Even if your car battery can be recharged after it had been drained, you really need to know exactly why it died, what condition it’s really in now and whether anything else could be wrong.
Your battery starts your car and also powers the headlights, flashers, interior lights, air conditioning, the radio, etc., when your car isn’t running. Leave a dome light on all night, and you could find a dead battery in the morning. We’ve all been there. Also, batteries don’t respond well to extremes. So, cold winter air temperatures, sitting for a long time in storage without being started, and lack of maintenance can lead to a dead battery.
In cases like these, connecting another car’s battery to yours for a “jump” will probably start your car. Once the car is running, the battery should recharge, if it isn’t too old. Usually, a battery lasts about three to five years. If your battery is getting old and worn out, it’s hard for it to hold a charge and could mean that it is time to replace it.
But here’s the critical question: What’s the condition of your alternator? When your car is running, its electrical systems and electronics are powered by the alternator (think: generator), and the alternator recharges the battery as you drive. If the alternator is failing, your car won’t run long, and even while it is running, the battery may not be recharged adequately. You may not drive far before becoming stranded. Or the next time you turn the car off, you’ll be stuck again with a dead battery and unable to start the engine.
If a newer battery drains because of lights being left on and recharges readily as your car runs, chances are the problem is solved. To be completely sure, though, you have to know the true condition of the battery and the alternator. Your Best-One dealer will be glad to test the battery to see how well it holds a charge, and we can check the alternator for you too. We’ll make sure the power sources for your vehicle are ready to go!
By Lindsey Beer, Best-One® Tire & Service Expert Panelist