Service Battery Charging System message

Chevy Traverse Service Battery Charging System [Fixed]

The “Service Battery Charging System” light on a Chevy Traverse can indicate several issues beyond a faulty alternator.

This article will explore the common causes and solutions for this warning light based on my personal experience as a mechanic.

What Does ‘Service Battery Charging System’ Mean on a Chevy Traverse

The light signifies that the Battery Control Module (BCM) has detected a variance in the charging system that does not align with optimal operating conditions.

The BCM plays a pivotal role in voltage regulation, ensuring your vehicle’s alternator output adapts to the ever-changing electrical demands and battery state. 

When voltage output falls short, the BCM responds by lighting up the dashboard warning.

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.

Possible Causes
1. Bad Battery Current Sensor (BCS)  
2. Failing Alternator  
3. Bad Battery  
4. Dirty/Corroded Terminals  
5. Cable Issues  
Troubleshooting Steps
Check Battery and Alternator  
Change BCS  
Preventive Maintenance
Regular Checks and Diagnostics  
Understanding Warning Signs


Related: Meaning on Battery Saver Active on a Chevy 


How to Fix the ‘Service Battery Charging System’ Alert 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.

charging system

Preventive Maintenance to Avoid Charging System Warnings

Regular maintenance plays a critical role in preventing unexpected charging system warnings. Here are some proactive steps you can take:

  • Regular battery checks: Inspect your battery periodically for signs of wear or damage, validate its charging capacity, and ensure terminals are clean and secured.
  • Visual inspection of cables: Periodically check cables for any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. Timely replacement can prevent charging issues from escalating.
  • Regular system diagnostics: Have your vehicle’s charging system checked annually as part of routine maintenance. This includes a battery load test and an alternator output check.
  • Understanding warning signs: Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a failing charging system. Early detection can save time and prevent costlier repairs down the line.

Additional Sources

For further insight, consider these reliable sources:

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