The average car battery lasts about six years. There are three main symptoms of a car battery going bad: you turn the key and it’s slow to start, it doesn’t seem to hold a charge as long, and it won’t recharge as well after you run the electrical system awhile.
There can be several reasons why your car battery died suddenly. Some of the most common include loose or corroded battery connections, chronic under-hood heat exposure, charging system problems and age. But there are two factors that commonly kill batteries in the first year or two—and they’re easily avoidable.
Your battery is reaching its lifespan.
The short answer is that your battery is reaching its lifespan. Most batteries have an average lifespan of about 5 years and it’s always best to replace them before they die completely. The surest way to know when it’s time for a checkup on your battery is by taking a look at your owner’s manual, but if you don’t have one handy and you’re in the ballpark of five years, I’d recommend getting it checked out as soon as possible.
You left your lights on.
You may have left your lights on. It’s easy to do, especially if you’re parked somewhere without security lights at night. When you’re tired and running around doing errands all day, the last thing on your mind is the position of your car’s light switch when you shut off the engine.
You’re not driving enough.
Are you not driving your car for at least 15 minutes every day? That can be a problem. It is recommended that you drive for at least 15 minutes a day. The constant charging of the battery from the engine keeps it in good shape.
Have you driven less than five times every month? If so, then that’s a big problem! And I don’t think there will be any way to recuperate your battery without replacing it or having it charged by a professional mechanic. If this is the case, then simply buying a new battery would cost less than having yours reconditioned by professionals.
However, if your car is just sitting around in the garage and you have no plans to use it anytime soon, at least take out the old battery and charge it manually every month with a portable charger to maintain its health. You can also use that portable charger to help get yourself going when your main battery has failed on you. Just hook up your portable charger to your car’s electrical system and supply enough current to jumpstart it until you are able to get home or reach an auto repair shop for further assistance.
That’s about all there is to know about why batteries die suddenly and what causes them to do so! This article should provide some peace of mind if this happens again someday because now you know how easy (and expensive) fixing these problems can be!
Your connections are loose.
If your battery suddenly died, here’s a possibility: Your connections are loose. Check the battery terminals first to see if they’re corroded. If so, you’ll need to clean them and tighten the connections. This is especially important for batteries that have sat for a long time without use or for older batteries that haven’t been properly maintained.
To get started, you can clean the terminals with some baking soda mixed into water poured on top of them. Next, you should use an adjustable wrench to tighten the hold on the terminal clamps (if your battery cable ends have hex nuts or bolts instead of clamps, use a socket wrench instead). You may also want to consider replacing any cables that are in bad shape and making sure all connections are secure by tightening them down with pliers or wrenches or by reinserting them into their receptacles if they come loose at any point during cleaning and tightening.
There’s a battery leak somewhere.
If you see a leak, it’s likely your car’s battery is toast. But don’t rush out to buy a new battery just yet—before you do that, make sure the leak is actually coming from the battery. To check, take a look at your terminals and cables: Is there acid or corrosion around them? If so, it’ll need to be cleaned off with water and baking soda before you try turning on your vehicle again. If there’s no damage to the terminals or cables but you still can’t start up your car, it’s probably time for a new battery. The only way to know for sure is by having it checked at an auto shop—remember that batteries aren’t always cheap and can run around $100 depending on what type of car you have.
You’ve been exposed to extreme heat or cold.
Extreme heat and cold can cause a battery to die. Extreme heat will cause your battery to expand until the fluid inside evaporates, preventing the chemical reaction that produces electricity from taking place. Extreme cold can cause your battery to contract, causing the fluid inside to freeze and expand. This will prevent it from starting as well.
You have a charging system problem.
If your car’s battery is dying, it’s likely because your alternator isn’t working. The alternator, which is powered by the engine through a belt, helps charge the battery and powers other electrical systems in the car. If the alternator belt has become loose or worn out, then it won’t spin fast enough to generate enough electricity to keep up with vehicle demands. Even if there’s no problem with the belt, it may not be spinning at a high enough speed to generate enough power—or it could simply have gone bad.
You should bring your vehicle to a qualified specialist to diagnose the issue
A car battery failure can mean a lot of reasons. There are few scenarios that we can come up with:
- Corrosion build-up in the battery, on the terminals, or on the cables and connectors
- Bad alternator
- Failure in voltage regulator