The car battery keeps dying for a number of reasons that are related to mechanical issues or human error. Whichever the case, it will determine whether the car battery dies over and over again or once in a number of miles. There is no cause for alarm if the battery dies once in between a substantial amount of mileage.
Alternatively, if the battery keeps dying from time to time repeatedly then there is a problem that requires your attention. This problem will cause your car not to start properly or the car will just be cranking for a long time before it starts. If the car cranks loudly for a while, this is a problem cause by a drained battery. On the other hand if the car starter just produces clicking sounds the fault could be originating from somewhere that isn’t the battery. For example, it could be some common car electrical problems or a faulty spark plug.
Further may I suggest conducting tests before you can conclude that it’s the battery’s fault. For example, try using the wipers, turning the headlights on or even using the radio. Here are some other common problems that could be the reasons why the car battery keeps dying.
1. Bad alternator.
When the car engine is turned on, the alternator usually charges the car battery as well as it powers the car’s accessories. But when the engine is off, it’s the battery which powers the car accessories.
The car engine needs the voltage from the car battery in order to start fuel combustion. This process gives the engine the power it needs to move the car. A faulty alternator won’t work well when the engine is running.
Because when the engine is running, the alternator recharges the battery. The volts used during the engine start need to be restored when the engine is running. If the charging system isn’t working, the used up volts won’t be restored. For this reason the battery is at a risk of dying. Eventually all the battery’s charge will get used up by accessories and the engine start process.
Some of the faults that the alternator belt could have include being torn up. Secondly, the belt could be loose which makes it unable to supply the necessary power.
2. Corroded or loose battery connection.
The battery connections are prone to becoming loose over time. This is due to the shaking of the vehicle while you travel. When you notice that the lights are flickering or some of the accessories like radio are not receiving sufficient power, this could be the reason. Assess the battery connections at the battery terminals to ensure they are tightened. If not, just fasten them on the battery terminals.
Afterwards ensure that you check whether the terminals are free from corrosion. Terminals are usually prone to moisture, dust and oils within the engine hood. These elements may accumulate on the terminals to form a thick cover that prevents proper volt transfer. Firstly, start by removing the negative terminal connection followed by the positive. Afterwards, clean the terminal to free it from the accumulated corrosive substance. Later connect the cables starting with the positive terminal then the negative. Ensure that they are properly attached so that they don’t become loose again.
3. Parasitic drain.
This originates from the common electrical problems of the car. If this is the case, then you will have to assess the car’s fuse box first. May I recommend having a professional vehicle inspection for this. When the car is parked and the engine is off, parasitic drain gets charge from the battery. The power from the battery goes through the fuse box in order to reach other areas like the wipers. When you take the car to a battery expert after it keeps dying, ensure they look at the fuse box. They are located in different areas of the car depending on the manufacturer.
Apart from the fuse box having problems, the parasitic drain could be coming from the electronic components. Such accessories will drain the battery when the engine is off until they are turned off manually. For example, the car alarm, door light, cabin light, dashboard, car alarm amongst others.
4. Bad or Old Battery.
A battery’s expiry date is one of the important things to check when buying a new car battery. For some car batteries there is regular maintenance after a specified number of miles. While for others, there is no need for maintenance yet the battery serves you as it should until it runs out of juice.
When you start observing corrosion on the battery terminals, its about time to check the expiry date. Further, the battery’s performance declines. Which we can see when the car takes too long to start and the headlights are dim. Also conduct tests on the windshield washers and other electronic components. Further, observe if the first time the battery dies and you jumpstart it then it dies again.
5. Human error.
Sometimes, it’s your fault that the car battery keeps dying. Perhaps you didn’t turn off every electronic component of the car when you parked it and switched it off. For example, the radio, lights or other accessories. All you have to do is jump start the car and the alternator will cater for the lost charge.