Your car won't start, and you get your trusty jumper cables hooked up, and you are on your way!  Everyone should learn how to jump start their car; it's a very useful skill to learn.  But, what does it mean if jumper cables don’t do the trick?  Could it be a faulty battery that is having trouble holding a charge? There are multiple reasons why your car battery won't hold a charge.  Before replacing the defective battery be sure to diagnose the reason why it's not holding a charge.  If you skip this important step, you may run-down another new battery, wasting time and money.  


Why Did your Battery Die to Begin With?

To start with you want to determine the reasons that may have lead to the car battery dying.  The reasons can vary from mechanical failure to simply leaving your lights on:


  • You've left your lights or other electronic accessories that require battery power to run.  

  • There is a mechanical problem with recharging the battery.  Your battery is designed to restore while you are driving, a mechanical failure will cause your battery not to recharge and fail.  

  • A bad alternator is draining the battery.  A faulty alternator act like a parasite will drain the battery.  

  • The battery has passed it's "best by date," and it's simply time to replace it.

Diagnosing why the battery lost it’s charge  will give you the insights you need to determine why your battery is unable to hold a charge.

Why Won't your Battery Hold a Charge?

There are a few at-home tests you can perform to determine the cause:


It's not the battery: If you turn on your headlights and they come on full power.  Your issue is most likely with the starter or bad wiring.  If your lights appear dimmer than usual or not at all, the problem is probably your battery.

Test the voltage:  If you have a voltmeter you are a step ahead! If the voltmeter reads below 12.6 volts, the battery is showing a low charge.  

Your battery is old: If you can't remember the last time you changed the battery in your car, or it's visibly worn, it might just be time for a new battery.  

Your alternator is the problem:  If you jump start your car and the battery very quickly loses its charge the issue might be with the alternator.  You can visibly detect some alternator problems by inspecting for cracking or fraying.  


Trust a Professional To Diagnose and Replace

At Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto, we know your life doesn't stop when your car battery does.  Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto makes replacing a faulty car battery and other repairs convenient for Leesburg, Virginia and Northern Virginia residents. With 8 locations to choose from - relax and enjoy our comfortable lounges with free wifi and premium coffee.  Have somewhere to be? Our customer shuttle that will get you to work and bring you back to our shop.  Now - that's stress-free convenience!  

*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair. Copyright 2017 - Published January 10th, 2017 Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto