In this article, I am going to explain what a “service battery charging system” mean on your Buick, the leading causes, and how to fix and reset it.
As a technician, I’ve noticed that regardless of whether you own a Buick Enclave, Verano, Lacrosse, or Lucerne, the common causes and fixes are the same.
What Is Buick Battery Charging System?
The Buick, like every other vehicle, requires a robust and reliable source of power for initiating vehicle start-up and powering various electronic systems, including lights.
The Buick’s charging system is primarily composed of four crucial components:
The main purpose of a battery on your Buick is to store energy.
Your Buick’s battery charges while the engine is running, providing power to the starter motor to turn over the engine.
The alternator charges your battery and starts working when you are driving the car.
It also provides power to the various electrical systems in your Buick, such as the radio and headlights. When your engine is running, so is your alternator.
The Voltage Regulator
This component helps in maintaining a consistent level of voltage.
It regulates the amount of charge flowing from the alternator to the battery, safeguarding the battery and other electrical systems from any potential voltage-related damage.
Terminals and Wiring
The Battery terminals are wires that connect to your battery, and their main job is to transfer power from the alternator to the battery.
What Does “Service Battery Charging System” Mean on a Buick?
Now that you know what the charging system on your car is and its main components.
Let’s look at what a service battery charging system means on your Buick.
Simply put, a “service battery charging system” alert on your Buick means the Power Control Module has detected that your car is not charging as it should.
This can be caused by a few things, which I will discuss below.
What Causes Buick “Service Battery Charging System” Warning?
There are many causes for a service battery charging system” warning light to come on, but the leading causes from experience are:
1. Your Battery is Failing:
The most common cause for a service battery charging system” warning light to come on is that your battery is failing.
The battery is known to deteriorate over time, and if it is old enough, or has been in use for a long time, then it will eventually fail.
When this happens, the battery will no longer hold a charge causing low voltage issues. The service battery charging system” warning light will come on as a result.
On average, your Buick’s battery lasts three to five years, and if it is older than this, it may be time to replace it.
2. Bad Alternator:
The second most common cause for the service battery charging system” warning light to come on is a bad alternator.
The alternator is what keeps your battery charged. Over time the alternator can fail, and when it happens, the battery will not receive the required electricity .
This is why the warning light comes on, to alert you that there is a problem with your charging system. If the alternator fails, then it will need to be replaced.
Other common sign of a bad alternator includes
- Dim Headlights
- Dim Interior Lights
- Battery Not Charging
- Low Battery Warning Light
- Flickering lights
- Starting Issues
3. Loose or Dirty Battery Terminals:
The third and final cause of the service battery charging system fault on your Buick is loose or dirty battery terminals.
This can occur from a variety of causes, but it’s usually because you haven’t checked them in a long time.
If the battery terminals are loose, then your electrical system will not be able to transfer power correctly.
You may experience some of the same symptoms as above, including the “service battery charging system” alert.
How to Fix and Reset the Service Battery Charging System Fault on a Buick
Now let’s look at how you can fix the service battery charging system fault on your Buick.
Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery Cables
The first thing I recommend that you do is to disconnect the battery terminals and check for any signs of corrosion or debris,
If there is corrosion, use hot water and baking soda to clean the terminals, then reconnect them.
If the message goes away, then you’ve fixed the problem if it doesn’t, then move on to step two.
Test the Battery
If there is no corrosion, then you should perform a battery voltage test.
You can either do it yourself using a multimeter or take it to a place like Autozone, where they will do it for free.
If your battery voltage falls under 12.2, it is recommended to replace it. Conversely, if the voltage reads above 12.6, it indicates that the battery is functioning well. The alternator could be the source of the issue.
Have the Alternator Checked
If you have already tested the battery and it appears to be in good condition, it may be necessary to have the alternator checked.
You can take your vehicle to Autozone as well or the nearest Buick dealership to have it tested. In the event that the alternator is faulty, it will need to be replaced.