Discover Why Your Car Battery Light Is On & More

It’s natural that your car’s battery will illuminate for a few seconds when  you first turn on the engine. However, if that light stays on or happens to turn on again while you’re driving, it may be indicative of a bigger problem.

At MINI of Manhattan, we know that our customers are always on the go. To prevent getting stranded out there in Manhattan, the Bronx, or Queens, you may want to check out this handy article answering all your battery light questions.

Why is My Battery Light On?

The battery light in your car is a self-explanatory one. It’s in the shape of a battery (complete with positive and negative charge symbols), and turns on to indicate an issue with the charging system. Here are the most common reasons why your battery light turns on:

  • Loose or corroded battery cables/terminals
  • A problem with the alternator or voltage regulator
  • Low charge from electronics over-use

We’ve all left the lights on in our car a time or two-that’s fairly common-and can be easily fixed with a jump and an overnight charge. However, issues with the alternator or corroded battery cables may take a bit more work.

Is My Light on Because of the Battery or the Alternator?

The battery and the alternator are intertwined. They need each other to work! So, when the charging systems gets wonky, how do you know which one is the troublemaker?

Here’s your rule of thumb: jump your car. If it runs normally until you turn it off back at home, your battery is likely the culprit. The alternator can clearly still produce a charge, even if only for a short amount of time.

What If My Battery Light Keeps Turning On & Off?

Like we said before, the light will either illuminate when you try to turn on the engine, or it may appear while you’re driving. From there, however, it should stay on.

If the battery light turns on and off repeatedly, it’s a big clue as to what the problem is. More than likely, one of your cables or terminals is loose or corroded. Power is being transferred, but the connectors keep getting jostled, thus disrupting the flow.


In this same vein, your light may turn on after having the car battery replaced. This means that, once again, during installation, a connector wasn’t properly tightened.

Driving a Car with the Battery Light on May Be Unsafe

When the battery light turns on, your car isn’t going to seize up or die, but it may turn off at any moment. As soon as its present charge runs out, the entire vehicle will shut down. At which point, you may end up stranded in the middle of the street-which can certainly be a hazard in Manhattan, the Bronx, or Queens.

As soon as your battery light turns on, you need to turn off as many of the car’s electronics as possible to conserve your charge. Then, be sure to give the MINI of Manhattan team a call. We’ll repair or replace your car battery as soon as possible. Call us today for more information!