Please Help – My Car Battery Keeps Draining!
Car batteries can generally last for a long time. In fact, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the average lifespan for a car battery is 4 to 6 years. Nevertheless, sometimes, batteries die much sooner than that.
Batteries can die for a wide variety of reasons, so if your new battery just lasted for a couple of weeks, you can write it off as a faulty battery or just bad luck. However, if your battery keeps dying again and again, it generally indicates that there’s an underlying problem.
Why Do Car Batteries Die?
Like we mentioned, there’s a wide variety of issues that can cause a car battery to die. However, all these issues can be shoehorned into 3 categories:
- A problem with the battery itself
- Electrical system issues
- User Error
While some battery issues are simple to fix, others require the attention of a professional mechanic. If your car battery keeps dying repeatedly, it could be due to corroded or loose battery connections, charging problems, alternator problems, or even extreme weather. Here are some problems that can lead to your battery draining repeatedly.
The Battery is on its last legs
If the battery is very old or poorly maintained, it may not be able to hold a charge very well. If this is the case, even a small load on the battery, such as turning on the radio or even using the headlights would drain it out quickly.
Battery Connections are Loose or Corroded
Corroded or loose connections can affect the supply of electrical current from the charging system to the battery, preventing it to charge your battery while you’re driving.
While extremely cold or hot weather won’t typically kill a new or well-maintained battery, it can definitely cause a weak or old battery to fail. Extreme weather conditions can also exacerbate other electrical problems.
A Faulty Charging System
A faulty charging system is another common culprit behind a battery dying repeatedly. Worn out serpentine belts and tensioners can prevent an alternator from functioning properly.
What if the Battery Keeps Dying While You Drive?
If your battery is regularly going flat while you’re driving, then probably the problem isn’t with the battery itself. The battery’s job is to supply electricity to the power motor and power peripherals like the lights and the sound system when the engine is turned off. Once the engine is turned on, the charging system takes over these responsibilities. Therefore, if your battery is going flat while the engine is running, it’s likely that the root of the problem is the charging system, instead of the battery itself.
The only component of the charging system you can inspect without any special tools is the serpentine belt. You can check to see if the belt is loose, and simply tighten it if it is. If the problem lies deep in the charging system, you’ll probably need to schedule an appointment with a reputable auto repair shop.
Timely preventive maintenance and repairs are important if you want your vehicle to live a long healthy life. Schedule an appointment with Smitty’s Auto Service, one of the best auto repair shops in Gainesville, FL. and our highly skilled automotive technicians will ensure that your vehicle continues to perform optimally. Get in touch with us at (352) 373-3060 for further information.