What Happens When Your Car’s Battery Dies? A Complete Guide

The batteries give the starter power, which can turn the engine over. It can also keep equipment running in the car even when the engine is turned off. This is why you can turn on your car’s interior lights before you start the engine. It’s scary to run out of battery power while driving. It means that most of your car’s parts won’t work, and you’ll be stuck on the road. During the drive, your car’s dead battery is not as problematic as it seems.

In short, your battery can die while you’re driving, but that doesn’t mean your car engine will stop running. You can’t restart the engine after you turn it off. The alternator gives power to the engine and charges the battery when you drive your car. If your alternator is still working, driving with a dead battery won’t change anything.

How your car’s battery works

One of the essential things your battery does is start your car when you turn the key. This takes a lot of power, and since the alternator has yet to start, the battery must do it independently. Not only that but your battery powers everything that needs electricity.

It will be directly connected to your battery and will continue to use power as long as the part is running. A man turns on the car’s electronics by putting the key into the ignition. Even if your car isn’t running and the radio is on, the radio will keep using the battery until the radio turns off or the battery dies.

What are the Signs of a Dead Car Battery?

Source: misterworker.com

Watch out for these signs that your car’s battery is dead. If any of the signs below apply to you, you must self-service your car immediately.

No reaction at ignition

If your car won’t start when you turn the ignition key, it’s likely because the battery is dead and not sending any power to the starter motor.

After a brief whirr, the engine dies

When a car starts, sometimes the engine dies right away instead of idling. The battery may have enough power to start the engine in this case. But then the battery dies, which messes up the signals to the engine control module (ECM), and the engine dies.

Your car accessories won’t work

If your battery is strong, you may notice that your electrics need to be fixed as they should. But if the battery dies, these gadgets won’t do anything. A blown main fuse, wiring problems, or a corroded battery connection could also be to blame.

The battery warning light is on

If this light comes on while driving, your battery or alternator is likely broken, or the fuel mix is wrong. If this light comes on, don’t ignore it.

No door chimes or dome light

When you open the car’s door, the door lights usually turn on, and when the key is put into the ignition, a chime usually goes off. A flat car battery is often to blame when these don’t work as they should.

Visibly corroded car battery

You might see a blue, fluffy coating on the positive terminal or a clear film outside your battery. Also, a swollen or bloated battery clearly indicates it went bad. This is caused by hydrogen gases building up inside the battery. This happens when the car’s alternator charges it too much, and the battery can’t release the gases quickly enough.

What Causes Your Car Battery To Die?

Source: vehiclefreak.com

Many things could have caused your car battery to die, and while it may be hard to find the exact cause, it could help keep it from happening again. Some common causes could be”

Loose or corroded battery connections.

Over time, your battery’s positive and negative terminals can sometimes become loose. Corrosion can also happen to these ends. If your car’s battery has corroded terminals, you may have trouble starting your car because the battery won’t be able to send its power as it should. You could even lose control of the car while driving or damage its electronic parts.

Your headlights were left on

If your car’s battery is dead, you should check the lights first. The headlights on many newer cars are set to go out after a specific time. But if your car doesn’t have this feature, your headlights may stay on until you turn them off or until the battery dies.

Your car’s extras are still working

Even when your car is turned off, your battery keeps things like the clock, radio, and alarm system running. Your battery should be drained only a little by these things. When the engine is off, interior lights, door lights, or even bad relays can drain the battery more.

Extreme Temperatures

Most newer batteries can better handle the high and low temperatures of different seasons. But if your battery is old, extreme cold or heat could make it work less well or even cause it to die. Get your car’s battery checked if you notice that your battery is having trouble with the weather.

What To Do When Your Car’s Battery Dies?

Source: mechanicbase.com

So, what happens if your battery dies while you’re driving? Here’s what you can do if the battery in your car dies while you’re driving:

Restart your Vehicle

When this happens, the best thing to do is to turn the car off and on again. First, take the key out of the ignition and wait a few seconds before starting the car. If your car starts, that’s great, but you need to look for other options if it doesn’t.

Take a look around

You’ll need jumper cables and someone willing to pull up next to your car and start it for you. If you’ve never done it before and are wondering, “Is it positive to negative or positive to positive?” ask someone nearby if they’d be willing to help you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help; almost everyone has been in your shoes and can probably relate to your problem. Have you found someone willing to help but don’t know how? Here’s how you can do it by yourself!

  • Bring out the jumper cables – Buying a set of jumper cables and keeping them in your car is a good idea. Jumper cables are an essential piece of equipment; without them, you’ll need to find someone willing and able to help you.
  • Put the cars in a safe spot – Turn off the ignitions and put both cars in the park or neutral. Also, use both parking brakes.
  • Connect the red clips to the batteries – Attach a red clip to the positive end of your battery, and then attach the other red clip to the positive end of the other car’s battery.
  • Connect the black clips to the battery – Clip one black wire to the other car’s negative battery terminal and another black wire to one of your car’s metal bonnet struts.
  • Start your car – If the engine starts, drive for at least 15 minutes for the battery to charge. If it doesn’t start, ensure the clips are securely attached and let the other car’s engine run for at least 5 minutes before trying again. If it still doesn’t start, you might need a new battery.

Call up a friend

Most people don’t give this any thought until it’s too late. Calm down and take a deep breath if you find yourself in this situation. Take out your phone and start swiping through the list of people you know. Call your spouse, best friend, or a family member and ask if they have jumper cables and can get to you. They can at least drive you there if you have to go somewhere and don’t have time to jumpstart your car.

Seek professional help

Most towing companies will come to you and jumpstart your car for a fee or tow you to a mechanic who can tell you if you need a new battery, a recharge, or just a jumpstart. Most of the time, all it needs is to get a dead battery going again is a jump start. Once it is returned from the completely dead state, driving your car should be enough to get it back to its normal, fully functional state. If your battery keeps dying even after jumping, you might need to replace it. Luckily, batteries are relatively inexpensive to replace.

Wrapping Up

If your car’s battery dies, but the alternator is fine, nothing will change while you’re driving. Remember that your battery is being charged by the alternator. The alternator can do all the heavy lifting as long as your engine is running and the electricity you need isn’t too high. That means that your car will keep going even if the battery dies. Turning off your stereo speakers and heating and cooling system is vital. This will reduce how much power your alternator has to make. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what to do when your car’s battery dies. 

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