Car batteries are more than just a small box inside your car hood. It acts like the heart of a vehicle, for it supplies power to start the engine of an automobile.
It helps in stabilizing and runs the automobile’s accessories such as headlights. In 1952 and later, wet cell batteries for automobiles were introduced.
It is a plastic cube that contains sulfuric acid and lead, with two terminals either on top or side.
That’s why in this article we’ll discuss how to tell if a car battery is dead. It is important to at least know something about your auto battery and to know few signs to when your battery needs replacement.
After all being stocked up in the middle of the road while on your way somewhere is an annoying thing to happen. To help you out to avoid such circumstances we prepared a few signs below to know when your auto’s battery is dead.
Signs of a Dead Battery
Below are signs of a dying auto battery which needed immediate replacement.
1. Engine cranks but doesn’t start.
2. No start, no crank, nor lights.
3. Yesterday it started perfectly but sadly not today.
4. Turns over for over 3 times before starting.
5. Battery requires to be jumped every 3-5 days or more.
6. No dome light when opening the door.
7. Other accessories turn off intermittently.
8. Having a hard time starting the car’s engine especially during cold weather.
9. Lights and other accessories blink when the accelerator is pressed.
10. Battery dies with 15-30 minutes when accessories are running.
Engine cranks but doesn’t start
Mostly, an engine that cranks normally without starting has fuel or spark problem. While an engine that cranks very slowly or cranks a few times then suddenly stops is probably a dead battery’s fault. If so, don’t hesitate to test it.
No start, no crank, nor lights
Car batteries supply power to dash lights, headlights, radio and other accessories. If your headlight and other accessories won’t turn on nor your engine starts, then the most probable cause is a dead battery.
Yesterday it started perfectly but sadly not today
Your car works fine after jump start then suddenly won’t start again after a couple days. You tried to start the ignition yet nothing happened. This problem usually occurs because of having a dead auto battery. (By the way, check this tricks to help you).
Turns over for over 3 times before starting
If your automobile is taking some time to start, it may be time to check your battery. However, to be sure look for other signs of battery problems such as bloated battery, low battery fluids, and more that might be causing problem.
Battery requires to be jumped 3-5 days or more
A battery of a car that requires jumpstart frequently is absolutely a sign of a dead battery that requires immediate replacement. A drained auto battery will make your charging system or starter to draw higher voltage to make up with your weak auto battery. Which may cause malfunctions to other parts that might lead to expensive repair.
No dome light when opening the door
When you open the door and find out that the dome light isn’t lit, then it is probably dead. However, if you have a weak battery the dome lights will be dim.
Other accessories turn of intermittently
The battery supplies power to power up the accessories. So, when there’s a problem with the battery of a car, your car accessories will also cease to work properly.
Having a hard time starting the car’s engine especially during cold weather
If you are having a hard time to start the car or taking some time and extra energy just to start the vehicle especially on cold weather. Then the battery itself is showing an early sign that it needed some retirement and replacement.
Lights and other accessories blink when the accelerator is pressed
Car accessories draws power from the auto battery. So, if the headlights flicker or appear to be dim then it is a sign that your battery is about to die.
Battery dies with 15-30 minutes when accessories are running
A normal auto battery does not die when the accessories are in use. So, if your battery dies while you’re using the radio and other car accessories then the battery is dying.
Causes of a Dead Battery
• Interior light is left for a long period of time.
• Car accessories are running the entire night.
• Malfunctioning alternator
• Substandard battery
• Frequent use of accessories
Leaving your car accessories open when not in use will likely drain the battery which may lead to having a dead auto battery. Also, a malfunctioning alternator can cause greater damage to the battery.
The alternator is part of an automobile’s electrical system. Another reason for dead battery is the age, an average automobile battery’s lifespan is five years. (Check the average lifespan).
So, if your battery becomes too old it may require replacement. Because as these batteries age, the water and sulfuric acid inside them will slowly evaporate.
Which may lead to changes in mixture and may cause overheat or boil. And sometimes drying batteries smell like rotten eggs.
Charging a Dead Battery
A dying battery can be saved by jumpstarting. Jump start may help you get extra juice out of it. All you needed is a set of jumper cables.
Just follow these steps to charge a dead battery below:
1. Look for another car with a healthy battery that can deliver a healthy jolt to your dead battery.
2. Shut off the ignition of both cars.
3. Attach one of the red clamp to the positive terminal of your battery.
4. Then attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the other car.
5. Attach one of the black clamp to the negative terminal on the other battery.
6. Then, attach the black clamp to any metal surface of your car that is far from the battery.
7. Lastly, start your vehicle. If the jumpstart works, don’t shut off your engine and drive for at least 15 minutes to recharge your battery.
How to know the battery is completely dead?
A battery can be considered completely dead when one cell of the battery fails. To know if the battery is entirely dead you can observe if there is no voltage in the battery.
Also, if jumpstarting or charging the battery doesn’t work, the battery is probably at the end of its service life. Though it might still charge some small amount of energy but might not be enough to start the car nor power up the headlights.
When to Remove a Dead Battery?
If the voltage of the battery drops to 10.5 volts, it means that the lead plates are almost coated in lead sulfate. It is not a good idea to leave a dead battery in your car because it might start to leak more corrosive materials.
It is usually best to remove a dead automobile battery as soon as possible and replace it immediately.
Can a Dead Automobile Battery Can be Reused?
A dead auto battery cannot produce nor store great amount of energy unlike new ones. However, it doesn’t mean it’s useless because car batteries can be recycled and reused. There are recycling plants that builds new battery out of dead batteries.
How to Avoid a Dead Auto battery?
Since car batteries plays a significant role in an automobile, it is important to treat them nicely and properly. To avoid having battery problems, it is important unplug the power adapters as well as other accessories when not in use and have a regular car maintenance checkup.
Auto Battery Tips and Tricks
How do we spell dead battery? T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
That’s why we’ll share some tips and tricks for you below:
• Aspirin – What if you’re battery is dead and you do not have jumper cables with you? Worry not, because you might able to start up your car again by dropping 2 aspirin tablets into your auto’s battery. The aspirin’s acetylsalicylic acid will fuse with your battery’s sulfuric acid to make one last charge.
• Baking Soda – To avoid having dead battery due to corrosive build-up on your battery’s terminal, clean it using a mixture of three tablespoons of baking soda and scrub it using an old and unused toothbrush. Then wipe it off using a wet towel and let it dry using another towel. Put a bit of petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosive build-up.
• Epsom Salt – If your car sounds like it will not turn over, try to use an Epsom salt to extend its lifespan. Dissolve Epsom salt in lukewarm water and combine it with each battery cell. (More Info For reconditioning battery using Epsom salt).
• Petroleum Jelly – Low temperatures can increase electrical stability and thicken the engine which makes the battery operate harder than usual. You can use petroleum jelly to prevent corrosion build-up and help maintain the cranking of battery in winter.
• Soda – The acidic parts of a soda can help in eliminating corrosion from the automobile’s battery. The entire carbonated soft drinks have carbonic acid which can remove stains and dissolve dust deposits.
Why do we have to maintain car batteries? Well, just like having super powers car ownership comes with big responsibilities.
It is important to take care of your automobile and do some maintenance such as battery maintenance. Because with a dead battery you are not able to go anywhere but get stuck in the middle of the road.
Battery maintenance and check-up will help us to spot dead battery. Without proper care, maintenance and check-up we will never know how to tell if a car battery is dead.