What does it mean if the car shuts off and also the battery light comes on while driving?
It indicates that your car is not generating enough power to keep the battery charged. Many things can cause it, but the most common cause is a problem with the alternator or the battery.
The alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine is running. If the alternator is not working properly, the battery will eventually run out of power, and the car will shut off.
If your car shuts off and the battery light comes on, it’s important to have the problem diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. Because when you’re stranded on the side of the road, it can be frustrating and quite dangerous.
So whether you are stuck in such a situation or preparing beforehand, here are some possible reasons and fixes for your car if it shuts off while driving and the battery light keeps coming on.
Cause 1: Faulty Alternator
The alternator is a vital component of your car’s electrical system. It’s responsible for charging the battery and powering the electrical system while the engine runs.
So, can a bad alternator make your car shut off while driving? Well absolutely! The alternator is what charges the battery and powers the electrical system in your car. If the alternator is not working correctly, it can cause a number of problems, one of which is your car shutting off while you’re driving.
But how can a bad alternator make your car shut off while driving or cause the battery light to come on?
If your alternator is not working properly, it can cause your battery to discharge faster than it should. It can lead to the battery light coming on or the car shutting off while you are driving.
Also, If the alternator is not supplying enough power to the electrical system, it can cause the system to fail or cause the engine to stall and cause the car engine to die while driving.
How Do You Test If The Alternator Is Working?
If your car has been running a bit rough lately or you face problems like the car shutting off while driving or the battery light coming on, it might be time to test the alternator. Here’s how you can test if the alternator is working:
First, make sure that the battery is fully charged. If it’s not, you won’t be able to test the alternator properly.
Next, start the car and let it idle for a few minutes. Then, turn on all the lights in the car, turn on the radio, and roll down the windows. If the car’s battery is fully charged, all of these things should work without any issues.
Now, rev the engine and see how the car’s lights behave. If they dim or flicker, it’s a sign that the alternator is not working properly.
If you’re unsure, you can take the car for a drive and see how it behaves. If the car’s electrical systems start to act up while you’re driving, it’s a good sign that the alternator is on its way out.
How much does it cost to fix the alternator?
A malfunctioning alternator can lead to many problems, but how much will it cost to fix the alternator? Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the make and model of your car, as well as the severity of the problem.
Generally speaking, having your alternator repaired or replaced will cost between $200 and $400.
The cost of alternator repairs can vary depending on the problem. If the alternator is simply not charging the battery, the repairs may be fairly inexpensive. However, the cost will be significantly higher if the alternator is damaged and needs to be replaced.
Cause 2: Battery Gone Bad
If your car battery is bad, it can cause many problems. One of the most common problems is that your car will shut off or the battery light will come on while driving. This can be extremely dangerous as it can happen anytime, and you could lose control of your car.
A bad battery can cause your car to shut off while driving. Because if the battery is not providing enough power to the car’s electrical system, the car may shut down to prevent damage to the system. Also, if the battery is leaking acid, it can damage the car’s electrical system, causing it to shut down.
But before you replace the battery, you need to ensure the battery is the reason behind your car shutting off while driving or the battery light coming on. Here are the ways you can test and make sure.
How To Check Whether The Battery Is Working or Not?
There are a few different ways to test a car battery, but the most common is with a voltmeter or a multimeter. You can pick up these at most auto parts stores, and they’re not too expensive.
Using a voltmeter
To test the battery using a voltmeter, attach the voltmeter to the positive and negative terminals of the battery.
The battery is considered good if the reading is 12.6 volts or higher. If it’s 12.5 volts or lower, your battery is the reason the car shuts off while driving.
Using a multimeter
To use a multimeter, you’ll need to connect the red lead to the positive terminal of your battery and the black lead to the negative terminal.
Once the leads are connected, you can turn on the multimeter and check the reading. Your battery is fully charged if it reads 12.6 volts or higher. If it reads 12.4 volts or lower, the battery will need to be replaced.
Cause 3: Corroded Battery Terminal
As your battery terminals get older, they become more susceptible to corrosion.
If your car is shutting off while you’re driving or the battery light keeps coming on, it could be due to a corroded battery terminal.
Battery terminals can become corroded over time due to exposure to the elements or battery acid leakage. In addition, the chemical reaction between the metal of the terminal and the acid in the battery can create a build-up of crud that can prevent the electrical current from flowing freely.
