Dead Car Battery? Learn The Common Causes

car battery charged by jumper cables

car battery charged by jumper cables

It’s never a pleasant surprise to get into your car only to realize that it won’t start. If your car battery keeps going bad, consider these possible causes.

A Drain in the System

The battery’s primary role is to power the starter, but it is also tasked with providing power to your car’s various electrical components. The headlights, interior lights, radio, and all kinds of modern features all draw power from the battery, and if any are left on after the vehicle is shut off, they can gradually deplete the battery’s charge. If headlights are left on, it won’t take long to sap the battery, but even an interior light or smaller component can drain a battery by morning if left on overnight. Even if you’re vigilant to turn off all the obvious electronics after you park, there’s still a possibility of a “parasitic drain,” or a hard-to-detect drain caused by a malfunction, like a trunk light staying on even when the latch is shut.

Corrosion on the Connections

Whenever you look under the hood, you might notice corrosion forming on your car battery’s connections. As corrosion builds up, it can block the car’s charging system from keeping your battery properly charged as you drive, causing it to deplete without replenishing power. It’s easy to clean away corrosion, and all you’ll need is a little water, baking soda, and a sturdy brush. Just make sure not to get any of the substance on your skin, and don’t let any backing soda get into the battery cells. Once the terminals are clear, make sure that the connection between the battery and power cables is tight. A loose connection can be just as troublesome as the corrosion itself.

A Faulty Charging System

Sometimes, the power problem lies outside the battery itself. The battery relies on the engine’s charging system to keep its power topped-off while you drive, and if there’s a problem somewhere in that system, the battery might not replenish enough power while in use. The issue could arise because of a loose alternator belt, but other causes might not be so easy to spot, so it’s best to let a professional inspect the vehicle to be certain.

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Red McCombs Hyundai Northwest

Whenever you need an expert battery replacement, inspection, or any other professional maintenance, schedule your service with Red McCombs Hyundai Northwest.

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