There are many reasons your vehicle battery may fail you. Sometimes it is a gradual draining that gives you a little warning, while other times you have little or no warning before the battery dies. Either way, you might find yourself without transportation at very inconvenient times.
Did you leave the lights on?
The first thing you should look at is if any lights were left on. Headlights or interior lights that have been left on over a period of time will definitely cause a drain on your battery. If you have left lights on, for example, overnight, your battery will likely be dead in the morning when you go to start the car. In most cases, you will be able to charge the battery instead of having to replace it.
Vehicles get parasites too!
It is normal for some things to draw on the battery. Small things like your clock, programmed radio stations, your car alarm all need small amounts of power to keep running. However, these are expected and your battery should be able to handle this type of draw while your vehicle is running the alternator’s job is to recharge the battery.
Items that are not factory-installed, such as a new stereo & speakers or remote start if not hooked up correctly can drain your battery. The devices themselves are safe to use, but be sure you have a qualified technician that knows how to install them to avoid draining the battery.
Loose or corroded battery connections
The battery terminals can sometimes become loose or corroded resulting in poor connections. If this happens, your vehicle might not start because it isn’t getting the power it needs. When the battery cannot transmit power, you can try cleaning the terminals and checking to see if they are loose or bring your vehicle in and we will check it for you.
Extreme temperatures – Both hot and cold
This is a bigger concern if your battery is older. New batteries can withstand extreme temperatures better. However, the older battery may become weaker when the weather is very hot or very cold. Extreme temperatures may also cause your battery to die completely. You can frequently have your battery tested at many auto parts stores, purchase a tester of your own, or stop by and we will check it out for you.
The battery doesn’t charge while driving
The battery and alternator are partners in crime when it comes to keeping your vehicle running. The battery starts the vehicle, the alternator keeps the vehicle running and recharges the battery. If the alternator isn’t working properly, it may not be recharging the battery as it should. The result will be a drained battery and the vehicle probably won’t start or will struggle to roll over.
Short drives are hard on a battery
If you are a driver that makes a lot of short trips this could be damaging to your battery. As mentioned before, the alternator recharges the battery as the vehicle runs. Shorter trips don’t give the alternator enough time to recharge the battery adequately.
Just like any battery, your vehicle battery will get old and worn out. A typical lifespan for a vehicle battery is 5 years, give or take. Taking the above into consideration, these things can reduce the overall lifespan of a battery, sometimes taking it down by a couple of years.
For a battery check, contact Stroebel Automotive to schedule an appointment.