Batteries don’t last forever. We replace 100 million car batteries in the United States every year. That’s a lot of batteries!
The average lifespan of a car battery is around three years, but sometimes we wear them out sooner. If your car won’t start, it may be because the battery is dead.
But what will drain your car’s battery? Several things can cause your car battery to drain. Read on to learn some of the most common culprits.
Oops, You Left a Light On
The fastest battery drain is leaving your headlights on all night. It’s the most common reason for a dead battery and an easy mistake.
A forgotten interior dome light seems like a small thing, but it can add up! Even though it only draws a little power, it finishes off an already weak battery if left on overnight.
To avoid this, check all lights before you leave your vehicle. That includes headlights, taillights, interior lights, and any other lights that may be on.
Most new cars have a feature that will turn the lights off automatically, but it’s still a good idea to check. Remember to turn the lights off when you park if you have an older car.
An Old Battery
A dead car battery could be the result of age. After a few years, batteries lose their ability to hold a charge. It is especially true if you don’t regularly drive your car.
You can prolong the life of your battery with routine drives to keep it charged. But eventually, you’ll need to replace it.
If you have an older car, keeping a spare battery on hand is a good idea. That way, you’re not stranded if your battery dies.
Battery Connection Issues
Check for a loose, corroded, or damaged battery terminal. If the connection is weak, it won’t matter how strong your battery is. A bad connection causes a strain on the battery, which will drain it faster.
A loose connection can also cause your alternator to work harder than needed. It will shorten the lifespan of both your alternator and your battery.
What Drains Your Car Battery While It’s Turned Off?
A parasitic draw will slowly drain your battery, even if the car is parked and turned off. A parasitic draw may be the culprit if your battery is dead after leaving your car parked for a few days.
Faulty Wiring or Damaged Connections
Faulty wiring can also prevent your battery from starting your car. Look for any cracks or damage in the wires. If you see any, have them repaired as soon as possible.
Having your vehicle’s electrical system checked regularly is also a good idea. That will help you spot any issues before they cause problems.
Get Moving Again
Car battery problems are frustrating. But they’re often easy to fix if you know what drains your car battery. If you know how to jump-start a car, you can usually get going again without too much trouble.