How To Know If Car Battery Is Dead;

How To Know If Car Battery Is Dead: 9 Warning Signs

You have already woken up late one morning, and you hurried for the office. But after putting the key into the ignition, the car is not starting. You have tried several times. But nothing works out. The first guessing point of this problem can be a dead car battery.

The cranking motor or the starter needs sufficient power to start your engine. Car batteries play a key role to supply power to different car components. Your car starter will fail to get sufficient electricity to run the engine with a bad battery.

However, other problems may also prevent you from starting the car. So, how to know if car battery is dead? Read this article to learn the signs of a bad car battery and how to overcome this problem.

How To Know If Car Battery Is Completely Dead

You can see different symptoms when your vehicle battery is fully dead. These include lack of responses from the ignition, engine running but stops immediately, cranking occurring but no start of the engine, swollen or bloated battery shape, odd smells coming from the battery, etc.

How to Know if Car Battery Is Dead: 9 Warning Signs Your Car Battery Is Dying

As per our research, we found 9 warning signs that your car battery may be dying. Please have a look of this 9 signs as follows.

Nine Common Signs of A Dead Battery In A Car

9 Warning Signs That Your Car Battery May Be Dying
1. Lack Of Responses From Ignition 2. Slow Engine Cranking
3. Dim Headlights 4. Too Old Battery
5. Bad Smells 6. Electrical Issues
7. Misshapen Battery 8. Imperfectly Connected Battery Terminals
9. Quick Charge Drains


Sign#1: Lack Of Responses From Ignition

When the car doesn’t start after putting the key inside the ignition, the starter motor might be not get enough power to start the engine. It is a clear pointing of a dead battery.

Sign#2: Slow Engine Cranking

Slow engine cranking may happen if your car battery is going to die soon. You will hear a slow racking sound after trying to start it.

Sign#3: Dim Headlights

When your car battery has the maximum power, the headlights will have the brightest light. But you will see a reverse situation if the vehicle battery is dead. Checking the battery condition is important if headlights are not bright enough.

Sign#4: Too Old Battery

Generally, the average durability of car batteries is approximately 4-5 years. But bad driving habits and exposing the battery to too cold or too hot temperature may make the batteries bad within a short time. Replace them if they become too old.

Sign#5: Bad Smells

Do you smell a bad odour like rotten eggs? You may experience it from a leaking battery. It mainly occurs when the battery is excessively damaging. Quickly replacing it is necessary.

Sign#6: Electrical Issues

The latest vehicles come with many modern components that require continuous power to run. These electrical parts mainly extract power from car batteries.

If these components are not working properly, you want to check out your battery condition.

Sign#7: Misshapen Battery

An oversized or swollen battery is a clear indication of a dysfunctional battery. This mainly occurs when hydrogen gases are accumulated inside it.

Overcharging the car’s alternator loads an excessive amount of gases quickly, which the battery fails to evaporate fast.

Sign#8: Imperfectly Connected Battery Terminals

Properly connecting the battery terminal at their respective place is important to make the battery function smoothly. If the terminals are loose, tighten them adequately. But don’t overdo it.

Sign#9: Quick Charge Drains

The retaining charge capacity of a car battery reduces over time. If you need to charge the vehicle battery more often than previously you did, test the battery performance using a battery tester.

What Causes A Dead Car Battery?

Though car batteries have a limited lifespan, your using approach, external environments and other things may make it die within a short time.

What Causes A Dead Car Battery;

  • Excessive Cold Weather

Too much frozen weather can degrade battery performance rapidly. If the temperature goes less than 0°F, the battery will start freezes, which will cause expansion of their cells. This will cause irreparable damage to them.

  • Intense Corrosion

When you create a corrosive environment around the car battery, it affects the charging capacity and shortens its lifespan.

Corrosion mainly is visible at the terminal, which you can clean easily using a dry rag or a stiff wire brush.

  • Age of Battery

Car batteries will stay for a decent period, but it is limited. After a certain period of time, they will drain the charge more rapidly and won’t hold a charge as long as it they used to do. Consider replacing them after 4 to 5 years based on your usage pattern.

  • Failed Alternator

An alternator plays the key role to create electricity for a vehicle while operating the engine. The engine system stores extra power from the battery to start the engine and run other accessories when the car is shut down.

However, if there are any alternator issues, the charge won’t last for a decent period. Hence, you will fail to start the car sometimes or often.

  • Leaving Lights/Accessories On

One of the most common practices among many drivers is leaving the lights or accessories on mistakenly for overnight or several hours. This will drain the battery, causing a dead battery.

  • Failed Charging System

If the battery dies while driving the car, the charging system appears the main culprit. Generally, the alternator of the battery is facing difficulty to supply power to the battery. This will stop the vehicle.

An alternator fails to perform its task if the belts become loose or stretched. This creates an extra force for it.

7 Steps to Safely Jump start a Dead Car Battery

Does your car battery become dead? Wondering how to start it again? The process is simple. You can jump-start your car safely with the help of another car.

7 Steps to Safely Jump start a Dead Car Battery;

You just need a pair of cables to connect your car battery with another vehicle. If you don’t have any cables with you, take them from another car owner. Here is the process to follow.

Step# 1: Parking Both Vehicles Close

At first, you need to bring both cars close to each other. Avoid keeping more than two feet gap between your car and the working car to prevent stretching the cables. Keep them in a parallel position. Turn both cars off.

Step#2: Connecting Positive To Positive

Find out the positive terminals of your car battery and connect it with the red or positive clamps of the jumper cable. Don’t forget to double-check to verify the correct connection of the battery.

