Saturday, April 13, 2024

What To Do When Car Battery Is Dead

Don't Miss

My Car Has Been Sitting And The Battery Is Dead Now What

How to Tell if a Car Battery is Dead

Keith Dunlap, Digital Content Team, Graham Media Group

Staying quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic is one thing.

But there might be a scenario that makes it worse.

What if you need to drive to the grocery store or another essential business? And what if your car wont start because of a dead battery?

It isnt a far-fetched possibility, since high-tech vehicles that have computers on monitoring systems need recharging — and if left alone, the battery of such a vehicle could die in about two weeks.

So, if you end up in this situation, what are some solutions? How will you get your battery going and car up and running again?

An obvious answer might be to call a repair shop to either have someone come and change the battery quickly or tow it to a shop, but many of those places might not be open at the moment due to the pandemic.

If repair shops arent an option, here are some others:

Revive the battery with jumper cables.

If you have jumper cables lying around or can borrow some from a neighbor, this is a good option to get the car running and then get it to a repair shop thats open for business.

Of course, youll need another running vehicle to get a charge from its working battery, whether its a neighbors car or another vehicle at your household.

To revive a dead battery, first make sure each car is in park or neutral — and turned off.

For a visual tutorial, watch the video below.

Change the battery.

This only applies if you:

Last-resort methods:

Cold Weather And A Low Charged Car Battery

Was your car standing outside while it was freezing weather? Car batteries can actually freeze if the weather is very cold. This especially happens if your car battery is not fully charged and especially if it is empty.

The cold may actually have killed your car battery, and in this case, you have to replace it.

You’ve Jumped It A Lot Already

I have a simple hard-and-fast rule that I follow when it comes to having to jump your battery. No matter what reason you had to do itthe battery was old, or maybe the starter, fuel pump, or alternator were bad, or maybe you left your headlights on or your door ajar all night, or you ran out of gasthe rule is this:

If you have to jump your vehicle more than three times in a single week, it’s time to replace your battery.

Even a fairly new battery can turn into a dud really quickly if it has been jumped more than three times in a week. Using a jump box or jumper cables is hard on your battery. They work by figuratively “shocking” it back to life.

Now, you might think I’m crazy about replacing the battery after such a low jump count, but hear me out. One of the most common things I see happening in relation to vehicle battery problems is that the driver or mechanic will assume that because the battery wasn’t old, or wasn’t the specific culprit for the battery draining itself, they dont need to expend time or money getting a new one. Then, when they try this and that to diagnose the problem, they keep jumping the battery until, finally, the alternator and starter go bad, leaving you with a need for a new alternator, starter, and battery.

Save yourself the headache and just replace the battery if you’ve had to jump it more than three times in a week. You won’t regret it.

You May Like: How Do I Get My Car Title In Florida

Connect The Jumper Cables

Identify the positive terminal on the dead battery. Its usually marked with a symbol or the word POS. The negative terminal will have a sign or the word NEG.

Now, do this:

  • Attach a red jumper cable clip to the positive terminal of the dead battery
  • Attach the other red jumper cable clip to the positive terminal of the donor battery
  • Attach a black jumper cable clip to the negative terminal of the donor battery
  • Attach the other black jumper cable clip to an unpainted metal surface on the dead vehicle

Our Advice Before Starting The Boost

What to do if your car battery is dead?
  • Make sure both vehicles are not in contact with each other.
  • Examine the dead battery, making sure its not frozen. If its walls are rippled or bubbled, dont perform the boost. Not only may a frozen battery explode, but since its no longer able to hold a charge, the alternator will have to work harder to power the electrical system, which may cause premature wear of this very expensive part.
  • Remember that a battery releases an explosive gas called hydrogen. Watch out for sparks or any open flame. Refrain from smoking.
  • Its very uncommon for batteries to leak, but if this happens, avoid contact between the battery electrolyte and the eyes, skin and clothing of those present. Electrolyte is a corrosive solution that can cause severe burns. In the event of contact with the electrolyte, wash the affected area immediately with large quantities of water and see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Wear work gloves and remove rings and bracelets. Wearing safety goggles is strongly recommended.
  • Turn off all electrical accessories and engage the parking brake. If your car has a manual transmission, place it in neutral if the transmission is automatic, place it in park.

If you have any doubts, call in a professional assistance team to complete the operation safely.

Read Also: How Much Mileage Is Too Much For A Used Car

What Causes A Car Battery To Die

There are a number of reasons a battery could die, the most common are

  • Leaving your headlights, interior lights or radio running for prolonged periods while your car is stationary.

