Almost all of my dash lights will come on, airbag, seatbelt, security, ABS, etc.. they all turn on, my battery light turns on, gages all go dead, radio goes dead, windows stop working, power locks stop working... all while I'm driving... but car continues to drive, headlights stay on.. this had been going on for a while and I got a brand new battery... Less than two weeks later and I'm having these issues again. I don't know Jack about cars and could use all the advice I can get. Thanks!

  • Welcome to the site, I hope we can help. You say the battery dies, what do you mean by that? Does the engine not start, or is it just a warning light?
    – GdD
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 8:57
  • I mean everything goes dead just like it does when the battery dies.. radio, windows, interior lights, locks, etc..
    – Michelle
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:18
  • But it happens while the engine is running..
    – Michelle
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


If the engine is running and the headlights stay on then it's unlikely you have a problem with your battery or your alternator which charges it as they must have power to run. All the dash lights, gauges and some auxiliary systems like door locks are run by computer, there's an engine computer, a body control computer and an instrument panel controller, if they lose connectivity to each other or lose power then all sorts of strange stuff can happen.

You most likely have:

  • A grounding problem where one of the controllers or computers loses its electrical circut
  • A connectivity problem between your computers or controllers
  • A fault with one of the computers or controllers, i.e. one of them has broken

It's possible that your car may be able to tell you when the problem is if you get the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) codes read. Almost every car past a certain year has one, and the codes can be very handy in figuring out what's wrong with your car. In the US most auto parts stores will read your codes for free, and every professional mechanic should have a reader. So get the codes read, and depending on what is found it may help. You can update your question with them if you like.

  • The last time I had it checked.. one of the codes was I believe P0190 and it was stumping my mechanic. I replaced the engine computer about 2 years ago because they thought that was the issue, but turns out it wasn't.. since I'm still throwing that code..
    – Michelle
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 22:50

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