Every time you turn on your vehicle, you depend on the battery to power up the car and keep it running. The charging system is responsible for keeping that battery charged as you drive, so what causes your Ford Explorer displays a “Check Charging System” message?
Some potential causes of this error message include a faulty alternator, a broken voltage regulator, or loose or corroded connections in the charging system. In some cases, simply replacing the battery may fix the issue.
In this article, I will discuss the meaning of this message, the causes, and how to fix it.
What’s the Meaning of the “Check Charging System” on a Ford Explorer?
In the case of a Ford Explorer, the “Check Charging System” message appears on your dashboard when there is an issue with the charging system. The charging system includes the alternator, voltage regulator, and connections that keep your battery charged as you drive.
If something in this system is not functioning properly, it can cause the battery to drain and result in this message.
Possible Causes of the “Check Charging System” Message
Here are the most common potential causes for the “Check Charging System” message in a Ford Explorer:
A Faulty Alternator
The alternator must function properly for the battery to stay charged as you drive. The alternator is responsible for converting the mechanical energy from your engine into electricity to power the battery. If the alternator is faulty or worn out, it may not be able to charge the battery effectively, resulting in this message.
A Broken Voltage Regulator
The voltage regulator helps control how much electricity is sent to the battery from the alternator. If this component breaks or malfunctions, it may result in the charging system not functioning properly and display this message.
Loose or Corroded Connections
The connections between the alternator, voltage regulator, and battery must be tight and corrosion-free to ensure proper charging. Loose connections or corrosion can prevent the proper flow of electricity and result in this problem.
Sometimes, the problem is with the battery. The battery cells may be worn out or damaged. This causes the battery to lose its ability to hold a charge. You can tell if the battery is the issue by performing a load test.
Faulty Computer System
In rare cases, your Ford Explorer’s computer system may malfunction, causing this message to appear erroneously. In this case, it’s best to have a professional diagnose the issue.
How to Fix the “Check Charging System” Message
To following fixes will help you address the “Check Charging System” message on your Ford Explorer:
Replace the Alternator or Voltage Regulator
If either of these components is faulty, they will need to be replaced. It’s best to have a professional mechanic handle this task.
Tighten or Replace Connections
Loose connections can be tightened. If the connections are corroded, they may need to be replaced.
Replacing the Battery
In some cases, simply replacing the battery may fix the issue. However, it’s important to note that replacing the battery will only fix the issue if the battery is the root cause.
Update the Computer System
In rare cases, the computer system may be causing the issue. Have a professional update or reprogram your computer system to fix this problem.
Have a Professional Diagnose and Repair
If you’re unsure of the cause or unable to fix it, have a professional mechanic diagnose and repair the issue. They will be able to determine the problem accurately and effectively fix it.
Can you Drive Your Explorer with a “Check Charging System” Message?
It is not recommended to continue driving with this message on your dashboard. It can lead to a dead battery, leaving you stranded. It’s best to address the issue as soon as possible.
I recommend checking your charging system during routine maintenance or when you notice any issues. It’s also important to check if your battery is over three years old. This will help prevent potential issues in the future.
If you are comfortable and knowledgeable about car repairs, you may be able to fix the issue yourself. However, it’s best to have a professional mechanic handle any necessary replacements or repairs. They will ensure the job is done correctly and safely