If you experience a dead battery in your car, it can be an extremely frustrating experience. You may need to figure out what to do or where to start when getting your car back on the road.
Fortunately, there are a few troubleshooting tips that you can try to get your battery back up and running. This blog has some of the most effective troubleshooting tips for a dead battery.
We’ll explain the importance of checking the battery’s charge and other tips for troubleshooting and maintaining your battery’s health. So, if you’re stuck with a dead battery, follow our tips on how to get your car back on the road.
Common Symptoms of Dead Car Battery
A dead vehicle battery can manifest in a variety of ways. These are signs that could be related to the battery’s health.
The battery is old
A car battery is not made to live indefinitely. It will therefore get older with time. Performance declines as the battery ages, with an average life of four to six years.
The car will not start with an old battery. In most cases, it will deteriorate gradually with repeated hard starts before failing. The battery must be changed in such a case since there is no other option.
You can implement certain steps to extend the battery’s life, including proper maintenance. Visit your nearest battery store to learn more about the maintenance of your battery.
The battery smells like rotten eggs.
When your battery is dead, it smells like rotten eggs. It is brought on by lead-acid batteries, which include water and sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The gas, which smells like rotten eggs, is produced by the battery during charging.
Therefore, when you detect this odor, the battery is dead. Additionally, it indicates that the acid has begun to leak and is producing hydrogen sulfide gas.
There are signs of corrosion on the terminals.
Another sign of a failing or dead battery is corroded battery terminals. You’ll see either a white or blue powder on your battery connections.
More corrosion means a weaker battery since it accumulates. The car will struggle to start because of this deposit before breaking down completely.
Dimmed or failed headlights
The headlights of your car consume power. If you have a weak battery, the headlights won’t have enough power, leaving you with poor or no light.
The engine won’t start if the battery can’t power the headlights. If you try turning on the headlights, but the engine won’t start, and you notice this, your battery is dead.
The battery has signs of swelling.
A swollen battery is a sign that you must replace it at once. Most of the time, an overcharged battery results from a malfunctioning alternator. When this occurs, it needs to be changed.
The car fails to start.
A dead or failing battery is sometimes indicated by a car that won’t start. If the car doesn’t start when you turn on the ignition, chances are the battery is either dead or dying and can’t supply enough power.
Even a powersport battery, which is designed for lasting use and less maintenance can also experience wear and tear and fail.
Fixing a Dead Battery
If you have a completely dead battery, there is no way to revive or repair it, and you must replace it. However, if your battery is weak or dying, you can try a few steps to fix it temporarily. These are some troubleshooting tips to fix a dying or weak battery.
Using a trickle charger
Using a trickle charger to charge your dead battery is a viable option, but you should be aware that it will likely take up to two days until the battery is completely charged. The slow charging rate, 1-2 amps, is beneficial as it safeguards the battery from any possible damage.
- Start by turning off your car.
- It is highly recommended that you choose a parking spot with adequate ventilation to prevent an accumulation of hydrogen gas. It is particularly important since you cannot move it once the process starts. Parking in a garage would be ideal as there will be no risk of exposure to rain or other elements.
- Locate the ground section. The bare metal part of the frame is attached to the chassis or engine block.
- The next step is to attach the cables with the positive and negative terminals in the right places.
- Do a final check on the connections, then turn the charger “ON” to begin charging.
- Check the display on the charger and monitor the charging.
Jumpstart using another car
- Prepare two cars and jumper cables, ensuring the cars do not collide and all engines are turned off.
- Connect the red cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal and then to the positive terminal of the good battery.
- Attach the black cable to the negative of the good car and then to a metal piece on the bad car, avoiding the battery’s negative terminal.
- Start the good car engine, wait 1-2 minutes, and then attempt to start the bad car.
- Disconnect the cables in reverse order and keep the bad battery car running for up to 20 minutes to charge it.
Jumpstart using a portable jump starter
Using a portable jump starter is more convenient than traditional car-to-car jump starting, requiring fewer steps.
- Make sure both the jump starter and car are off.
- Attach the red cable to the battery’s positive terminal and the black cable to a grounded metal part, engine block, or car frame.
- Once the cables are connected, turn the jump starter on and start the car.
- Leave the car to run for a few minutes before disconnecting the cables in reverse order.
Tips to Maintain Your Car Battery
Your car battery is vital for a successful journey and needs your care and attention. It is necessary for powering a radar detector.
A radar detector draws power from the car battery and uses it to detect any radar signals in the area. It allows the driver to be aware of any radar signals that may be in the vicinity and adjust their speed accordingly. Follow these car battery maintenance tips to make it last longer.
- Clean the terminals and apply a dielectric grease or anti-corrosion agent to prevent corrosion.
- When required, check the electrolyte level and replenish it with purified water.
- Turn off any accessories and unplug appliances when the car is not in use.
- Keep the car idle for long periods and drive the car regularly to charge the battery.
- Check the battery voltage regularly and make sure it is 12.6 volts.
- Connect a trickle charger if you last used the car a while ago.
- Be sure to observe safety measures when starting a car.
Wrapping It Up
We hope these troubleshooting tips have kept your dead battery up and running. If your battery doesn’t charge after following all the steps, replace it.
If you’re feeling brave, you can replace the battery yourself. If you do, follow all the safety precautions, and use the right tools and supplies. With the right knowledge and care, you should be able to bring your battery back to life.