Car Shuts Off While Driving Battery Light Comes On? Reasons And Solutions!

When the battery warning light pops up on your car’s dashboard, you can’t simply avoid this. This can cause your car to shut down, and you might never want this to happen while you drive. Are you facing this issue?

What if the car shuts off while driving battery light comes on? Well, this indicates there is an issue with the alternator in your car, which can’t power the battery to run your car’s engine. It might be an issue with your car battery as well.

Therefore, you need to check the issues with the alternator to solve the problem. And here, we will guide you on how you can do so easily. So, keep reading until the end. 

Car Shuts Off While Driving Battery Light Comes On
Car Shuts Off While Driving Battery Light Comes On

What Does It Mean When Your Car Cuts Off, and the Battery Light Comes On?

The alternator in your car plays a prominent role in supplying the battery’s electrical power so it can remain charged. But, if the alternator becomes faulty, it can’t provide power to the battery, and your car might shut off while you drive. 

But, there is confusion. When your car shuts off while driving and the battery warning light comes on, there can be two reasons for this. Either the alternator becomes bad, or there is something wrong with the battery. 

But how do you know what causes the problem here? Or, what are the signs of a bad alternator vs a bad battery? Let’s know!

Symptoms of a Bad Alternator

  • Whining noise.
  • Your car battery light is supposed to turn on.
  • Dead Battery.
  • Hard acceleration.
  • Engine stalling.
  • A shift in lights.

Symptoms of a Bad Battery

  • Dim lights, headlights, and dashboard lights are supposed to come on. 
  • Flickering tail lights.
  • Slow crank. 
  • Engine backfires. 
  • Battery fluid is low. 
  • Different electrical issues in the car.  

Why Does A Car Shuts Off While Driving And The Battery Light Comes On?

If the battery warning light on your car comes on and then shuts down, there can be multiple reasons, as you already know. So, you need to check if there is any issue with the alternator or the battery. 

Cause 1: Faulty Alternator


The alternator of your car ensures the smooth running of your car by charging up the battery. However, if the alternator becomes faulty, it can’t power up the battery. But your car can still run even if the alternator goes bad. Surprised? 

Yes, but your car will run until the battery holds its charge. The charge of the battery finishes while you are driving, and your vehicle will stop as the alternator is supposed not to be in good health. Who will power up the battery? 

Now, why does the alternator or car go bad? The alternator might be full of dirt, and dust may become clogged.

Additionally, chances are the alternator becomes worn out due to extreme temperature. And ultimately, all these can lead up to alternator failure.   

Cause 2: Battery failure

Battery failure
Battery failure

If your car’s battery cables become corroded due to rust, the battery can’t function as expected.  Due to the corroded or damaged battery cables, it won’t be possible for the battery to take power from the car’s alternator. 

This means the battery won’t charge while you drive your car. And once the charge of the battery finishes, the car will shut off as there will be no electrical power to boost the engine, and the battery light will come on.

The battery terminal may become faulty at the same time. And this usually happens if there is too much rust or corrosion of the battery terminals. 

Additionally, the battery itself becomes faulty due to the passage of time. A car’s battery is supposed to last around 4-5 years. If the battery is dead, even if the alternator is good, it won’t provide any real benefit for keeping your car running. 

What to Do if a Car Shut Off and Battery Light Comes on While Driving?

After thoroughly reading this blog, you should know what to do next. Yes, you are right; you need to check the components of the alternator and the battery. 

Method 1: Check and Replace the Alternator

You will find the alternator under the hood of your car, connected to the battery. First up, you need to check the alternator. This may be challenging if you are not an expert. 

Here, you can call a mechanic to determine whether the alternator works fine or not. Then, if your car’s alternator comes out to be bad, you should replace it. 

Check this video to learn how to replace the alternator of a car. The cost of replacing the alternator would be around $300-$500. 

Method 2: Check and Replace the Battery Cables

the Battery Cables
the Battery Cables

First, you need to check the battery cables in your car carefully. Make sure you look carefully at whether the cables are corroded or broken. If you find the battery cables in bad condition, you need to replace them.

Changing the battery cables in your car is easy; you should do it on your own. It can cost you between $20-$100. 

Method 3: Check and Replace the Battery Terminals


You need to look for any sign of rust in your car’s battery terminals. If three is rust on the battery terminals, you should try to clean them. You will find this video helpful regarding cleaning your car’s battery terminals. 

But, if the rust on the terminal looks extreme, this indicates a fault in the terminals. You need to replace them. 

Method 4: Check and Replace the Battery of Your Car

This is the most critical part of troubleshooting when the battery light comes on and shuts off the car while driving. Here, you need to check the battery of your car carefully. 

If the battery cables, terminals, and alternator work, but the battery won’t get the proper voltage (12.5), you need to replace your car’s battery.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now it’s time to know what car owners often ask on the internet regarding the battery light coming on while driving. You will find this section helpful as we answer those questions here. 

Can You Fix The Issue Of The Battery Warning Light Coming On While Driving On Your Own?

If you have proper knowledge about the components of your car, you can do so. But, checking the alternator and battery might seem challenging for a few car owners. They can go with the mechanic. 

How Long Does The Alternator Of A Car Last?

Depending on your car type, the alternator can last about 5-7 years. This is an average lifespan. However,  if there are any additional issues with the alternator, you need to replace it immediately. 

How Severe The Problem Of The Battery Light Comes On When You Drive And The Car Shuts Off?

As your car tends to shut off while driving, you can realize the severity of the problem by this. Even if you jump start your car in this case, you should never avoid the problem as it can badly impact your car’s engine. 

What Type Of Battery Do You Need For Your Car?

Most modern-day vehicles come with 12.5-volt batteries. So, it is more likely that your car also has this battery. So, when it comes to replacing your car battery, make sure you buy a 12.5-volt battery. 

Final Words

Car Shuts off While Driving Battery Light Comes On is a type of issue that often brings headaches among car owners. But, despite being panicked, you need to take immediate options to resolve the issue. 

The troubleshooting steps mentioned above are simple. You are supposed to perform them. But, when you’re on a highway, and your car shuts off, make sure you call a mechanic to jump-start your car. 

Or, if you know how to jump-start your car, you can request other car owners to help you jump-start your car. In case you need to replace the alternator and battery, you should check the owner’s manual of your car or experts’ recommendation before buying the components. 

Related Posts:

Similar Posts