P0562 – A Bad Alternator Or Something Else?

Have you gotten the check engine light and you diagnosed the P0562 code? Well, if that is the case, you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic where we will learn how to sort out this problem.

Having a problem like this can be a real pain to deal with. I’m not talking precisely about the P0562 code but the check engine light in general. Without the proper tooling to perform diagnostics can be a really tricky thing to diagnose and sort out this problem.

And in this case, with this P0562 trouble code, you definitely have a problem that really needs diagnosing and sorting out as soon as possible. It is really dangerous to drive like this because you never know where you could end up stranded and not be able to come home. This is why you need to improve your troubleshooting skills and move on to diagnosing the problem. But how this diagnostic is done the right way? Well, we will cover everything that you will need to know.

First, we will cover the basics of car diagnostics and we will learn the tools and the procedures you will need to take when tackling this problem. Then we will elaborate more on the P0562 code and we will cover the causes and symptoms that are associated with this problem. After that, we will focus on diagnosing the issue and finding the culprit. Lastly, we will answer some frequently asked questions. So, if you want to learn more on this topic, please follow along.

P0562 Code

Now before we cover the P0562 code and learn the definition and causes for this code, let’s first cover something more about car diagnostics in general. I bet that there are a ton of people who are reading this article and don’t know the basic stuff when it comes to performing computer diagnostics on their cars.

As you probably know, modern cars are packed with technology and implement a ton of different sensors and systems that are in charge of maintaining the proper work of the engine.

What is important for you to know is that all these sensors report to a component that is known as the car computer, or PCM which in other words is the Powertrain Control Module. This component basically controls the whole powertrain which is the engine and transmission.

Whenever there are components that are not working as they should, this component will get alerted and will try to perform tests on these units. If the tests fail, it will decide to show you the check engine light. And from here, you are on your own.

In case you get the check engine light, you will have to diagnose this light with a tool that is known as an OBD2 scanner. With this tool, you will be able to get access to the OBD2 port.

After you plug in this tool, you will be able to scan the car for codes and then based on these codes diagnose the problem. Now let’s say that you got the P0562 code, what does this code mean? Well, that’s what we are going to cover in the following chapter.

System Battery Voltage Is Low

Now let’s elaborate more on the problem with the P0562 code. Let’s learn what this code is all about and the level of alertness that you should have when you are dealing with an issue like this.

As you probably know, the P0562 is a DTC trouble code that stands for “System Voltage Low”. This code is triggered when the computer detects problems with the voltage of the battery below the factory threshold values for a longer period of time. So, what are the factory recommended values?

Well, the ideal voltage when the car starts and the alternator kicks in should be somewhere between 13.5 and 15 volts. This voltage might vary depending on which state the engine is running. If you push the engine too much, this voltage understandably will be above this value because the alternator spins faster.

When the engine is off, the ideal battery charge should be at 12V. This is important for you to know because whenever the P0562 code is triggered, there is a problem with the car.

This means that there is an irregular drop in voltage supply from the components that have to supply the car with voltage. So, your car will not be able to run properly when there is not enough electricity in the system.

The systems inside could malfunction and glitch, the car will not be able to start, and the check engine light with the P0562 will be present.

And when you have this code, you should take things pretty seriously. This is the case because this is not something that you could delay indefinitely. The more you delay it, the bigger the chance of you ending up stranded in the middle of nowhere. And that is something that you want to avoid.

Causes For The P0562 Code

As we covered and elaborated more on the problem with the P0562 code, let’s now focus on other things. More precisely the causes that will trigger this code in your car.

As we all know, everything happens for a reason. And same is the case with this code. There are a few causes that would trigger this type of code and ruin your day with this check engine light. That’s why in the next few chapters, we are going to cover them in-depth so you have a greater perspective of what could be the culprit behind this problem.

1. Short In The Wiring (Parasitic Loss)

The first thing that you need to look for when you have a problem with the P0562 code is the possible short in the wiring. But what does this means?

Well, it means that your wiring’s electrical circuit somewhere could be malfunctioning and this could be draining the power from your battery.

This is possible if the ground connection of your battery is not properly attached to the chassis. If the attachment place has rusted out, then it is highly likely that your system will short out and you will have issues like this. In order to avoid this, you need to have a proper metal connection so the ground does not short out.