  • If you dont use your car for a long time, the battery will die as it wont get charged by the engine.

  • The failure of the diode bridge or voltage regulator in the alternator. This is down to the fact that the alternator is responsible for charging the battery when the car is running so if it is malfunctioning, the battery will die.

  • If the temperature drops well below zero degrees, the battery could freeze!

How To Choose The Right Car Battery

As the most important part of your vehicleâs electrical system, itâs important to know what youâre looking for when itâs time to replace your battery. But it can be confusing. So, what should you look for? First, you want to be certain that youâre choosing a battery that will be powerful enough â but not too powerful â for your vehicle. Consult your ownerâs manual and see what it suggests is the right number of cranking amps â the amount of power thatâs required to turn over your vehicleâs engine â and choose a battery that fits within those parameters.

Second, you may need to take into consideration cold cranking amps, or the amount of power it takes to turn over the engine in freezing temperatures, especially if you live in a colder climate. It can make the difference between your car starting on a cold winterâs day.

Finally, youâll need to decide whether a maintenance-required or a maintenance-free battery is the best option for you. While a maintenance-required car battery, which requires regular electrolyte monitoring and top-offs, are cheaper on the front-end, maintenance-free are a lot more hassle-free and donât require much attention. Make certain youâre ready for the commitment if you decide to save money and go for the cheaper option.

Read Also: Where Can I Use My Car Care One Credit Card

Can A Completely Dead Battery Be Recharged

Many people are often faced with the problem of a faulty battery that will not seem to bring their cars to life. A dead battery is a problem that is not always easy to fix, especially if you are in a rush. So, can a completely dead battery be recharged?

There are a few ways to recharge your battery, though the phrase completely dead is a bit more difficult to assess. If your car does not start because of a completely dead battery, your only option might be to get a jump start from another car and purchase a new battery in the near future.

In this article, we will discuss how you might be able to recharge a dead battery and how to spot signs that might mean your car battery is dead. We will also talk about how you can get help from Mach1 Service, a technologically savvy company that can provide the fastest service possible.

Jump Starting Your Car

How to fix a dead car battery

1. Manual Transmission Jump Start

For manual transmission vehicles, put the transmission stick to the second gear, step on the clutch, and ask some good Samaritans to push your car. When it has achieved a good speed, release the clutch and pump some gas. In most cases, that should be enough to get your car going. But if youre stranded in the middle of nowhere and nobody is willing to help you, you will need to call for roadside assistance.

2. Jumpstart your car with another car.

If you have another car, you can do this by yourself. You will need jumper cables to connect the dead battery to the working battery. Remember to connect the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of both batteries. Connect one end of the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the working battery, then connect the other end to an unpainted metal surface in the enginesomething like a bolt. While you can do this alone, it helps to have the assistance of a friend.

3. Use a car battery jump starter.

This is probably the best option in cases of an emergency. If your battery dies while youre at home, you can just leave your car home and then take a taxi, use Uber, or ask to ride with a friend. But what if youre on a trip or in the middle of nowhere? And help is not easy to come by?

Then owning one of these portable jump starters will be your life saver.

Lastly, dont forget to have your battery checked.

Also Check: Buff Out Scratch On Car

Warning Signs Your Car Battery Is Dead: What To Look For

The average American household spends 1.5% of their annual income on repairing their vehicles.

With most households owning almost two vehicles on average, budgeting for costly car repairs is important. And the only way to budget is to prepare for the worst.

Keep reading to learn more about your car battery and when its time to replace it.

Electric Consumers Are Drawing Power

Did you recently install some external electronics to your car, like a car stereo or a GPS? Then there is a chance that you wired these devices wrong, which will cause them to stay on even after you turn the ignition off.

It can also be caused by any faulty consumers who are not shutting off when you switch off the ignition. However, this can be difficult to diagnose, and you might want to let an expert looking at it with the right equipment.

Also Check: How To Connect A Car Amp To A Wall Plug

Stranded With A Dead Battery Here Is What You Can Do

If you feel ready for the spring and summer seasons, you might be preparing your vehicle for longer drives. With quarantine leaving many cars dormant while the cold weather depleted their charge, drivers are finding their car batteries failing. So what can you do when you are left stranded with a dead car battery? Here are three popular solutions from the experts at Chapel Hill Tire.

Why Is My Car Battery Completely Dead

How Can I Prevent My Car Battery From Dying ...

