Car Battery Keeps Dying? Here’s What to Know and Do (2024)

Car Battery Keeps Dying? Here’s What to Know and Do (2024)
Car Battery Keeps Dying? Here’s What to Know and Do (2024)

Do you usually have the problem that your car battery keeps dying no matter how many times you charge it? You need to know what the problem is with your battery and whether it is charging properly. Charging the battery regularly will not solve the problem.

A car battery that keeps dying is usually a sign of a problem with the battery itself or a bad replacement. Three possibilities are clear: either something is draining the battery, the battery is dead, or the battery is not charging properly.

You should never trust a battery that keeps dying, it will eventually die most likely the next time you try to start the car, and every time after that with good luck with car batteries. Diagnosing a problem is relatively easy Follow this guide to find out why your car battery keeps dying & how to fix it.

Why does my car battery keep dying?

Car batteries naturally deteriorate over time, but if they are subjected to extreme conditions such as repeated short trips or problems related to corrosion of the battery terminals, they can often fail earlier.
Also, your car battery keeps dying because:

The battery is defective or dead

Car batteries usually have a lifespan of three to four years, after which the battery’s capacity decreases and it begins to self-discharge. This can only happen if the battery is flat frequently. A completely dead battery can be recharged but it will lose its capacity so the battery will continue to die no matter how much you charge it or not, in which case you will need a new battery.

The alternator is not charging the battery

A car battery may be perfectly fine but the alternator is not charging it. When working properly, the alternator is the part that is charging the battery while the engine is running. The battery will eventually die because it Not charging.(Source) It won’t even charge a dead battery.

There is a drain

There may be a parasitic drain that you don’t know about. Electrical presents that keep working even after your car is turned off could be a possible cause. It could be as simple as turning the headlights on. Leaving or not closing the door so the dome lights stay on or just leaving the interior lights on is usually the first culprit of parasitic draw after-market accessories.

Battery cables are loose

Loose battery cables can also be the cause of poor connections that generate excessive heat. Excessive heat means that the connections will deteriorate quickly and eventually the car’s battery connections will break completely. Proper maintenance and regular Care play an important role in avoiding this. Make sure you keep both the positive and negative terminals tight.

There is too much battery acid

If you don’t maintain your battery it will build up acid on the battery terminals over time this acid will eat away at the battery connections until there is no material left. A strong battery connection is very important because it is the main component of the charging system. A worn battery terminal can damage the battery to the point where you may need a new battery. A baking soda solution can be used as an easy removal method. Be sure to clean both the positive and negative terminals.

Extreme temperature

Large fluctuations in temperature can quickly drain a battery, especially extreme temperatures, which is why many people can’t start their car on the first cold day of winter. On the other end of the spectrum, extremely hot summer days can corrode the lead plates that sit inside the batteries.

When the car does not run, the charging system is not active, and eventually you will drain your car battery. Obviously, when your car battery is dead, you will not be able to start your car.

This is why jump-starts work the way they do. The other car is using its battery voltage so that you have enough to start your car once your car is running. The system will endlessly recharge the battery like new.

If your car starts with the jumper cable but then dies immediately, this may be a sign that your battery will not charge. Do not attempt to restart the car again if the problem recurs. So you risk damaging other electrical components.

These are the three things you need to find the problem. The rest of the components are the battery, starter motor, and alternator. Here’s how you can check it.

If you have an electric vehicle the situation is completely different. My suggestion is to check the guide for diagnosing a bad battery. Otherwise, I would recommend checking the common culprits such as the charger and its connections. If the point is, I would recommend using a high-quality charger like the China Viz unit going forward.

How do you know if you have a dead car battery?

The easiest and most reliable way to determine if your battery is OK is to test it with a multimeter. There are a few things you can check beforehand, but these things are rarely definitive.

Bad headlights or interior lights that won’t start your car, a battery sign on the dashboard, and a weak electrical system are all reasons why your car battery keeps dying.

So even if the battery is showing malfunction because it is not charging properly you need to be sure that the problem is with your battery and not just the alternator otherwise there is nothing to replace the battery. The new battery will also wear out.

How to test car batteries?

To test a car battery you will need a multimeter or load tester so be sure to get one or meet someone who has one. Here’s how to do it.

  • 1. Turn off the engine: The car should be tested with the engine off when the battery is not charged.
  • 2. Make sure there are no loose battery connections
  • 3. Set the multimeter to 12 v.
  • 4. Connect red clamp to the positive terminal to a car battery.
  • 5. Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of a car battery.
  • 6. Read the measurement on the multimeter.

