While there can be other causes, the message has come on since the onboard computer no longer sees the vehicle battery being charged.
There are other possible causes than the charging system, with the most common ones listed below.
What Is Battery Saver Active?
The onboard computer (ECM) detects the voltage from the charging system, which is determined by a battery current sensor.
The smart system was created to get the most battery life and operating time when the vehicle is no longer receiving a charge.
When the sensor detects a problem, it will shut down nonessential items such as the air conditioning system.
This allows the vehicle to have more driving time and to get the vehicle off the road and be repaired.
How to Diagnose a Battery Saver Active Error?
- If the voltage is above 13.5 volts, the system is charging and working.
- If the voltage is below 13 volts, the charging system is likely not working.
The reason for this test is a 12-volt car battery will not go above 12-volts unless it is being charged.
If the car is running and the voltage is around 12-volts or lower, the charging system is not working.
Keep in mind Chevy and GM vehicles can have different operating voltages, with most roughly at 13.5-14.5 volts DC when running.
5 Causes and Fixes for a Battery Saver Active (Chevy and GM)
- Battery Current Sensor
- Alternator Belt
- Battery Cable Terminals
- Bad Battery
When more amps are flowing out, the ECM sees a charging issue and goes into battery saver active mode.
If the sensor goes bad or does not have a good connection, it will give an error.
Test the vehicle while running with a meter to see what the volts are.
It is above 13.5-volts while running the charging system is usually good, and there is likely a problem with the sensor.
If the voltage is lower than 13-volts DC, there is likely a problem with the charging system.
The alternator can be tested with a meter while running for voltage.
If the voltage is lower than 13.5-volts, there is a problem with the alternator charging.
Be sure to look at the belt that drives the alternator as it can break and not spin the unit.
Once removed, an alternator can also be tested at many auto parts stores.
Be sure to call around first to see which store one can test it for you.
If the belt breaks or fails, it will not spin the alternator, which will cause it not to work.
Check the belt and be sure it is tight on the alternator and not loose.
If it is loose, it may need o to be replaced.
Take them off and examine them to be sure they are good or need to be replaced.
Often they can be cleaned with a wire brush to get a good contact on a terminal.
A battery can be put in a charger to see if it holds a charge, or can be taken to an auto parts store which will charge and test it.
Is it Safe to Drive with a Battery Saver Active Error
No, it is not safe to drive with a “Battery Saver Active” error since the vehicle can break down and leave the driver stranded.
If the alternator has failed, the engine may be running from the battery power that, once drained, will shut the engine off.
It is best to get off the road and get it checked out.
I Have a Battery Saver Active Error and the Car Wont Start
If your vehicle will not start and has battery saver active displayed on the dashboard there is an issue with the current sensor, charging system, or battery.
Often there will be a clicking sound which is the starter trying to get power from the battery to turn the engine on.
The first step would be to charge the battery and check the terminal connections.
Once the battery is charged and connections are good, test the alternator to be sure it is charging.
If the alternator is not charging, it will need to be troubleshot and likely replaced.
Check each of the causes and fixes above for common solutions to a “Battery Saver Active” error message.
How Do I Turn Off Battery Saver Active Message?
The Battery Saver, Active error message, can not be turned off until the problem is fixed.
There is an issue with the vehicle charging system, that once fixed the light will go off.
How Long Does Battery Active Saver Mode Last?
How long a battery last without being charged will depend on how much is being drained and the condition of the battery.
A fully charged new battery with minimal electronics on, can drive for roughly 30-45 minutes before shutting down.
A battery with less than ideal charge could shut down at any time.
A Battery Saver Active issue is usually easy to troubleshoot and fix.
The main causes are the charging system and the current sensor.
The charging system can be checked with a multi-meter to see if the alternator is putting out more than 13-volts DC.
If the alternator is not charging, the alternator may be bad, or the belt may have gone failed.
If the vehicle is charging, the current sensor has likely gone bad and needs to be replaced.
Have you had issues with a Chevy and GM vehicle with a Battery Saver Active issue? Let us know in the comments below.
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