This has probably happened to you. You get in your car, turn on the ignition, only to realize it won’t crank. Your headlights are dim, and your engine is unresponsive. It could turn into a frustrating situation if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, late at night or in the morning heading to work. Upon investigation, you realize your car battery is dead. So, what exactly caused your battery to die?
Your car battery is a crucial electrical component when it comes to starting and drivability of your car. This component is what sends power from the starter motor to the spark plugs, igniting your vehicle’s fuel while at the same time providing power to other electrical systems.
Related: Car Electrical System Repair
Related: Car Battery & Stater Services
What Could Drain My Car Battery?
There are a lot of things that could drain your battery contrary to popular belief. Fortunately for you, we have outlined a few common reasons why your car battery may drain.
This kind of drain occurs when there are parts in your car that continue to function even after the key is switched off. It’s important to note that not all parasitic drain will leave your battery dead. The car battery is designed in a way that it can sustain your radio presets, clock, and alarm systems at all times without draining the battery. However, if there’s an electrical fault due to poor connection or defective fuses, the parasitic drain could go beyond standard, leaving the car battery dead.
It doesn’t matter how careful you are in your post-driving car checks; there’s going to be a situation where you forget something. Depending on your vehicle, you may leave your headlights and cabin lights on, or fail to lock your trunk. These are just but a few driver oversights. Leaving these utilities will drain your battery, and depending on the amount of time you are away, there won’t be enough juice in your car battery to crank the engine.
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Faulty Charging system
When driving down the road, all your vehicle’s electrical components get their power from the alternator. The alternator is also what is responsible for charging your car battery. In case there is a problem with your battery charging system, it’s possible to experience battery drain. It will happen since your battery won’t be charging to replenish the power consumed when the car is on and running. A qualified professional mechanic such as one from AAMCO Bay Area will be able to diagnose the problem and figure out if the alternator is faulty due to a worn-out belt, tensioner, or loose belt situation.
Corroded or loose Battery Cables
In case your battery cables are destroyed, your car’s charging system won’t be able to top off your battery. It’s essential to have your mechanic routinely check your electrical systems for signs of corrosion and dirt. Also, a loose battery cable could interfere with engine start-up too since it won’t be able to carry the electrical current effectively.
Depending on whether it is cold (below 100 degrees Fahrenheit) or hot (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures could lead to a situation where the lead sulfate crystals begin to form on the terminals. If this continues for long, the crystals could damage the car battery overtime. Your battery will also take a long time to charge in such conditions, and more so if you drive short distances.
Faulty Alternator Diode
Your alternator works to transfer power to your electrical components, as well as recharge your battery. In case the alternator diode is corroded, it will cause the circuit to draw more power from the battery even when your engine is not operational.
When your vehicle continuously drains your battery, and it’s not showing any symptoms of electrical issues, your battery could be old and wearing off. The lifespan of a battery is between 4 to 5 years. If your battery has been in use for more than that period, you probably need to get a new one.
AAMCO Bay Area Car Battery Service
AAMCO Bay Area is a leading car care center that specializes in car battery service, car battery replacement, electrical systems service, diagnosis, and maintenance. We are also a regional leader when it comes to transmission systems repair, maintenance, and service. We also offer other car care services, including suspension systems maintenance and service, brakes system repair and maintenance, engine tune-up and service, and many more.
Did you get late to work due to a dead battery? Contact us or drive into your local AAMCO Bay Area center today; our mechanics will work round the clock to get you back on the road again in good time.