It may be tempting to just write it off as a fluke when your
car battery fails one time. Batteries will fail for a vast array of different
reasons and there is always the possibility that anything that went wrong will
not go wrong again. But when your car battery starts to fail again and again,
it’s a pretty safe bet that there’s an underlying issue to be addressed before
you end up stranded somewhere.
Table of Contents
battery dead, WHY?
The list of issues that may cause a car battery to die is so
long as it approaches never-ending, but virtually every battery killer out
there can be shoehorned into the three basic categories of battery problems,
electrical system problems and simple user error. Some of these can be dealt
with at home, and others may require a mechanic’s visit, but there’s no way to
know for sure until you roll up your sleeves and dig in.
It is also important to note that when most people talk
repeatedly about a battery dying, they’re talking about a situation where the vehicle
won’t start after it’s been parked for any length of time. If your battery
seems to fail when driving down the road, it’s more likely you’re having some
sort of trouble with the charging system (we’re going to cover that situation
forcing a car battery to start dying?
Some of the most common reasons a car battery can fail
continuously include faulty or corroded battery links, frequent electrical
leaks, charging issues, constantly demanding more power than the alternator can
provide, and even extreme weather conditions. Some of these problems are
sufficient to kill a battery on its own, while others are usually coupled with
an already weak battery or on its last legs.
Headlights or Roof light leave on
A battery will be drained dead overnight by
headlights, or even a very dim dome light.
Make sure that when it’s dark outside, you check
for any interior lights.
Most headlights are intended to stay on for a
while, but they may be permanently left on by a malfunctioning device.
Battery in bad state or in poor condition
A battery which is poorly maintained or weak may
not hold a charge very well.
Only tiny drains can destroy a very poor
battery, like the memory function in your car radio.
Connections to the battery corroded or loose
Corroded battery links will keep the charging
system from topping off your battery when you are moving.
Lose links to the battery can also cause
Other electric system parasite drains
Parasitic drains can be hard to find but they
can kill dead batteries.
Common drains include trunk lights and glove
boxes that come on, or remain on, when they should not.
Weather too hot or cold
Hot or cold weather won’t kill a new or in good
shape battery, but in extreme conditions a weak or old battery may fail.
Extremely hot or cold conditions will magnify
other underlying problems, too.
Problems with charging system
If a battery appears to die when you drive, the charging system could be at fault.
Loose or straightened belts and worn tensioners can prevent an alternator from functioning.
It may be tempting to just write it off as a fluke when your car battery fails one time. Batteries will fail for a vast array of different reasons and there is always the possibility that anything that went wrong will not go wrong again. But when your car battery starts to fail again and…