Corroded terminals can cause a loss of electrical contact between the battery and the car’s electrical system and are bad enough to cause the battery light on your dash to come on or cause the car to stall while driving.
How to Clean Corroded Battery Terminals?
Fortunately, cleaning corroded battery terminals is a pretty straightforward process that anyone can do. All you need is a little patience and the right supplies. So, what do you need? Here is the supplies you will need to clean corroded battery terminals.
– A wire brush
– A can of wd40
– A clean rag
Cleaning corroded battery terminals is a pretty simple process. First, disconnect the battery from the vehicle. Once the battery is disconnected, you can begin cleaning the terminals.
Now, use the wire brush to remove as much corrosion from the terminals as possible.
As you’ve removed as much as you can with the brush, use the can of wd40 to spray down the terminals. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection while you’re doing this.
After you’ve sprayed the terminals with the protector, use the clean rag to wipe off any excess.
Once you’re done, your battery terminals should be clean and free of corrosion.
Cause 4: Loose Ground Strap or Wire
If your car has a loose ground strap, it can cause electrical problems. And one of those problems can be the car shutting off while driving. So here’s how it works:
The ground strap connects your car’s metal frame to your battery’s negative terminal. This connection is important because it allows electricity to flow from the battery to the frame and then to the engine and other electrical components.
If the ground strap is loose, that path is broken, and electricity can’t flow properly. This can cause all sorts of problems, including the car shutting off while you’re driving.
What are the symptoms of A Loose Ground Strap or Wire?
A broken ground strap can cause the engine to stall, and in some cases, it can prevent the car from starting. But what are the symptoms of a bad ground strap?
Electrical problems are one of the most common symptoms of a bad ground strap. So if your car is experiencing electrical issues, it’s likely that the ground strap is the cause.
Other common symptoms caused by a bad ground strap include:
- You won’t be able to start the car
- Problems with the stereo or other electrical accessories.
- Dimming headlights
- Flickering dashboard lights
- Frayed or damaged ground strap
How much does it cost to replace Loose Ground Strap or Wire?
The cost of replacing a loose ground strap or wire will vary depending on the make and model of your car. In most cases, it will cost between $50 and $100 to have the work done by a professional.
However, if you’re handy with tools, you may be able to do the job and save up the cost. If you’re not comfortable working on your car, it’s best to take it to a professional. This way, if something goes wrong, you’re covered.
Cause 5: Faulty Fuel Pump
A fuel pump is responsible for delivering gasoline from the tank to the engine. If the fuel pump is not working properly, it can cause the car to shut off while driving.
There are a number of reasons why a fuel pump may not be working properly. It could be a problem with the wiring, a clogged filter, or a problem with the pump itself.
Another possibility is that the fuel filter is clogged. The filter is responsible for keeping the gasoline clean. If it is clogged, it can prevent the fuel from reaching the engine and cause the car to stall or not start at all.
How to Diagnose a Faulty Fuel Pump?
If you suspect your fuel pump is not working properly, you should first check the fuel pump fuse. If the fuse is blown, it will need to be replaced. If the fuse is not the problem, you will need to check the wiring to the fuel pump. If the wiring is damaged, it must be repaired or replaced.
If the fuse is fine, the next step is to check the fuel pressure. This can be done with a fuel pressure gauge. If the pressure is low, it’s a good indication that the fuel pump is not working properly.
But If the fuel filter is not the problem, the next step is to check the fuel pump itself. This can be done by removing the fuel pump and testing it with a multimeter. If the pump is faulty, it will need to be replaced.
How much does it cost to fix a faulty fuel pump?
You can generally expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 to have your fuel pump repaired or replaced.
If the issue is not that serious, you may get by with just a simple repair. It could involve replacing a cracked housing, damaged gasket, or clogged filter and can usually be done for around $200.
If the problem is more severe, you may need to replace the entire fuel pump assembly, which is a more complicated repair that usually costs between $500 and $1,000.
As anyone who has experienced a car problem can attest, diagnosing the issue can be half the battle. This is why this guide has discussed the most common reason a car might shut off while driving or the battery light comes off and how to diagnose the reasons.
So, if your car is shutting off or the battery light is coming off, you need to find out the root of the problem. Only then can you proceed to fix it. Most problems, like a bad alternator or the fuel pump, might require the help of a professional as trying to fix these problems yourself could result in further damage and may void your warranty. But if it’s due to issues like a battery issue or a corroded terminal, you can handle these by yourself with ease.