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Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Chevy Tech -
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 18351
Experience:  18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Chevy Diagnostics
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Impala: My battery light turned turned on when I..charging system..LS.

Customer Question

My battery light turned turned on when I got into my car a second time. It said "service battery charging system," but it wasn't on when i got into the car the first time. Its a 06 impala LS. What does that mean and is there anything I can do without taking it to a mechanic.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to! My name is DriveFast71(Ron) and I will do my best to answer all of your questions completely and accurately.


When this light comes on, most commonly this is a sign of a failing alternator or battery. You can check this yourself with the use of a hand-held voltage reader. With the engine running, take a voltage reading at the battery terminals. If the voltage is not between 13.4-14.4v, or is fluctuation in and out of this range, the alternator will need to be replaced. If the alternator passes this test, shut the engine off, and let it sit for 15 minutes. With the engine off, take another voltage reading at the battery terminals. If the voltage is anything less than12v, the battery is not accepting a charge, and will need to be replaced.


If you do not have access to a voltage meter, most local "big chain" parts stores will run these tests for you, for Free, right in their parking lot.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Before you answered the first question i did start the car again and the battery light didn't turn on. Could you explain that?
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 5 years ago.
It could be an intermittent fail. Or a loose connection at the battery or alternator. Check your battery cables and make sure they are tight. Check the electrical connector at the alternator as well. If these are tight, it's very possible for the alternator to be "on it's way out" and the next time that light comes on, I would suggest having the above tests done. .
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 5 years ago.

Just had another thought...


Inspect the serpentine belt as well, with the engine running. Make sure it is not "slipping" over the alternator pulley. This will also cause an intermittent charging fault.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i took it to auto zone and they said the checks were ok. They were aligned with what you siad about the connectors but there tight. I appreciate your help. i think it was an intermittent fail.
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 5 years ago.
Yes. At this point, unfortunately, you are going to need to wait until it gets worse/more frequent. Intermittent problems are the hardest to pinpoint.