6 Unexpected Reasons Your Car Battery Is Dead

Know what conditions or situations may leave you stranded.

Person wearing gloves using jumper cables to charge car battery iStock

A dead car battery can be the difference between a perfectly smooth day and a logistical nightmare, especially if you’re having frequent battery issues.

Fortunately, no one knows the life cycle of a car like AAA, and we’re here to share some of the things that might be draining your battery and throwing a wrench in your plans. 

Three reasons your gas-powered car has a dead battery

  1. Corrosion buildup: This generally results from a lack of maintenance, but it is easily resolved. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the corroded area, dab with vinegar or lemon juice and scrub with a steel wire brush if necessary. 
  2. The temperature: If it’s cold enough, chemicals will tend to thicken, and this causes the battery to slow down and lose effectiveness. In high temperatures, oxidation and evaporation can take place inside the battery and bring about premature failure. Storing your vehicle in a garage during extreme heat or cold may help prolong your battery life. 
  3. Your stereo: As noted by our partner NAPA, while it’s uncommon for manufacturer stereo systems to drain your battery, aftermarket systems unfortunately often cause the problem. If you have an aftermarket stereo system installed and have battery issues, speak with a technician to get to the bottom of it.   

Three reasons your electric vehicle has a dead battery

  1. Overcharging: It’s natural to want to charge your EV daily, but overcharging can lead to accelerated battery degradation. Instead, only connect to a charger when necessary. 
  2. Mechanical issues: Napa says that kinks in the electrical system—such as bent pins and damaged wiring—could lead to poor charging. Consult a technician to troubleshoot the situation to see if this is what’s happening.
  3. Excessive acceleration: Punching the gas too frequently and too quickly can lead to increased battery drain. To prevent this, focus on accelerating at a safe and steady pace.

If it’s time for a new battery, refrain from just throwing the old one away. Do the right thing for the environment by taking it to a local auto shop for proper recycling. If your car won’t start, sometimes it’s better to replace the battery than to jump it. Try these three ways to test your battery and replace it if necessary.

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