Another thing is the wiring. If you’ve been messing up with the wiring and installing something like an aftermarket stereo, LED lights, or something else, you might have not connected everything the right way. So, you could get battery drain from bad connections.

And the third thing is bad wiring or wiring damaged by rodents. These two situations could easily allow contact between two wires and drain your system. So, if you park in a garage that has rodents this is one of the possibilities for the code P0562.

2. Corroded Battery Cables

The second very probable cause for this P0562 code is corroded battery cables. Battery cables can corrode if they are exposed to moisture or possibly a problem with the battery itself.

The battery can release some of the acids that are inside of it and cause the cables and terminals to corrode.

This corrosion will weaken the contact and will basically not allow the car to charge the battery. So, it is often advisable to check the positive and negative cables and the terminals for possible rust.

If there is some development going on, your best bet would be to clean the terminals and the clamps with a steel brush or with sandpaper. This is how you will guarantee that they have good contact and the battery will resume charging and hopefully fix the P0562 code.

3. Bad Alternator

The third most probable cause for the P0562 code is the problem with the alternator. The alternator is the component that creates the electricity in your car.

This is basically an electrical generator that generates electricity with the help of the drive belt that spins this component. Then this electric current is used to power everything inside of the car.

So, you understand the cruciality of this component and its importance. Without it being in proper working order, you will have trouble. The car could not be able to run properly and you will face problems like in our case with the P0562 code. Something that is not what you want.

This is why the alternator should be in top shape all the time in order for it to generate enough power always so everything works flawlessly. Now let’s move to the next probable cause.

4. Broken Voltage Regulator

The next probable cause that we would like to cover is a problem with the voltage regulator. This is a really important component that works together with the alternator.

This component basically regulates the voltage that the alternator makes. The alternator as you probably know is not limited by how much power it could make because the power it creates depends on how fast the belt is spinning.

So, there has to be a component that will regulate this and keep the voltage up to 15V and not more or less than 13V. So, here comes the voltage regulator to make sure that the voltage is stable all the time. Whenever there is instability in the voltage, this component might be causing it. So, when you have a P0562 code, this is one of the components that you might want to consider checking when trying to address this problem.

5. Bad Battery

The last cause for the P0562 code that we would like to cover is a problem with the battery itself. The battery is basically the component that stores the electricity and should always output something above 12V.

So, whenever there is low voltage in the battery, might trigger a code like in our case. It is worth noting that each battery has 6 cells and each of these cells is storing about 2V. So if one of them is faulty you could end up with a low voltage problem.

The car might still start but it will struggle to start correctly because it has a low voltage and the code P0562 will be there. But what are the symptoms that you will notice when you have this code? Let’s elaborate on them in the next chapters.

Symptoms Of The P0562 Code

As we have covered the causes for the P0562 code, let’s now learn more about the symptoms that you might experience while driving your car like this.

These symptoms are also really straightforward and will tell you a lot about your car’s ability to hold power and be able to start and power up its accessories. Now let’s elaborate on them.

1. Check Engine Light & Battery Light

The first symptom associated with the P0562 code as you could probably assume is the check engine light. If you were not aware of this you probably wouldn’t have been here.

But it is worth noting that there could be other codes connected to this issue with your car. There could be codes that could offer a more precise explanation of the issue and indicate that you have a weak battery.


The re is also something the battery light that will often turn on when the battery level is getting low and the battery is not properly charged up. So, when you have a check engine light and the code P0562 and the battery light, you know where to look. More precisely in the causes that we listed above. Now let’s learn the next symptom.

2. Car Not Being Able To Start

The second symptom of a P0562 code and indication that the system voltage is low is the situation when the car is not able to start. So, why could this be the case?

Well, it could be the case because if the alternator doesn’t work on the car, your battery will not charge to the optimum level. So, when the battery is not charged up, you will have problems with the car not being able to start.

With a weakened battery, it might take a few cranks to start the engine. And if the battery is really low, you will not be able to start the engine at all. So, beware of this symptom. It can indicate that the battery is dead as well as the alternator is performing poorly and not charging the battery. Now let’s move on to the next probable symptom of the P0562 code.

3. Car Is Stalling

The third most common symptom that you have a failing alternator and you get the P0562 code is the situation when the car is stalling.

As we mentioned, the electricity that the alternator is generating is between 13 to 15V. So, if the alternator is not generating enough power so the engine to run properly, you might be having problems with stalling.


