Check Charging System Ford Explorer: What Is The Issue?

What if you see the Check Charging System Ford Explorer

Don’t panic because it’s not serious enough to drive you crazy. It’s solvable, despite the fact it is a warning sign that you should check some parts of your vehicle.

Keep reading to know more about this in the next sections!

About Car Charging System Ford Explorer

check charging system ford explorer

What Does The Check Charging System Mean On Ford Explorer?

It comprises various parts that work together to maintain a charge and supply power to the vehicle’s electrical components.

Modern automobiles now have many electrical components, meaning they need a lot of electrical energy.

The charging system powers the headlights, dashboard indicators or warning lamps, relays, fuses, engine plugs, ECU, brainbox, radio, fuel injector system, control screen, sensors, etc.

These parts are all linked to the alternator-charged battery.

How Does It Work?

Depending on the design, the Ford Check Charging System’s operation may be simple or complex. 

When the engine runs, the alternator’s current output exceeds the battery’s voltage. The battery is charged by the current flowing from the alternator to the vehicle’s electrical load.

The alternator starts powering the parts and recharging the battery as soon as the engine starts.

The Component Of The Check Charging System


Your battery, which acts as a power reserve, is part and parcel of the charging system. Its positive terminal is directly connected to the engine starter motor.

The alternator immediately charges the battery while the engine is running. When the engine is off, the battery can still power the vehicle’s electrical parts.


The alternator generates the electrical energy needed to charge the battery. However, the current it produces is an alternating current (AC).

Due to automobiles’ 12-volt DC electrical system, this alternating current (AC) electricity is quickly converted to direct current (DC).

Voltage Regulator

The voltage regulator manages the power output of the alternator and is frequently found inside it.

It maintains the voltage from 13.5 to 14.5 volts to protect the vehicle’s electrical components.

In modern automobiles, the ECU senses when you need to charge the battery and regulates the voltage supply.

What Does My Check Charging System Light On Mean?

What makes the Ford Explorer Check Charging System light on?

When your PCM determines the vehicle’s current is below a predetermined level (which is typically 12.6 V), this light will automatically turn on.

It basically means that the car is only powered by its batteries. If this keeps happening, your charging mechanism will stop working, making it impossible to recharge the battery once more.

So eventually, it will run out, leaving you with a dead battery.

Nevertheless, this warning is presented differently depending on the car model.

For instance, some automobiles display a battery icon, while phrases like CGH, ALT, or BATT will pop up on other models.

You should pay attention to the lights on your charging system because ignoring them could result in your car stalling or failing to start.

A dead battery is the worst and most troublesome thing that can occur in your vehicle.

Check Charging System Ford Explorer: Common Causes & How To Fix

2015 ford explorer check charging system

You can find many causes of Check Charging system light depending on the condition of your Ford Explorer, such as a bad alternator, dead battery, broken or worn belt, loose battery connection, blown fuses, or faulty ECU.

Bad Alternator

As mentioned above, the alternator plays an important role in the operation.

For that reason, once it has a problem, the 2006 Ford Explorer Check Charging System light will stay on (or other year models) to warn you to check as soon as possible.

At this point, the alternator fails to provide adequate electrical power and maintains the battery at a reasonable charge. Electrical parts begin to break down if the voltage falls below a specific point.

Common symptoms of bad alternators I have noticed:

  • Unreliable voltage regulator
  • Failing rotor bearings
  • A short or poor electrical connection on the magnetic windings
  • Bad brushes 
  • Rusted, blown, burned fusible linkages.

How to fix

You should check and replace your alternator if it is not functioning properly. Are you curious about the cost? Everything depends on what needs to be fixed.

The price, including labor, might range from $500 to $1,000. Expect to cost between $100 and $150 (excluding diagnosis) to replace an alternator belt, which is a relatively simple task.

Dead Battery

A drained or dead battery may be to blame if you cannot identify any issues with your alternator.

It’s particularly true for my 2014 Ford Explorer Check Charging System, as my battery is older than three to five years.

