What Causes a Car Battery to Die?

 
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The battery has a pretty important job. It is tasked with providing the electrical power necessary to start the vehicle. It is also where extra electricity that is created by the alternator is stored. Should the battery die you will find yourself stranded and unable to operate your vehicle's various electrical accessories. While you can usually jump start a vehicle if the battery dies once, if it continues to die it means there is a larger problem at hand that will like require the expertise of an auto mechanic to repair. There are numerous things that can cause a car battery to die, let's take a look at a few of the most common.

Leaving the Lights on

While lots of of today's cars and trucks have automatic light shutoffs, leaving the lights on remains one of the top reasons that batters die prematurely. The headlights will quite quickly drain the battery, resulting in the need for a jump start in order to get back on the road.

Using Accessories with the Car Off

If you use the radio or other infotainment systems with the key in the on position, but the engine not running, it could cause your battery to die rather quickly. Using the battery's power will cause the engine to not be able to start, since the battery needs to provide the initial electrical charge to to the starter motor.

Faulty Relay Switch

A battery that dies repeatedly could be being drained by a stuck relay somewhere in the car. A relay is designed to complete a circuit, allowing for the passage of electricity. If a relay is stuck in the on position but the car is off it will cause the electricity to continue to flow, which will kill the battery and could also damage the part with the stuck relay.

End of the Battery's Life Cycle

Batteries will not last forever. They generally have a lifespan of 5 or so years. If your battery dies be sure to check its age to see if it needs to be replaced.

Leaving a Door Open

When you leave door ajar on a vehicle it can result in interior lights or dashboard lights being left on. If these little lights are left on for an extended amount of time, such as overnight, there is a good chance your vehicle will have no battery power to get started in the morning.

Be sure to have regular battery checks to prevent yourself from getting stranded! If you need battery service or a new car battery in Palo Alto or Mountain View head to The Car Doctor. Our team of technicians will quickly diagnose what the trouble is and have you on your way in no time. Give us a call at (650) 492-6853 to schedule an appointment for expert auto maintenance or auto repair in Palo Alto today!


The Car Doctor Blog

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