A lot of things can contribute to a dead car battery. Usually, when you use the battery for a long time, it gets low on voltage If you keep using it like this, the battery eventually dies.

After using it for a long time, not only the amount of charge decrease but the quality of charge also becomes poor. So if you have been using the same car battery for a very long time, Id suggest you replace it immediately.

Don’t Miss: How Much Does The Average Car Salesman Make Per Year

Where Does Your Car Get Power From

Suppose you realize you have a car completely dead no power condition in your vehicle. In that case, you first need to know where your car gets power, the function of the battery in your car, the function of the alternator, and how these two work together to prevent this condition in your car.

Todays cars with gas and diesel engines get their electrical power from two main sources the battery and the alternator. The battery functions to store the leftover power to run the car, and the alternator is the part in charge of producing the power necessary to keep the engine running.

The car battery provides electricity to power the electrical components within your vehicle. Without the battery power from the cars internal battery, no electrical component will work, leaving you without any dashboard lights, headlights, radio, and power windows. If the battery is not working correctly, you will experience a car completely dead no power condition.

The chemical reaction occurs in the battery system, transforming the chemical energy into electrical energy to deliver voltage to the starter. In addition, the battery stabilizes the voltage to keep your engine running consistently and constantly. Without the battery, the car would not have the energy required to start and maintain the power to run your vehicle.

Battery Functions

The battery must store the power and do the following in your vehicle:

Signs of a Bad Car Battery

Alternator Function Tests

If Your Car Battery Is Below 12 Volts Use A Dedicated Charger

A car battery is considered discharged when the voltage drops below 12 volts. While your vehicles alternator can keep a healthy battery charged, it was never designed to completely recharge a dead car battery. Using it to try to restore such a depleted battery can actually damage the alternator, which is forced to work overtime to both fill up the battery and supply energy to the rest of the vehicle. You can also hurt the battery by undercharging it this way, making it less likely to keep the charge that the alternator puts into it.

With a seriously depleted battery, your best option is to connect it to a jump starter or a dedicated battery charger either before or immediately after a jump-start. These charging devices are designed to safely restore a dead battery to full charge. Most of the time, you dont even have to remove the battery from your vehicle.

Dont take chances with your battery. Using the right recharge method will extend its life and ensure you never get stranded again.

Visit to browse our full range of electrical system products, or drop by one of our 650 NAPA AUTOPRO Service Centres for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to charge a dead car battery, speak to an expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.

Also Check: How To Notarize A Title In Az

What Is The Normal Charge For A Car Battery

Fully batteries should measure at 12.6 volts or above. However, when the engine is running, this charge should measure at 13.7 to 14.7 volts. That said, if you don’t have a multimeter to tell you the voltage of your car’s battery, then you can do a test of your electrical system. You do this by starting the car and turning on the headlights.

What Could Cause Your Car Battery To Dies

What a dead battery sounds like when a car won’t start and cranks halfway

There are many reasons why your car battery may have died, while its hard to pinpoint exactly one reason, it could help to prevent it from happening again.

  • Leaving headlights or interior lights on when the engine isnt running
  • Having the radio on for prolonged periods of time when the engine isnt running
  • Using the air conditioning when the car isnt running
  • Not starting a car for a considerable amount of time
  • Little battery maintenance
  • Failure of voltage regulator or diode bridge in the alternator
  • Considerably low air temperature

You May Like: How To Charge Ac In Car

How Can A Car Battery Be Dead In The Morning And Fine Later

The common scenario here is that your battery seems dead, but your car starts fine after jump starting or charging the battery. Your car may start fine all day, or even for several days, and then it suddenly fails to start again, usually after it has been parked overnight.

This type of problem may indicate a bad battery, but the underlying problem probably has nothing to do with the battery. In most cases, youll find that your electrical system has a parasitic draw that slowly drains your battery down to nothing. If the draw is small enough, youll only notice the effect after the car has been parked for an extended period of time.

Other issues, like corroded or loose battery terminals and cables, can also cause this type of problem. In any case, the fix is to get rid of the parasitic draw, clean and tighten the battery connections, and then fully charge the battery.

Cold weather can also cause this type of problem because excessively low temperatures reduce the ability of a lead-acid battery to store and deliver power. If you run into a situation where your car needs a jump start after being parked outside overnight, but its fine after being left in a parking garage all day while you work, then this is probably what youre dealing with.

More articles

Popular Articles

What Can I Sell My Car For