Seeing the “check charging system” displayed on your Camry’s infotainment system can be quite alarming and scary since you don’t know what is causing the problem and what it could mean for your Toyota.
That is why I decided to write this article to help you understand what causes the “check charging system” message to appear and what you need to do next. Let’s get started!
What Does Check Charging System Mean on a Toyota Camry
Before we get to what’s causing the problem, it’s essential to know what this really means.
In short, a Toyota Camry check charging system simply means your Camry Electroniccaly Controlled Unit (ECU) has detected a problem with your vehicle’s charging system.
The main components of a Toyota Camry charging system include the alternator, battery, and voltage regulator.
The check charging system message usually happens when your battery reaches a certain level of discharge with no signs of charging taking place.
What Causes Toyota Camry “Check Charging System” Fault Message
From my experience there are two scenarios in which this message can appear, one is not as serious as the other. Let’s look at both scenarios:
1. The Message Comes on when your Camry is on but the engine is not running:
This is a common scenario that happens to most Toyota Camry owners at some point in their vehicle’s lifespan.
Fortunately, this is normal and not something to be worried about.
When your Camry is turned on but not running, it’s common for the battery to drain and then begin charging once you start driving again.
The reason why the check charging system comes on when your car is on but not running is the fact that all the electronics on your Camry are draining the battery below minimum voltage, as a result, the ECU thinks there is something wrong with the charging system
The message will disappear once enough time has passed for the alternator to recharge your battery back up to normal levels.
2. The Message Comes on While the Engine is Running
Now, when the check charging system message comes on while your Camry is running, there are a few different possibilities. Chances are there is a failing component in the charging system, which usually is caused by
If the condition of your battery is bad, then it could be causing the check charging system message to come on.
It’s important to note that Toyota Camry batteries need to be replaced every 3-5 years and chances are your battery has reached its end of life and will no longer hold a charge for long periods of time.
Luckily this is an easy fix, all you need to do is have the battery voltage and condition tested and if it’s bad, replace it.
Bad Battery Cables
Another component that could be causing your Camry to show the check charging system message is bad battery cables.
This can be caused by corrosion or damage to the wires that lead from the battery to other components in your car.
I recommend that you check the battery terminals for any signs of dirt or corrosion and if you find any, clean them off with a wire brush and make sure that the cables are securely fastened in place.
The third most common reason why your Camry might be showing this message is because of a bad alternator.
The Alternator is a component that’s responsible for generating the power that your car needs to run while charging your battery.
Generally, it does this by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
If there is a problem with your alternator, then it may not be able to provide enough power to operate all of the systems in your vehicle properly and Charge your battery as it should.
As a result, this can cause numerous problems including the check charging system message on your Camry.
If the alternator is faulty then I recommend you have it replaced since it’s a critical component that is required for your car to run properly.
I recommend you get a diagnostics at the nearest Toyota dealer to determine if your alternator needs to be replaced. If it does, then you should have it replaced as soon as possible so that you can get back on the road again.
Is the Check Charging System a Serious Fault?
Generally speaking, this is one of that fault messages that you don’t want to see flashing on your Camry’s dashboard.
It indicates that there is a problem with your vehicle’s charging system (Depending on when the message comes up) and that it needs to be checked by a professional immediately.