Why is my battery light coming on intermittently?

Asked by May 14, 2018 at 07:07 PM about the 2009 Toyota Matrix Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Last week the tech at Advance Auto
replaced my battery after saying the old 1
had a dead cell (no check battery light but
headlights were flickering & car tried to
stall).

Today after a minute or so of idling at a
stoplight, the battery light turned on & off a
couple of times, & then disappeared when I
began driving again. I purposely waited to
cut off the engine when I got home, & the
light did the same thing.  Does that light
come on if the alternator is the problem?
FTR, due to an incoming storm, the AA tech
only tested the battery, & I didn't think to ask
about the alternator too since it was
replaced just 2 years ago.

1 Answer

Update: Went back to Advance and a different tech tested the alternator. He said it is a little low (pulling 13.5 vs 14), and though he doesn't feel it needs replacing yet, he recommends having it checked out by a repair shop since this 1 was installed just 2 years ago. On a side note, the tech said the "check battery light" is actually an indicator for the alternator rather than the battery. The powers-that-be chose to use a battery for the icon because it's more recognizable than an alternator. Fun fact or hogwash??

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