Are you tired of being stranded on the side of the road with a dead car battery? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Dead car batteries happen to the best of us, but the good news is that with a little knowledge and the right equipment, you can quickly jump-start your car and be on your way.
First, let’s talk about what a dead car battery is. A dead car battery is simply a battery that can no longer hold a charge.
This can happen for various reasons, such as leaving your lights on overnight, taking short trips that don’t allow the battery to charge, extreme temperatures, or simply old age fully.
Regardless of the cause, a dead car battery can be a real pain, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day.
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about dead car batteries, including the causes, how to jump-start your car and tips and tricks for preventing a dead battery in the first place.
Table of contents
- How Do You Jump-start a Dead Car Battery?
- Easy Dead Car Battery Tricks to Bring it Back to Life
- How to Check if Your Car Battery is Dead
- Reasons Why a Car Battery Would Die
- How to Prevent Your Car Battery from Dying
How Do You Jump-start a Dead Car Battery?
The first thing you’ll need is a set of jumper cables and another car to jump start from.
Before getting started, it’s important to take a few safety precautions. Make sure both cars are turned off and that the cables are correctly connected before turning on the car that will be jump-starting the other.
Once everything is set up, turn on the car that is doing the jump starting and let it run for a few minutes before trying to start the vehicle with the dead battery.
At this point, the dead battery will now be charged enough to start the car.
Easy Dead Car Battery Tricks to Bring it Back to Life
Having to deal with a dead car battery is frustrating. I believe you know what I am saying if you have been in that situation. I’ve been there, and I’ve got a trick that’s saved me a couple of times.
1. Clean the Terminal
The terminals of the battery can become corroded, preventing the proper electrical connection. Cleaning the terminals can help to revive a dead battery.
2. Clean Battery Desulfator
A battery desulfator is a device designed to remove sulfation from the lead plates of a battery. Sulfation is a common cause of battery failure, and a desulfator can revive a dead battery by removing this buildup.
3. Trick the Battery
A lot of battery chargers these days have a safety feature that won’t charge a battery if the voltage is under 10 volts.
But here’s the trick, if you take a pair of jumper cables and connect a good battery to the bad battery in parallel, like plus to plus and minus to minus.
Then, connect the charger to the good battery. It will trick the charger into thinking the voltage is good and charge both batteries.
Once the bad battery has a voltage above 10 volts, the charger will charge it properly.
4. Add Aspirin to Each Cell
Another trick is if you have a recently discharged battery, you might be able to get one last start by adding half an aspirin to each cell.
I don’t know the science behind it, but it has to do with the chemical properties of aspirin and sulfuric acid in the battery.
5. Battery Reconditioning
Reconditioning a battery is a process of restoring the battery’s capacity by cycling it through a series of charges and discharges. This can help to revive a dead battery by restoring its ability to hold a charge.
6. Check the Age of the Battery
Batteries have a limited lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced. A battery that is more than 3 years old is more likely to die and need replacement.
How to Check if Your Car Battery is Dead
When a car battery is not responsive, it’s either the Alternator is not charging or there’s a leak in the system. To diagnose, do the following:
One thing you can do to figure out the problem is to check the charging current. It’s pretty easy, you just need a current meter, and you’ll place it in series with the cable connected to the battery.
There are two cables – one is the thick one that goes to the starter motor, and the other is the thinner one that carries all the current to and from the battery.
Next, if your alternator is charging, use the meter to measure the discharge current. When the engine is stopped and turned off, the current should be very little or none at all (< 0.1A).
But if it’s more, say, more than 1A, then that means there’s a leak somewhere.
The leakage could be as simple as a light that’s left on or a wire that’s shorting. Finding the problem can be a bit of a hassle and may require some patience and trial and error.
If there’s no leakage and the alternator is charging properly, then the issue is that your battery can’t hold a charge and needs to be replaced.
However, it is worth checking out the battery before buying a new one, as it could save you some money and hassle in the long run.
Reasons Why a Car Battery Would Die
A car battery does not go dead unless of certain contributory factors. Below, we will discuss the possible causes of a dead car battery.
1. Leaving Lights on
One of the most common causes of a dead car battery is leaving lights on when the car is not in use. This can drain the battery of its charge, making it unable to start the car.
2. Short Trips
Taking short trips in your car can also lead to a dead battery. This is because the alternator does not have enough time to recharge the battery during these short trips.
3. Old Battery
Over time, car batteries will naturally lose their ability to hold a charge. This is due to the chemical reactions that take place within the battery, which can weaken the battery’s ability to hold a charge.
4. Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can also cause a dead car battery. In hot temperatures, the battery’s electrolyte can evaporate, weakening the battery’s ability to hold a charge.
In cold temperatures, the battery’s chemical reactions slow down, making it unable to start the car.
Corrosion on the terminals of a car battery can also lead to a dead battery. This is because the corrosion can prevent the electrical connection between the battery and the car from being made.
6. Faulty Alternator
A faulty alternator can also lead to a dead car battery. The alternator is responsible for recharging the battery while the car is running, and if it is not functioning properly, the battery will not be recharged.
7. Drain on the Electrical System
A drain on the car’s electrical system, such as from a faulty component or accessory, can also lead to a dead battery.
8. Loose or Corroded Battery Connections
Loose or corroded battery connections can prevent the battery from being charged or providing power to the car’s electrical system.
9. Dead Cells in Battery
If a battery has one or more dead cells, it can no longer hold a charge and will need to be replaced.
Overcharging the battery can also lead to a dead battery. This is because overcharging can cause damage to the internal structure of the battery, making it unable to hold a charge.
How to Prevent Your Car Battery from Dying
It’s always better to prevent a dead car battery in the first place rather than having to jump-start your car. Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your car battery healthy:
- Regularly Check and Maintain Your Battery: This can include cleaning the terminals, making sure the battery is adequately secured, and checking the electrolyte levels.
- Avoid Taking Short Trips: Short trips don’t allow the battery to charge fully, leading to a dead battery over time.
- Park in a Garage or Other Protected Areas: This can help protect your battery from extreme temperatures.
- Keep a Portable Jump Starter in Your Car: This can be a lifesaver in case your battery does die.
A dead car battery doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With a little knowledge and the right equipment, you can quickly jump-start your car and be on your way.
And with a few preventative measures, you can help keep your battery healthy and avoid a dead battery in the first place.