How to fix

Open the hood and check the wires and terminals of the battery. Before replacing the battery in your Ford, check for those basic fixes since they may trigger light to illuminate on your dashboard.

It also stems from something as simple as rust or a loose connection.

Broken Or Worn Belt

A worn-out or damaged alternator belt might also bring on the failure of the charging system.

If the alternator is operating properly, but the belt is not spinning quickly enough, the voltage output may decrease, leading to the warning of the 2015 Ford Explorer Check Charging System.

While operating your vehicle, a broken belt is less noticeable. However, more recent cars are driven by only a single belt.

As a result, the vehicle may overheat, display warning lights on the dashboard, and require strong steering.

How to fix

The belt replacement is the best answer. The fix will cost from $100 to $200. The belt is typically priced at $25 – $80, while the labor cost falls between $75 and $120.

Loose Battery Connection

The loose connection is another cause that lights up the 2013 Ford Explorer Check Charging System warning sign.

The flexible battery cables, which are also known as clamps or terminals, connect the battery to the car.

Your battery’s main job is to supply the engine with the power it needs to turn. The alternator will then start producing energy, gradually recharging the battery.

So, unsecured/loose wiring will disconnect the battery, thereby illuminating the light.

How to fix

Seeing whether you can tighten their screws is the best course of action. I check the size of the screw by utilizing a ruler or the engraving visible on the screw.

To verify if the clamp is firmly fastened, spin the screw slowly. Avoid over-tightening the screw because doing so could cause the groves to wear out and leave the clamp useless.

Next, start the automobile after repeating the process with the next clamp. If the engine starts up normally, you’ve solved the problem.

Blown Fuses

The fuses protect the components against jolting electrical energy surges. If the circuit’s current runs too high, the fuse will blow.

It breaks the course, cutting off the electricity and causing the Charging System Service now Ford Explorer light.

How to fix

A new fuse doesn’t cost you too much, and it’s also easy to replace. Just buy a new unit and replace the broken one in the system.

Faulty ECU

The ECU manages your vehicle’s electrical system to ensure it functions within preset limitations. These components won’t continue to perform correctly if the ECU malfunctions.

A faulty electronic control unit can turn on the Ford Explorer Charging System service now and the Check Engine lights, albeit this is far less common than other causes.

How to fix

First, you should cross out other reasons and clarify that the ECU is to blame since fixing this part is the most expensive and difficult.

Because it’s complicated, you will need the help of professional mechanics. It will be quite expensive for repair, labor, and service fees.


2014 ford explorer check charging system

Can I Continue Driving With Check Charging System Light On My Ford Explorer?

Not recommended. If you keep driving while your Check Charging System Ford/battery light is on, you risk getting stranded.

Bad wiring or a dying battery may impact your car, but you should still be able to drive for at least 30 minutes.

However, it also depends on your car; high-end models with many electrical features could last longer than compact models.

Anyway, stopping your vehicle and scheduling a visit with your mechanic is better.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair Car Check Charging System?

It  depends on what’s behind the issue. Cleaning up battery corrosion or changing a fuse might be the least expensive repairs.

Aside from that, you may have to spend anywhere from $80 and $600 to replace the alternator, battery, or serpentine belt.

By repairing it yourself, you can reduce your costs.

How Can I Identify The Charging System Problem Or Failure?

You can notice the Charging System issues via these common symptoms:

  • The Check Charging System warning signal on the dashboard
  • Electrical parts stop working or functions poorly
  • Loss of power
  • Hard to accelerate 

However, in some cases, these signs are not obvious (maybe the warning light is broken or other reasons). Therefore, periodic inspection is necessary for timely detection and fixing.

Wrapping Up

When you see the Check Charging System Ford Explorer light on, one or more parts in the system are having problems.

Your problems can be very simple (blown fuses) to quite complex and expensive (faulty ECU).

If you have enough tools and experience, you can diagnose and treat it yourself at home to save money.

In contrast, a professional mechanic can provide your vehicle with a detailed diagnosis.

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