CARS.COM — If the battery warning light (a light in the shape of a battery symbol) on the dashboard comes on while you're driving, that means the charging system isn't working, but the fault may lie in something other than the battery. The alternator generates the power that is stored in the battery.
Similarly, you may ask, is it safe to drive my car with the battery light on?
Driving with your Battery Light on is not a good idea. If the battery is bad, the alternator is faulty, or the wiring is bad, these can cause the vehicle to lose power and not operate like it normally would. The battery powers essential parts of your car, so it is a must have piece of equipment.
What does it mean when the battery light comes on in your car?
Every car today contains a rechargeable 12-volt battery. The battery light indicates a battery charging problem. If the battery light comes on and stays on while you are driving, the most common cause is a broken alternator belt. Total failure of the alternator is another possibility.
Why did my battery light come on?
A simple circuit looks at the voltage that the alternator is producing, and turns the battery light on if it is low. The battery light indicates a battery charging problem. If the battery light comes on and stays on while you are driving, the most common cause is a broken alternator belt.