The engine coils need a lot of power to keep pumping electricity into the spark plugs. So, when you have a low-power alternator, you might expect the car to stall really often.

All this will be attributed to a low voltage regulator that doesn’t regulate the voltage right or the alternator is bad, there is nothing else that could cause this situation with the engine stalling and the P0562 code.

4. Gear Shifting Problems

Gear shifting problems will also be present when you have a P0562 code on your car. But why is this the case? What has the transmission to do with the alternator?

Well, it has a lot with it. As you know, inside the transmission there is a valve body and solenoids that open and close to deliver shifts. If you have a poorly performing alternator, you might be facing some problems to power these components.

And when there is not enough power to turn on these components, you will face issues with shifting gears. The transmission could shift erratically or fail to deliver the shift in the first place. Either way, not an ideal situation. Now let’s move on to the last symptom of the P0562 code.

5. Accessories Inside Of The Car Start To Malfunction

The last symptom of the P0562 code that we are going to cover is the situation when your accessories malfunction inside of the cabin.

If the alternator is not charging as it should, you will experience issues with the accessory units in your car. Namely, the dome lights will flicker, the infotainment system will restart itself, and the radio will turn on and off.

Anything is possible when you have low current in the system and these situations are expected as possible outcomes when you are dealing with a battery light and a P0562 code. But how you can diagnose this problem? Let’s elaborate more on that next.

How To Diagnose & Fix P0562?

As we covered the problem with the P0562 code and the prime causes and symptoms of this problem. Let’s now move on to diagnosing the issue. What you can do in this case when you are dealing with this problem?

Well, in order to sort out this problem quickly and effectively, you will need a multimeter. The first thing you will need to do is to attach the red probe of the alternator on the positive terminal and the black one to the negative terminal of the battery. Also, turn on the multimeter to volts.

The next thing you will need to do is to see the readings of the multimeter when the car is not working. A properly working battery should have about 12V of power. Between 12V and 13V is the best scenario. This means that your battery is good. If the voltage is lower than this, it means that either the battery is bad or the alternator is not charging. And that’s what we are going to cover next.

Since your probes are already in place, you can start the car. Then let it run and the readings you should get should be between 13V and 15V. This means that the alternator is working properly.

If the voltage that the alternator is creating is below this number. It means that the alternator is broken and needs to be replaced. Or if you want you can repair the alternator with a rebuild kit.

Or possibly if the voltages go above 15V, make sure that the voltage regulator is working correctly. In the video that we attached above, you can see this procedure and how it is done the right way. Overall, that’s all when it comes to the P0562 code. After diagnosing and fixing the problem, clear off the codes and you will be good to go.

Cost To Fix P0562

So, what is the cost to fix this problem with the code P0562? Well, this really depends much on the cause for this code. If it’s something simple such as an external voltage regulator or possibly a parasitic loss in the system, then sorting this problem out will be a fairly simple and cheap thing to do. It will not cost you more than $200.


But if it’s something like a bad alternator (which can be diagnosed once you learn how to know if alternator is bad), then you can expect to pay a good amount of money to fix this problem. Somewhere in the range of $400 to $900. Depending on the make and model of the car you are driving. And that’s only for the parts. The labor will probably be about $200 extra.


In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the P0562 code. First, we learned the meaning of this code and elaborated more on the problem. We noted that this issue is caused by low voltage.

Then we covered the main causes as well as the symptoms of this problem. The main cause is a bad alternator in most cases or a bad external voltage regulator. After that, we learned how to diagnose a bad battery and an alternator and also the costs involved in this job.


Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Can A Bad Battery Throw Codes

A bad battery is less likely to throw a code. The most likely situation is for the battery light to turn on when the battery is low on electricity. This means that you have a problem with a dead battery or a battery that does not hold a charge

Will A Bad Alternator Throw A Code

A bad alternator can throw a code. More precisely the P0562 code. This indicates that the voltage in the system is below the recommended threshold and you have a problem with charging up the battery because of a bad alternator or a parasitic loss in the system.

What Is Code P0562

This code means that you have problems with the alternator in most cases. The alternator simply cannot perform up to factory spec and produce enough power. So, you get a low voltage message.

How To Fix P0562 Code

Fixing this code really depends on the cause. In most cases, it is either the alternator or the voltage regulator. So, in order to fix this problem, you will highly likely have to replace one of these components.

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