Step#3: Connecting Negative To Negative

Locate the negative terminals of the vehicle battery and attach them with the black or negative clamps of the jumper cable. You can mark the negative terminal for easy recognition in the future.

Step#4: Give Priority to Safety

It is crucial to give priority to safety before anything else. That’s why start connecting the positive cables to your dead battery first and then connect it to the working vehicle.

At first, connecting the positive cables to the working engine may create an unsafe working condition. If you feel a bit risky, it is better to call a mechanic to handle the job.

Step#5: Running the Working Car

Begin running the working car. Add some gas to the vehicle for better efficiency and no running out of the vehicle. Keep it in that condition for several minutes and let it charge the dead battery of your car.

Step#6: Starting Your Own Vehicle

Now, start your own car while the cables are connected to the working car.

You may fail to run it immediately. Wait for several minutes to let it begin working.

Step#7: Disconnecting the Cables

Once you have successfully turned on your vehicle, you can disconnect the cables. Make sure to follow the reverse method to take off the cables from the cars.

At first, you need to take off the negative cable from your own vehicle and then disconnect it from the working car.

Likewise, detach the positive wire from your own car and take it off from the working vehicle.

How Do I Check Whether a Car’s Battery Is Dead?

Using a multimeter, you can check whether the car battery is dead or still in good condition. If you don’t have enough mechanical knowledge, purchase a multimeter from your nearby shop and test the battery condition of your own.

How Do I Check Whether a Car's Battery Is Dead;

Testing your car battery health using a multimeter is simple. At first, you need to set up the multimeter at 15-20 volts and connect the wires to the battery terminals positive and negative, respectively. Then read voltage.

You can check out the ideal voltage of your car battery by checking the user’s manual. Generally, it should be around 12.6 volts. If it is less than that, your battery has become bad or dead.

How to Know If Car Battery Needs To Be Replaced?

How to Know If Car Battery Needs To Be Replaced;

Your car battery will show different symptoms when you need to replace it.

  • Your battery may show incompatibility or fail to sustain a good performance with the seasonal changes, like when it is too hot or cold.
  • Keeping your vehicle idle for several months or one year may end up damaging the quality of the battery. It may become dead.
  • If you often need to try several times to start the car, your battery may not have sufficient power to run the engine at the first attempt.
  • Generally, a decent quality battery may last up to 4-5 years from regular use. It is better to replace the battery if the battery is not sustaining enough charge to support all the electrical components of your vehicle.

How to Avoid a Dead Car Battery in the Winter

Due to the extreme freeze weather in the winter, our car batteries often become dead. Here are the tips you can follow to avoid having a dead car battery in the winter.

How to Avoid a Dead Car Battery in the Winter;

  1. Replace your battery if it has already become too old. You should replace it within five years.
  2. Make sure to remove corrosion from the surrounding area of the battery terminals. This will ensure better functionality during the winter.
  3. Place a battery blanket around the battery to protect it from the cold weather and keep it at a normal temperature.
  4. Avoid using unnecessary electrical components such as radio, lights, or cell phone chargers during cold weather. They may eat up sufficient charge, making the battery dead.
  5. Make sure your battery has an adequate charge while driving your car. This will ensure no issues for starting the car the next time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions of Dead Car Battery;

Q1. Can a Completely Dead Battery Be Recharged?

A) If there is no issue other than the battery, you can recharge the dead battery using a charger or following a jump start system.

Q2. How Often Does a Car Need a New Battery?

A) It is best to change your vehicle battery every 4-5 years to ensure better electrical components' functionality.

Q3. How Do I Test a Car Battery?

A) You can test a car battery using a multimeter to compare the ideal voltage and current voltage of the battery.

Q4. How to Start a Car with a Dead Battery without Another Car?

A) If you want to start a vehicle with a dead battery without another vehicle, you can use a portable battery charger to recharge the dead battery.

Q5. What Should I Do if My Car Battery Is Dead?

A) You can recharge it if you have a portable charger or follow the jump-start approach to recharge the battery. Replacing it seems necessary if it is damaged fully.

Q6. Where Can I Bring My Old Car Battery?

A) You can bring it to a nearby recycling shop or any garage that buys old batteries.

Q7. Why Does the Battery Die Again After a Jump?

A) Your battery may die even after a jump if it doesn't have enough charge, there is any problem with the car charging system, or the battery has become too old.

Q8. What Causes a Car Battery to Die Quickly?

A) A car battery may die quickly for different reasons such as poor maintenance, unnecessarily keeping on the headlights or other electrical components, loose or corroded battery connections, defective charging system, etc.

Final Thought

Are you still wondering about this question: How to know if car battery is dead? A car battery may become dead for several reasons depending upon its health and external environment. Keeping it in tip-top condition is crucial to start your vehicle smoothly every time.

It is a solid rule of thumb to check your car battery health using a multimeter regularly. If you don’t have the mechanical knowledge, you can test it from your nearby garage. Replacing the battery is better when its battery performance is not up to mark.

Hopefully, this article has helped to learn all the in-depth details to know when your car battery becomes dead. Don’t forget to take care of your vehicle battery by charging and cleaning it regularly.

About the author

Michael is the lead content creator for As a car enthusiast and based on his real life experiences he is sharing his opinion about various automotive vehicles and parts. So you can get the best experience! Happy reading.

About The Author

Michael H. Smith

Michael H. Smith

Michael is the lead content creator for As a car enthusiast and based on his real life experiences he is sharing his opinion about various automotive vehicles and parts. So that our reader, can focus solely on buying best gadgets for their automobile and get the best products reviews and guide experience!

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