The voltage of the car battery should be 12.6V or more. A reading below 12.6V with the engine off means your car battery is discharging itself.

How do you know if the alternator is bad?

As mentioned the alternator is responsible for generating AC current to charge the battery while the car is moving.

It is very difficult to detect when your battery is in brand new condition, it will take some time until you know that your alternator is bad unlike if your battery is completely dead. If it goes, the alternator will not charge the battery at all. The only way to test the alternator is with a multimeter.

How to Test an Alternator?

1. Verify that all battery connections and battery cables are secure.
2. Turn on the engine: The alternator should be tested with the engine running to make sure there are no electrical components running that are draining the battery.
3. Set the multimeter to 12V.
4. Connect the clamp to the battery terminal.
5. Read the measurement on the multimeter.

A healthy charging system will provide a voltage of 13.7V or more to the car battery. If your car battery has a low voltage of 13.7V while the engine is running, the alternator is not charging the battery efficiently. So you will need to replace or repair the alternator.

How to find out what’s draining my car battery?

If your car battery dies and is new and unlikely to die and the alternator is charging the battery properly then something is draining the battery. Most of the time it’s obvious when something is draining your battery because the next time you try to start your car, it will be completely dead.

But there are some situations where a device may remove your battery without you noticing.

  • The most common causes of battery drain are headlights, radios, and additional electronic devices.

Try to remember if you have left the headlights on or if you have completely drained your car battery, if so your battery may be dead. Some batteries die after going flat, the capacity decreases and the battery starts to self-discharge, so even if you remove the up-drain, your battery will continue to die.

If the headlights aren’t the problem, often some electrical device you’ve added is the culprit. This problem is very common with people who use GPS, a loud horn, a loud sound system, trunk lights, etc. When these items are installed incorrectly, it will act as a parasitic draw.

The easiest way to find out what’s draining the battery is to pick off these devices one by one and see where the drain is coming from, for example, if your battery drains. You remove GPS and your battery no longer drains GPS was the source of the drain.

Tip: Get a smart battery tender for your car that will keep the high battery off when you’re not using it.

You can also try using a multimeter, turn the engine off, and remove the devices one by one to see which device the voltage drops below the recommended number.

Car batteries keep dying but the alternator is good.

If your car keeps misfiring but the car’s electrical system is in good shape, I would recommend checking the ignition system before checking other air and fuel-related components instead. It’s also wise to check the fuse box for the relevant circuit for your charging system. Most vehicles have a diagram inside the fuse box to give you some inspiration.

Related questions and other frequently asked questions

How can you prevent your car battery from drying out when not in use?

If a car battery is draining something when not in use, the drain needs to be removed. Provided the battery is healthy, you can also use a battery tender to keep your car battery fully charged at all times. Take care that your car does not sit for long.

Alternators can train batteries

The alternator cannot drain the car batteries at all instead the alternator is not charging the battery it is responsible for converting the current to AC so that the battery can be charged while you are driving. If you have a bad alternator it won’t transfer enough power back to your battery while the engine is running, this could be an internal alternator fault or in extreme cases a broken alternator belt.

Will frequent short trips drain my battery?

Not always but yes if your battery is already weak then frequent short trips can drain your battery. People don’t usually think about it but naturally, your driving habits will affect the wear of your car and with most cars, this can be managed with routine maintenance.

What is the battery life?

A typical battery life is about five years, but there are other parts to the story. If you don’t drive your car often or take long trips or you have a new battery, keep it connected to a battery tender. This will preserve your battery life for a long time.

Why does my car keep dying?

Your car is either dying from an electrical system failure, specifically a bad battery, or the charging system isn’t working properly. If your battery and alternator check out, it’s likely another problem.

What equipment‘s do I need for a weak battery?

If you suspect your battery is weak, I highly recommend keeping battery connectors such as jumper cables in your glove box. It is highly likely that you will find yourself in a difficult situation when your car battery dies.

What is a parasitic drain?

A parasitic drain is something that causes the battery to drain without you knowing it. It’s usually not a battery problem specifically, but an electrical component that’s installed incorrectly or is active when it shouldn’t be. It could be anything like an alarm system or a GPS tracker.

How to Clean Battery Terminals?

You don’t need any special tools to clean the terminals of your batteries, instead, you can do it easily with a baking soda solution and a stiff bristle brush.

Can you throw a dead car battery in the trash?

If your car battery is dead, you may wonder if you can just throw it in the trash and what can be done with it. Unfortunately, the simple answer is no. Car batteries contain lead and other heavy metals. There are metals that can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly.

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