When you get a “battery low start vehicle” message on your DIC (Display instrument Cluster), it can be scary and make you feel like you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere.
But it might not be as bad as it seems. That’s why I’m going to explain what this means, as well as what could be causing it and how to fix it, in this piece.
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What Does Battery Low Start Vehicle Mean?
As a car mechanic, I’m used to seeing these kinds of error messages on different cars.
“Battery low start vehicle” means that your car’s Battery Monitoring System (BMS) has found that the battery has a low charge and needs to be charged.
The BMS is an automated system that tracks how your car’s battery is doing. Several devices that can measure the temperature and charge level of the battery are used to do this.
What Causes Low Car Battery?
Now that I’ve told you what the error message means let’s look at what I’ve seen that could be causing it.
Worn Out Battery
If your car’s battery is old and nearing the end of its life, it probably isn’t charging right.
Low starting power is definitely one of the signs of a worn-out battery.
If you’ve had your car for a long time and haven’t paid much attention to the battery, this could be the problem.
In general, you should change your car’s battery every 3–5 years, based on how often you drive.
If you haven’t changed the battery in a long time and have been moving around with a low battery, this could be why the charging system isn’t working right.
Haven’t been Driving Your Car Much
Your car’s battery has a limited amount of power and needs to be charged by the generator when it’s not being used.
If you don’t drive your car very often and let it sit for a long time, the battery may lose its charge. This can cause a “low battery start vehicle” message to appear so that the charger can charge the battery.
The generator is a device that turns mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Your car’s lights and other devices are powered by the generator, which also charges the battery.
If it doesn’t, it won’t send power to the battery to charge it, so you’ll see a sign that says “low battery start vehicle” on your screen.
Loose or damaged Battery Connections
Loose or damaged connections between the battery and the car can also cause the “low battery start vehicle” message.
Your car’s battery can die because the power it gets from the generator isn’t getting to it as it should because of a loose link.
Corroded links can lead to rust and corrosion buildup, which can drain your battery and stop it from charging properly.
Extremely Cold Weather
When it’s cold, your car’s battery can lose power quickly and not hold its charge as well as it should.
A car battery can die in just a few days if it is very cold outside. This is because the cold slows down the chemical processes inside the battery, which makes it make less power.
Battery Low Start Vehicle: Things to know
What does that mean when it says battery low start vehicle and what should I do?
In this case, the state of charge (SOC) could be too low to start the vehicle, but most likely there will be enough charge left to start the vehicle if you stop using the accessories as soon as the message shows. These messages just mean that the battery power is lower than it should be.
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How to start a car with a low battery?
- Turn the key to the “on” position and put it in the engine.
- Make sure your car’s parking brake is not on and put it in gear.
- Ask the people helping you to push your car.
- Turn the key to start the engine when it gets to about 5 mph.
What happens when your car battery is low?
To start the engine of your car, you need a lot of power. With a weak battery, the engine will turn over more slowly than normal, and the car will take longer to start. Most of the time, you’ll only get one or two of these signs before the battery dies totally, so don’t ignore them.
What to do when car battery is low?
If the battery’s voltage is low, replace it with a new one or charge it to the recommended 14.2 to 14.7 volts,” says McCann. “Then try to run the car and see if the voltage is higher or lower than that range. If it is, that means the battery is broken.
How to Fix “Battery Low Start Vehicle”
When you see the warning light on your dashboard, there are a few things you can do, but here’s what I propose as an experienced mechanic:
Start the Car and Drive for a Few Miles
If the “battery low start vehicle” sign comes up, this is the very first thing you need to do. Start the car and drive it for at least a few miles so that the alternator can charge the battery.
You can jump-start your car or use a small battery charger if it won’t start.
Check to see if the message goes away after you’ve driven for a while. If it does, the problem is fixed, but if it keeps coming up, you might need a new battery.
Change the Battery
If a few miles of driving and charging the battery don’t fix the problem, it’s time to get a new one. You will need a new battery, which you can get at a car parts shop or from a mechanic in your area.
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Check the Charging System
If you changed the battery or it’s still pretty new, and you still see the message, it’s probably because the alternator isn’t working. You will need to have your mechanic or dealer check it out and fix it if needed.
It could be broken or have been used to power something when the engine wasn’t working. The system knows there is enough energy to start the car right now, so it charges the battery. However, if the voltage drops any more, the battery will soon no longer be able to start the engine.
If your car won’t start, it’s generally because the battery is dying or dead, the wires are loose or corroded, the alternator is broken, or there’s a problem with the starter. It can be hard to tell if the trouble is with the battery or with the generator. Here’s how to figure out which one did it.
To start a car with a low battery, you can either:
1 – Jump start it from another car.
2- Push start it if your car has a manual transmission
The most common sign of a bad starter is a clicking sound. If you turn the key and get this, it’s definitely your starting that’s broken. If the lights on the dashboard come on even when the car isn’t running, that means the car has power, so it’s probably not the battery but the starter that’s broken.
Additional Sources: Real Time Automotive Battery Monitoring System