What Does it Mean When My Car Says Battery Saver Active?

December 5, 2023

When your car says battery saver active you are receiving a warning that the electrical system of your vehicle is not charging the battery correctly. It can also indicate that your car battery is beginning to fail. This is why you should inspect the battery and electrical system before replacing your battery.

This is a safety feature built into the PCM of many modern Chevy and GM vehicles. When the battery charge drops below a certain threshold the car enters power-saving mode. This mode shuts down non-essential systems like the infotainment system and rear defogger to help prolong your drive and give you enough time to find a place to stop and get your battery charged up or fixed.

The battery saver mode on a Chevrolet Equinox or other GM vehicle is activated by a system called the battery current sensor. This sensor detects the flow of electricity to the battery and reports it to the onboard computer. When the voltage dips below 12.4 volts this signal is sent to the computer, which then shuts down electrical components in order to preserve as much of the battery's charge as possible.

In most cases, a battery current sensor failure is the cause of this message, but other issues can also trigger it. For example, corroded battery cables or connections can affect the electrical flow to the battery. Using a battery cleaning solution and tightening the terminals can often fix this issue.

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