Here’s What Will Drain Your Car’s Battery

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 issues can indeed be a source of frustration, but understanding what causes these problems is key to solving them efficiently. Common culprits include leaving lights on, extreme temperatures, and prolonged periods of inactivity, all of which can drain a battery significantly. Familiarizing yourself with the signs of a failing battery, such as slow engine cranking or dimming headlights, can help you identify issues before they become critical. Knowing how to jump-start a car is an invaluable skill in these situations. It can provide a quick solution to get your vehicle running again, at least long enough to reach a service station or garage for a thorough check-up or replacement. Regular maintenance checks, including inspecting the battery’s terminals and ensuring it’s properly charged, can also prevent many battery-related problems. By staying informed about your car’s electrical system and taking proactive steps for care and maintenance, you can minimize the inconvenience caused by battery issues and ensure a smoother, more reliable driving experience.

If your car battery has died and you’re stranded in the Birmingham area, Hurst Towing can help. Our dispatchers are available on nights and weekends to help you when you need it most. Just give us a call, and we’ll be there!