Why Did My Car Battery Die?
June 6th, 2016
Updated October 15th, 2016
It goes without saying that your car battery plays a very important role--without it, your car won't start. The battery is responsible for providing enough electrical charge to crank your vehicle's engine, and it is also the "storage unit" for any additional electricity created by the alternator once the car is running. All of your car's electrical accessories--e.g., headlights, radio, instrument panel, power windows, etc.--depend upon the battery to work, and should your battery die, you will basically be stranded wherever you are until you can either get a jump start, or have the battery replaced altogether.
There are several different factors or conditions that can cause a car battery to die. Below are some of the most common culprits:
Leaving the Lights On While the Car is Off
If you cut your car off but leave your lights on, it's only a matter of time before your headlights will completely drain the battery. At that point, you will need to get a jumpstart from someone in order to get back on the road. Fortunately, many modern cars and trucks now come with automatic shutoff timers to preserve battery life when we accidentally forget to turn our lights off.
Using Various Electrical Features When the Car is Off
This can be the radio, a built-in DVD player, or other electronic devices that are operated while the key is in the "on" position in the ignition. The battery's power will basically be all used up, and it won't be able to provide an adequate electrical charge to the starter in order to crank the engine.
Leaving a Car Door Open
Most of the time, when a car door is left open, it will activate an interior light or some type of dashboard light. If left unattended long enough, this will drain your battery and prevent it from being able to start your car. This can sometimes accidentally happen when a person doesn't close the door hard enough, or if something (e.g., a seat belt, etc.) obstructs the door from closing all the way.
A Faulty Relay Switch
Relay switches are responsible for the passage of electricity in your vehicle. If a relay switch is faulty, it could possibly stay stuck in the "on" position even when the car is off, thus causing electricity to continue flowing until the battery is completely drained. Not only can a faulty relay switch wreak havoc on the battery, but it can actually damage the component containing the stuck relay switch as well.
The Battery is Too Old
No car battery will last forever. The average battery has a lifespan of about 5 to 7 years, at which point it will definitely be time for a replacement. If your battery has died, you will more than likely need to take your vehicle to a battery replacement Herndon shop in order to get your battery inspected, and if need be, replaced. This will help you avoid the headache of dealing with a worn-out or sub-optimal car battery.
*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.
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