Dead Car Battery

Dead Car Battery: How to Fix

Dead Car BatteryAccording to the AAA, a dead car battery is the number one reason American motorists call for roadside assistance. If your car or truck won’t start, more often than not, the battery is dead. Dead car batteries are especially prevalent in the age of Covid social distancing. Where cars, trucks, and SUVs are driven less frequently, or not at all. Whether it’s due to drivers being out of work, working-from-home, schools. Businesses being closed or simply not having the money. People just aren’t driving as much as they used to. A decrease in overall driving activity increases the risk of a dead car battery. This is due to a reduction in the charging it receives from the engine’s alternator as a result of regular driving.

What to Do About A Dead Car Battery

Jump-Start

The most common method drivers cope with a car or truck that won’t start due to a dead battery is a jump-start. Keeping a set of jumper cables in your trunk is always a good idea. If you do not have access to any, you may be able to flag down a fellow motorist. Make sure to use your best judgement and approach any individuals on the road with caution.

After popping open the hood of both vehicles, first connect the red positive clamps to the red positive terminals on both auto batteries. Then connect the black negative clamp to the black negative terminal on the vehicle with the fully functioning battery that will be doing the jumping. Next, attach the remaining black negative clamp to any paint-free metal part or surface within the engine block. After first starting the working vehicle and letting in run a minute or two, you will then attempt to start the vehicle with the dead car battery. If it starts, make sure to drive around for a recommended 30-minutes or more, to sufficiently charge the battery via the engine’s alternator.

Roadside Assistance:

If you do not possess the necessary tools or are unable to find anyone to help, most likely you will need to call for roadside assistance for a jump-start or tow. If you are in the Winston-Salem area and you experience a dead car battery feel free to contact us here at Carolina Auto Service. We offer 24-hour a day, seven days a week roadside assistance service to assist with any battery, mechanical or any other automotive-related difficulty you may encounter on the road.

Do-it-Yourself:

If you consider yourself fairly handy, and have the necessary time and resources available, servicing or replacing your vehicle’s battery can be done as a do-it-yourself fix. First, you will need a multimeter, a handheld electronic device used for measuring electric current. After setting the multimeter to the 15 to 20-amp setting, connect the red positive and black negative contacts to the corresponding positive and negative terminals on the car battery. Did the reading registers below 12.5 amps? You will want to either charge or replace your battery depending on its overall condition and lifespan.

While your vehicle’s alternator maintains your car or truck’s battery charge through regular driving, it was never designed to fully charge the battery; for that, you will need a dedicated car battery charger. If you’ve properly charged your vehicle’s battery and it is still experiencing power loss or failure to start, then it will need to be replaced. The easiest way to figure out which battery to buy is by referencing your vehicle’s owner manual, or simply popping open the hood and taking a look. It is essential you choose the correct size and power rating. The main units of measurement when it comes to rating an automotive battery is Cranking Amps (CA), the amount of electric amperage it takes to start a vehicle at 32-degrees Fahrenheit, along with Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), the amperage required to start an automobile at zero-degrees Fahrenheit.

Dead Car Battery Causes

Lights

Leaving your automobile’s headlights or interior lights on for an extended period of time. This is a great way to return to a car or truck with a dead car battery that won’t start.

Air Conditioning

Operating your vehicle’s air conditioning. Also, climate control system is a major drain on the battery and consumes even more battery life and fuel when used with the engine running.

Electronic Devices

Any electronic device such as your automobile’s entertainment, GPS, keyless entry, security and other systems consume electricity, especially when the engine is not running and will increase the likelihood of a dead car battery.

Inactivity

Under normal conditions, regular driving is usually enough to maintain a charge in most automotive batteries. Infrequent driving, or not driving at all will gradually deteriorate your car or truck’s battery, draining its energy along with reducing its overall longevity. Did you plan to store a vehicle long-term? You may want to consider disconnecting your vehicle’s battery cables to prevent excessive energy loss.

Weather

Extreme weather conditions will prematurely age your automobile’s battery. Accelerating the time between battery replacements. Also, well as increasing the likelihood of being strand due to a dead car battery. Scorching hot weather causes battery fluid to evaporate. This reducing its ability to charge as well as emitting an unpleasant sulfur odor. On the other hand, cold temperatures diminish a battery’s capacity to transfer electric current. As evidenced by the difficulty of starting a car in cold climates.

Old Age

The average car battery lasts roughly three to five years. Did you notice significant levels of corrosion? Leaking fluid, a foul sulfuric odor, or the battery is swollen or deformed, it is time to take action. Does your vehicle battery is experiencing any of these symptoms? Then more than likely, it is nearing the end of it life and will need replacement soon.

Conclusion

Most of us will experience that helpless feeling of turning the key in your car. And pushing the ignition and the vehicle fails to start. The best way to avoid being strand with a dead car battery is proper maintenance. Battery maintenance is simple. In fact, it’s so simple, most car or truck owners never bother getting around to it. Simply visually inspecting the battery and cleaning off any dirt. Also, residue or corrosion as it accumulates can extend the lifespan of any car battery considerably. Do you have any questions or would like one of our ASE certified automotive technicians? Would you like them to inspect or service your vehicle’s battery? Feel free to contact us or stop by Carolina Auto Service today.

Carolina Auto Service