome.
Since the cause of the challenge is not known and you can’t fathom other associated faults. When a car battery depletes more than it’s expected by the car system, you get a warning light that your car battery is faulty.
Though, it’s also possible that your car battery discharge may not be a fault from your battery but rather other electrical fixes on your car. So, without beating around the bush, let’s get to know why the battery discharge warning and how to resolve it.
What Does Battery Discharge Warning Signify?
The warning informs you that your car battery is fast depleting than it is charging which might be from electrical faults. When you see such info on your dashboard, it’s necessary to find out the cause or get a mechanic to look into it as car battery issues could sometimes be catastrophic to your vehicle’s health.
Some cars come with Battery Saver Active which sets your car into a battery-saver mode to preserve your battery from fast depletion of charge. If you notice the indication while you’re driving, this is more of a concern compared to when you parked your car.
Reasons For Battery Discharge Warning When the Car Is Off
Your car battery can discharge when your car is parked and the engine offed. This occurs if your alternator is not active to recharge the battery. And also, your battery is the source of the power to recharge itself. Let’s look into why your car may discharge when the engine is Off.
1. Listening to Radio
If your car is not put at ignition when parked and you’re listening to the radio or playing music, your battery will deplete because it lacks the power to recharge it.
2. Loose Battery Terminals
If your battery terminals are loose, your car’s battery will drain faster. If you notice a battery discharge warning on your vehicle, this should be your first inspection.
3. Extreme Weather
Weather conditions also affect your car’s battery. It’s advisable to park your cars in the garage during winter to prevent them from discharging.
4. Old Battery
If your battery needs replacement because it’s too old and you have done that, then it might be the cause of your car battery discharge warning. The cells are weak.
5. Unattended Plugged-in Chargers
Most of us use our cars to charge our devices. Is not bad either, but forgetting our plugged-in chargers in the car for a long period will drain the battery.
6. Parasitic Drainage
This is another factor that can deplete your battery’s life. This can vary from your windshield wipers, electronic steering, power windows, and power heated seats which are being charged from the car’s battery. It also causes battery drain.
7. Headlights Left On
Sometimes, when we’re in rush and parked our car in the front yard to pick things inside while sorting out what to take or leave, our car parked outside with the headlamp on will drain the car’s battery. Also, during night sit-out with friends, leaving your car headlight ON will deplete your battery capacity.
Reasons For Battery Discharge Warning While Driving
It’s erroneous for your car to show a battery discharge warning while you’re driving. The engine is meant to charge the battery, and if this message appears, there might be electrical faults with your vehicle.
1. Poor Ground Connection
The poor ground connection protects cars from fires if there should be a short circuit. But, if the poor ground connection has a fault, instead of the current flowing will be flowing into the ground and won’t charge your battery.
2. Short Drives
We know that our car battery needs to charge while we drive. But not when you take short drives. Short drives will drain your battery more than charge it, and when you apply a radio or charge your device, it will drain faster.
3. Malfunctioning Charging Circuit
You should know what makes up your charging structure such as the alternator, sensors, and starter. If any of these has a power flow fault, your battery will discharge.
4. Corroded Battery Terminals
Your car battery can discharge if your battery has physical impairment such as the white cell discharges seen at the battery terminals. You should clean them to enable your battery to receive current flow and charge.
5. Worn Serpentine Belt
When your battery is drained, this shows that your car’s serpentine belt is damaged. The serpentine belt provides energy to other components in charge of charging your car battery.
6. Bad Alternator
The alternator is the head charge of your battery been charged. If it’s faulty or your car has been driven about 50,000 miles, your alternator will start to fail and so your battery will discharge.
7. Weak Battery
If your battery is old as stated earlier, or it getting weak, it will be difficult to retain a charge even when driving.
8. GPS System
If your car GPS is trapped in a Satellite searching operation and you never get to know of it, it can deplete your car’s battery while driving. You can reset or disconnect the GPS for a while and your battery will charge normally.
How To Fix Battery Discharge Warning?
There are some tips to help you fix your car battery discharge.
1. Check the Electrolyte
The first step to take is to review the electrolyte values. This should be reviewed monthly or half-quarter because when your battery lacks electrotype, it won’t send current to the battery terminal.
Another step to charging a drained battery is to jumpstart your car. You can do this by using Jumper cables to link your battery to a healthy one to transfer current between batteries. This should start your vehicle and if it fails to start, your alternator will get power to recharge your battery.
If you have tried the steps above and nothing seems to work, then you can see externally charging your car’s battery. You can get to any automobile shop outlet there and charge your battery at $10 or $20.
4. Battery Replacement
Your last resort to battery discharge is to replace it if all the steps above couldn’t bring your battery to the same capacity.
Cost To Replace the Battery
It cost about $45 to $250 to get a car battery replacement and this price depends on your car type and model.
Battery discharge warning reminds you of defectiveness noticed in your battery and it’s good if you look into it at an early stage and see to resolve it than leaving it to linger which may cause major harm to your car’s health.