The car batteries' primary function is to start the car. Therefore, without a well-charged battery, nothing will power the engine to start. But most people start complaining about a dying battery when the situation has worsened. Some problems need to be dealt with at home in its earlier stage to prevent future unnecessary expenditures.
The approximated lifespan of a car battery is three to six years, depending on its conditions. The factors that predict a car battery's durability include; weather conditions, the type of the vehicle, and your driving habits.
There are many reasons that can cause a car batter to die quickly, some of them include;
Making short distance travels every day, weakens your battery, thus making it die faster. The estimated time that the alternator requires to charge the battery entirely is 8 hours. Failure to get enough time of charge leads to the deposition of crystals on the negative plate. This makes charging of the battery difficult.
Failure to clean your battery frequently can lead to corrosion of the terminals.
Another reason for the fast draining of battery is the adverse weather condition. Extreme cold weather makes a weak battery not to hold its charge.
Leaving headlights or dome lights on overnight drains battery.
What can drain a car battery when the car is off
A car battery can drain even when the car is off. But this can only happen due to different issues in the car system or human mistakes and errors. Various things make battery drain which includes:
The use of car accessories while the car is off. If you use the radio or any other entertainment system with the key inside the switch, it will kill your battery.
Having a faulty relay switch can drain your battery. This is because a relay switch is used to complete the connection and allow power to pass. Thus even when the car is off, the electricity will continue flowing and drain the battery.
Using an old battery is another reason. An old battery will always lose power even if the car is off. This can only be solved by replacing your car battery.
Leaving car doors open for a long time drains the battery. This is so because leaving doors open can lead to the lighting of dashboard lights and other interior lights. If you leave the lights on for an extended time, you won't have a choice other than to jumpstart your car.
How do you find out what drain your car battery
Sometimes the battery drains frequently; thus, there is a need to check your car for faulty systems. Emergencies do occur, and a drained battery can cause you headaches. Short-circuiting can lead to a lot of current drawn, thus draining your battery. It is, therefore, essential to check the charging system for any complications. The various things that can lead to short-circuiting are; loose or naked alternator belt, circuit problems (loose, broken wires or disconnection), or a faulty alternator.
But in case after checking for faulty circuits in the system and find none, then there might be a parasitic battery drain. One good thing is that you can find the parasitic draw/drain by yourself. To find a parasitic battery drain, follow the following steps:
Begin by connecting a digital multimeter to the negative terminal of your car battery
Start removing fuses one after the other while observing the changes in the multimeter readings. If you observe a drop in the readings, you will have the culprit and move to the next step.
Unplug all devices and accessories from your vehicle and ensure that there is no electric device that is on. Turn off the vehicle, remove the key from the ignition, and engage the emergency brake. Close the doors and the trunk too.
Start to charge your battery to accurately detect the parasitic drain adequately. Most car batteries are 12.6 volts when fully charged.
Then remove the cable connected to the negative terminal marked with (-). Be sure to remove the negative cable to prevent electric shocks.
Connect your digital multimeter. There are two wires (black and white) connected to the multimeter. Join the black wire to the “com” input and the red wire to the highest amp input (normally 20A). Then set the dial on multimeter to measure amps.
Connect the multimeter to the negative battery wire and terminal. Attach the red lead through a metal circle at the end of the negative battery cable. Place your hand on the black lead to the negative battery terminal.
If the reading on the multimeter is more than 50 milliamps, then you have a parasitic draw.
After finding out that there is a parasitic draw, follow the steps to remove the component causing the drain in your car:
Observe the multimeter reading changes while pulling out the fuses one after the other. Remove the fuses, beginning with the ones with the smaller amp to higher amps. Start with the box underhood then the ones in the dash.
Stop pulling a fuse when a noticeable change is seen in the multimeter. The drop should be so significant.
Find the components working on the fuse affected.
Ensure that you check every device on that circuit. Replace the affected fuse and all its components. Check all components to ensure that there is no other one draining the battery.
For the component making the draw, repair it, then remove the multimeter and reconnect the battery.
How long does it normally take for a car battery to die
A car battery can maintain its charge for over two months. But this depends on some factors. One factor is how frequently the car is used and for how long. The second factor the period that the battery has been in use. Thirdly, the accessories used in the car that drain the battery. Lastly, the weather conditions of the place. The total lifespan of a car battery is 3 to 7 years. The figures vary because car batteries require frequent cleaning and checking.
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