Your car battery is an essential element, providing power to start the engine and run all of your vehicle’s electrical systems.
However, sometimes even with a new battery, your car may refuse to start or die unexpectedly.
This situation can be frustrating and hazardous if you are driving on busy streets.
In this article, we’ll look at common reasons why new car batteries fail as well as how to diagnose and resolve the problem.
A common reason why new car batteries die is due to alternator problems.
The alternator recharges the battery and supplies power to various electrical systems while the engine runs, but if it’s malfunctioning, your battery won’t receive enough charge and eventually die.
Signs that there may be an issue include dimming headlights, dashboard warning lights, or unusual noises coming from inside of your vehicle.
One potential reason a new car battery may die is from draining.
This occurs when components or accessories continue drawing power from the battery even when the engine has been turned off.
Common culprits for battery drain include faulty headlights, power seats, radios, alarms, and interior lights.
Parasitic drain is similar to battery draining but refers to an electrical component that draws power from the battery even when not in use.
This can be caused by faulty components like relays, switches or sensors.
Parasitic drain can quickly deplete a new battery of its capacity if left unused; leaving you unable to start your car.
Loose or Corroded Battery Connections
Sometimes, the terminals of a battery may become loose or corroded, leading to poor electrical contact between it and your car’s electrical system.
This can cause your battery to discharge rapidly – even with a new one!
Diagnosing the Problem
Determining why your new battery is dying can be tricky, but it is necessary to prevent further harm to your car’s electrical system.
Here are some steps that may help identify what’s causing it:
Check the battery voltage:
Use a voltmeter to test the voltage of your battery.
A fully charged battery should have between 12.6 and 12.8 volts.
Verify the alternator output voltage:
Start the engine and check the alternator’s output voltage – it should range between 13.5 to 14.5 volts.
If there is not enough charge coming from the alternator, your new battery could become overheated, leading to the early death of its cells.
Conduct a parasitic draw test:
Disconnect the negative battery cable and connect an ammeter in series between it and the battery post.
Check the ammeter reading after ten minutes of waiting to confirm no electrical components are drawing power from the source.
How to Address the Issue:
Once you’ve identified what’s causing your new battery’s death, you can move forward with repairs.
Here are some potential solutions:
Clean the battery terminals:
If your battery terminals appear loose or corroded, use a wire brush and battery terminal cleaner to gently clean them away.
Be sure all connections are tight and secure afterward.
Test and Replace the Alternator:
If your alternator isn’t producing enough power, you may need to replace it.
To determine if this is the case, have it tested at an auto parts store.
Install a battery cutoff switch:
A battery cutoff switch can help prevent parasitic drain by disconnecting the battery from its electrical system when not in use.
Inspect and replace other electrical components:
If the problem persists, you may need to inspect and replace other electrical components that could be drawing power from the battery.
Preventive Measures to Avert Battery Issues:
In order to help avoid future battery issues, you can take the following preventive steps:
1. Avoid leaving accessories on when the car is turned off.
2. Drive your car regularly in order to keep its battery charged.
3. Regularly check your battery and alternator for signs of trouble.
4. Keep the terminals on your battery clean and tight at all times.
A new car battery dying can be an annoying and potentially hazardous situation.
But by understanding the common causes and performing necessary diagnostics and repairs, you can prevent further harm to your car’s electrical system.
Furthermore, taking preventive measures now will help avoid future battery issues in the future.
We recommend speaking to a mechanic online or locally to get this issue resolved.
I hope you found this article helpful and if so feel free to check out our other helpful car blogs.
Can a new battery die due to an errant alternator?
Unfortunately, yes. A malfunctioning alternator can prevent charging of the battery, ultimately leading to its demise.
Can a bad starter cause my new battery to die?
Unfortunately, an overly active starter may cause your new battery to drain too much power from its internal source.
How often Should I Have My Battery and Alternator Checked?
It is recommended to get both components tested every six months when getting an oil change.
How can I tell if my battery terminals are loose or corroded?
Visually inspect the terminals for looseness; loose ones may wiggle when touched, while corroded ones will show white or greenish buildup on them.
Can I jumpstart my car if the battery keeps dying?
Absolutely, you can jumpstart your vehicle if its battery keeps dying; however, it is essential to identify and address the underlying problem in order to prevent further harm to its electrical system.