Over the last couple of years, I had a few Chevys come to my workshop with the Service Battery Charging System light on.
I always assumed it was a bad alternator, which is usually true but after working on a couple of these vehicles.
I realized a “service battery charging system chevy traverse” on a Chevrolet Traverse can be caused by many other different things.
In this article, I want to cover the basics of what is causing the check charging system light to come on and how to fix the issue.
What Does “Service Battery Charging System” Mean on a Chevy Traverse
Chevrolet uses variable charging on their vehicles which means the Alternator is controlled by the BCM (Battery Control Module).
When the BCM detects a problem with the charging voltage, it will light up the check battery charging system light.
So to put it simply, when you get the check charging system light on your Chevy Traverse it means that the BCM is not receiving enough voltage from the battery to operate properly.
This can be caused by a number of different problems which I will cover below.
Since there are a lot of different causes for the check charging system light, I will go through each one so that you can determine which one is causing your problem. With the first one being the most common problem.
Chevy Traverse Service Battery Charging System Causes
1. Bad Battery current sensor (BCS):
The battery current sensor is a device that measures voltage and amperage to determine whether or not the battery is in good condition.
It also helps to identify problems with the charging system by monitoring the current flow between your alternator and battery.
If there is an issue with this sensor then it will cause your check charging system light to come on because it cannot detect that enough power is being supplied from your alternator.
2. Failing Alternator:
The alternator is basically a generator that charges the battery and powers your car’s electrical system. If it fails then your battery will not get charged and will start to lose power after a few days.
This can cause your check charging system light to come on as well because you will not have enough power to run your car’s electrical system.
3. Bad Battery:
Batteries do go out as time goes by due to normal wear and tear and they just can’t hold as much charge as they used to.
If you have a bad battery then the “service battery charging system” light will come on because the battery is not holding charge as it should. Chevrolet recommends replacing your battery every 3-5 years.
4. Dirty/Corroded Terminals:
If your battery terminals are dirty or corroded then the “service battery charging system” light will come on because there is not a good connection between your car’s electrical system and the battery.
You can clean off the terminals with a wire brush and hot water to get rid of any corrosion.
5. Cable Connecting to the Alternator:
If the cable connecting your battery to the alternator is loose or melted can cause the Alternator not to transfer sufficient power to your Traverse battery. The same applies to the cable that is connected to the battery.
How to Fix the Service Battery Charging System Fault on a Traverse
1. Check the Battery:
Make sure that your battery is fully charged and clean off the terminals with a wire brush and hot water if they are dirty or corroded. Then have the battery condition tested to make sure it hasn’t gone bad.
2. Check the Alternator:
Make sure that your alternator is working properly by having a professional check it out or by testing it yourself using a Voltmeter. A working alternator should go from 12.2 V to ~13-14.5 V.
3. Change the Battery Current Sensor (BCS):
The battery current sensor can get damaged over time, causing this error. It is located near the battery in a black plastic box and should be replaced by an auto parts store if you are unable to find it yourself.
If you are not inclined to do the repair yourself, you should consider taking a Chevy traverse to your nearest Chevrolet dealership or a qualified mechanic.