What Should You Do When Your Car Battery Dies?

When you turn the key in your ignition only to get a clicking noise and no life from the engine, you’ve likely got a dead car battery. This can be a troublesome issue, especially if you don’t have a set of jumper cables in your vehicle. If you keep cables in your car or have a jump-start kit, you’ll soon be back on the road, but you might have some issues with your car battery.

After a jump start, what should I wonder about my car battery?

Jump-Start in Progress - This is a way to recharge a dead car battery
Jump-Start in Progress | Shutterstock

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Following the Home Depot steps to jump-starting a car, you’ll soon head back on the road. Unfortunately, you might need another jump-start the next time you get into your vehicle. Here are some frequently asked questions about car batteries that could help you avoid further trouble.

How long should a car battery last?

Most car batteries last for 3-5 years. Sometimes climate factors into the lifespan of a car battery, but you should get at least three years of life out of a new model. Most auto parts stores offer free battery testing if you’re unsure how old your battery is or whether it’s still good. It’s better to test this item and know it’s still working properly than to be stranded because you didn’t test the battery.

How do I know if my car battery is dying?

Woman Stranded With Dead Battery and hood up
Woman Stranded With Dead Battery | Shutterstock

When your car’s battery dies or is dying, the signs are pretty clear. Here are seven that could help you identify this problem:

  • Check engine light comes on
  • The engine is slow to start
  • The lights are dim, or other electrical items aren’t working
  • The battery connectors are corroded
  • A rotten smell coming from the engine
  • The battery case is misshapen
  • Your battery is more than five years old

What happens if a battery dies while driving?

All of the electrical items in the car will be dimmer and duller than normal. The interior and exterior lights might not turn on, could flicker, or will become dull. The fan will run slow or not at all, and the radio will sound awful.

Can a car battery recharge itself?

Car Battery Attached to Jumper Cables
Car Battery Attached to Jumper Cables | Shutterstock

No, the battery of a car requires external energy to recharge. These batteries store energy but aren’t capable of producing it themselves. Your alternator sends energy to the battery to keep it fully charged while also running the electrical components of your vehicle once you’ve started the engine.

How can you avoid a dead battery in your car?

You might not think about your car’s battery very often, but you should at least check it periodically. Here are five things that will help you avoid being stranded with a dead battery:

  • Know the age of the battery
  • Look for warning signs of a dying battery
  • Get a free battery test
  • Replace your battery before it dies
  • Maintain your battery

I’ve jumped the battery a few times, but it keeps dying. What’s the problem?

Testing a Car Battery using a battery tester
Testing a Car Battery | Shutterstock

The issue might be when you’ve jumped the car battery a few times, but it continues to die could be a few different things. Some of these are:

  • A battery that no longer holds a charge
  • Bad alternator
  • Loose connections
  • Electrical short in your system
  • Worn out serpentine belt

These are just a few possibilities that could be the problem when your battery requires regular jump starts.

Next, check out six things you need to stop doing to your car or learn more about how to jump-start a car in the video below:

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