The Chevy Cruze, Impala, and Malibu are all built on a common platform. They share some of the same features, including the battery monitoring system (BMS). One of the most common issues with these vehicles is the “Battery Saver Active” fault coming on the driver’s instrument cluster. In this article, I am going to explain what this fault code means, what is causing it and how to fix it. let’s get to it.
What Does Battery Saver Active Mean on a Chevy Cruze, Impala, or Malibu?
The “Battery Saver Active” fault code is triggered when the battery monitoring system (BMS) detects that the vehicle’s battery has been drained beyond the minimal level (which is usually 11.4 v).
When the BMS detects this condition, it will activate a series of events that help preserve battery power until you it can get to the required level.
What Causes “Battery Saver Active” on a Chevy
From my experience, “battery saver active”, is mainly caused by three things, a Bad Battery, a failing alternator, or a faulty battery current sensor.
Now let’s look at the causes one by one.
1. Bad Battery:
If the battery is bad or not fully charged, it can cause the “battery saver active” to be triggered. This will cause the vehicle’s computer to draw power from other sources like the alternator and a/c compressor to keep itself running. If these components are also bad, then this could lead to an infinite loop of events that eventually drain your battery dry.
2. Faulty Alternator:
The alternator is a device that charges the battery and provides power to the vehicle’s computer, headlights, and other electrical components. A faulty alternator can be caused by several things including, a worn drive belt, worn alternator bushes or a damaged alternator itself, when the alternator goes bad, it won’t be able to charge the battery and this will cause your chevy to run off the battery, which in turn causes it to drain.
3. Battery Current Sensor:
The battery current sensor is found on your chevy negative battery terminal and its job is to measure the current that goes into your car’s battery. When this sensor fails, it can cause your car to drain the battery much faster even if you’re not using the vehicle.
4. Your Battery Terminals are Loose or Corroded:
I added this to this list because people often overlook the importance of their battery terminals. If the battery terminals are corroded or loose, the battery won’t get the required power from the alternator, ensure that your terminals are tight and free from corrosion.
How to Fix and Reset “Battery Saver Active” on a Chevy Cruze, Impala or Malibu
1. Check the Battery terminals:
If you’ve had your battery for a while, it’s possible that the terminals have become corroded or loose. If this is the case, you’ll need to remove them and clean them with a wire brush and tighten them properly
2. Change the Battery:
If the terminals are intact and there is no sign of corrosion on them then your battery may simply be old and need replacing. If this is the case, it’s best to get a new one from the nearest Chevrolet dealer or a local auto parts shop and have them install it for you.
3. Have the alternator tested:
After getting a new battery installed and the fault message comes back, have the alternator tested to make sure it’s working properly. If it is, then you’ll need to have your vehicle scanned for any other faults that could be causing this problem. If the alternator is not working as it should, then you will need to get it replaced.
Thomas is a retired Chevy Auto Technician, Father to two incredible daughters. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help you solve and find reliable information on Chevrolet vehicles.