Getting a “battery low start vehicle” message coming up on your DIC (Display instrument Cluster) can be a scary experience, and it’s one that can have you feeling like you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere.
However, it may not be as bad as it seems that is why in this article I am going to explain to you what this really means, and what are the possible causes and solutions. read on.
What Does Battery Low Start Vehicle Mean?
As a mechanic, I am quite familiar with these fault messages coming up on different vehicles.
The “Battery low start vehicle” means your Car’s Battery Monitoring System (BMS) has detected a low charge level in the battery and needs to be charged.
The BMS is a computerized system that is responsible for monitoring the status of your vehicle’s battery. This is done using a series of sensors that can detect the battery’s charge level and temperature.
What Causes Low Car Battery?
Now, that I have explained what the error message means, let’s look at the potential causes from my experience.
Worn Out Battery
If the battery in your car is aged and has reached the end of its life span then it’s likely that your battery is not charging properly.
A worn-out battery can have several different symptoms, but one of them is definitely a low starting voltage.
If you have had your car for a long time and haven’t paid much attention to the battery, this could be the cause.
In general, it is recommended that you change your battery every 3-5 years, depending on how often you use your car.
If you haven’t changed it in a long time and have been driving around with a low battery, then this could be why the charging system isn’t working properly.
Haven’t been Driving Your Car Much
Your vehicle’s battery has a limited capacity and relies on the alternator to recharge the battery when it is not in use.
If you don’t drive your car much and let it sit for a long time, then this can cause a loss of charge in your battery and lead to a “low battery start vehicle” message in order for the alternator to charge the battery.
The alternator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
The alternator is responsible for powering the lights and accessories in your vehicle, as well as charging the battery.
If it fails to do so, then you will get a “low battery start vehicle” message on your dashboard since it won’t be sending the power to the battery in order to get it charged.
Loose or Corroded Battery Connections
Another common cause of a “low battery start vehicle” message is loose or corroded battery connections.
A loose connection can cause your car battery to drain since the power it gets from the alternator is not passing through to the battery as it should
Corroded connections can cause corrosion and corrosion build-up, which can also lead to a drain on your battery and prevent it from charging properly.
Extremely Cold Weather
Cold weather can discharge your car battery fast and prevent it from holding its charge as it should.
In extremely cold weather, a car battery can discharge in just a few days. This is because the chemical reactions inside the battery are slowed down by the cold, which causes less power to be generated.
How to Fix “Battery Low Start Vehicle”
There are many different ways to go about solving this problem but as an experienced mechanic I recommend doing the following when you get the message on your dash:
1. Start the Car and Drive for a Few Miles
This is the first thing you should do if you get the “battery low start vehicle” message. Start the car and drive for a few miles at least, in order for the alternator to charge the battery.
If your car is failing to start then you can jump-start the car or use a portable battery charger.
After driving for a while check if the message goes away, if it does then the problem is solved, but if it still comes up then you might need a battery change.
2. Change the Battery
If driving for a few miles and charging the battery doesn’t solve the problem, then it’s time to change it. You will need a new battery and you can get one from your local auto parts store or mechanic.
3. Check the Charging System
If you changed the battery or it’s still relatively new and still getting the message, then it’s likely the alternator that’s not working. You will need to have it checked by your mechanic or dealer and get it fixed if necessary.