Realising that your car has a flat battery is one of the most frustrating experiences when it comes to driving a car. It can derail your day, make you late for work and seemingly come out of nowhere.
To avoid a dead car battery, there are a couple of steps you can take to reduce this risk. In this article, we’re going to look at some causes of a dead car battery, how to tell if a car battery is dead, and how to start a car with a dead battery. You can also read how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced.
What Causes a Flat Battery?
There are many things that can play a part in discovering a dead car battery. These can include environmental problems, how often you use your car and even user error.
The best way to avoid a dead car battery is to learn about these problems so you can hopefully avoid making them yourself.
Wear and Tear
One of the things you should keep in mind when it comes to car batteries is that they only have a finite lifespan. Over time and repeated use, the lifespan of your battery will slowly decrease until it eventually gives up.
The average lifespan of a car battery is around 3-5 years depending on usage. It’s a good idea to check when your car battery was installed and set a reminder for when to start looking for replacements.
Short or Infrequent Journeys
Without delving too much into the technical side of things, you’ll need to remember that every time you start your car you are draining the battery. Your car’s battery will slowly recharge while you are driving through the use of an alternator, but this depends on how long your journeys are.
If you take short journeys, your alternator won’t have enough time to recharge your car battery and it will slowly lose charge over time.
Car batteries will also naturally lose charge as time passes. If you aren’t planning on using your car for a while, it’s a good idea to disconnect the battery and hook it up to a trickle charger to keep it topped up with charge.
As cars have become more and more advanced, the amount of technology that a single car includes has increased exponentially. Most cars will have a stereo, satellite navigation, brighter headlights, and even in-car entertainment to enjoy. These will all drain the car battery when in use.
If you forget to turn these off when the engine isn’t running, you’ll quickly deplete the charge of the battery. For example, if you leave your headlights on overnight, you could well come out to a car that won’t start in the morning.
Solutions on How to Start a Car with a Dead Battery
Jump Start Your Car
You can easily jump start your vehicle if you need to get moving in a hurry. This requires you to connect your dead battery to a running car with jumper cables. This will give your battery the boost it needs to start your car. This is an easy process to follow and won’t take longer than five minutes. We’ve written a detailed guide on all the steps you’ll need to follow to jump start your car.
Once you have managed to start your car, you’ll want to drive it around for a while to charge up the battery as much as possible to avoid a dead battery again.
Charge the Battery Overnight
If you don’t think your car battery is damaged, you can easily charge it yourself. A cheap way to do this is to pick up a battery charger and top up the charge at home. To do this, simply remove your car battery, hook it up to your battery charger and charge it at the lowest speed for around 12 hours. For more details on how to do this, check how to charge your car battery.
Replace the Dead Battery
If you still can’t manage to get your car to start and believe your car battery is completely dead, you should purchase a new one. To do this, you’ll either want to use a license plate checker or your owner’s handbook to find out what battery you require and then install it into your vehicle.
We would always recommend you take your car to a trained mechanic to replace your battery, but if you are confident working on your own vehicle we have written a comprehensive guide on how to replace your car battery. Not only will this save you some money, but it will also have you up and running again in no time.