What does the battery light on the dashboard mean?

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Battery Light:

Every car today contains a chargeable 12-volt battery. This battery powers everything electrical: the engine’s control computer, the ignition, the radio, the headlights, etc. Therefore the battery is significant to the car’s operation.

Like all batteries, a car’s 12-volt battery would eventually go dead if it weren’t recharged, so your car includes a built-in recharging system. Most cars have an alternator, together with a transformer, that keeps the battery charged and also provides electricity to the vehicle when the engine is running. A typical alternator can put out between 500 and 1,000 watts when necessary.

Because your car is so passionate about the battery, all cars have a battery light on the dashboard that’s designed to warn you if the recharging system fails. An easy circuit looks at the voltage that the alternator is producing, and turns the battery light on if it’s low. The battery light indicates a battery charging problem. If the battery light comes on and stays on while you’re driving, the foremost common cause may be a broken alternator belt. The overall failure of the alternator is another possibility.

The reason why your car can operate normally while the battery light is on is that your car can flee the energy stored within the battery. Your car will run fine until the battery goes dead. At that time, nothing in your car will work. When the battery light is on, you’ll still drive your car to the garage — You may not damage anything. But you wish to induce to the garage before the battery fails and your car dies.

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