DOA Power Source: What’s Draining the Car Battery?

You may baby the family car on a daily basis, but repair problems will always arise at the worst times. In fact, the car battery tends to take up a lot of your time. The car might need a jump, solid troubleshooting or a new battery altogether. Get familiar with the reasons why your batter power is lacking. The answer might be a simple one to solve.

Basic Old Age

A car battery can last for about five years, reports Nationwide. This lifespan can differ, however, when there are other influencing factors. If you have a battery that’s lasted for more than five years, it’s on borrowed time.

A battery that seems to drain down with record speed may be simply aging. These old batteries cannot hold their charge as well as before. The battery usage is too overwhelming. Replacing this component is the ultimate solution.

Huge Temperature Swings

Battery draining is almost a guarantee when ambient temperatures are either too hot or cold. Sulfate is one of the internal compounds used to charge and discharge power from the battery. A significant change in temperature causes the sulfate to crystallize.

These crystals cause a slowdown when it comes to battery power. Operating a car with a well-maintained cooling system can make a difference in the battery’s lifespan. Park the car in garages whenever possible too. Any insulation from the outside weather can help the battery thrive.

Electrical Fault

Any short within your car’s wiring can cause draining issues. The alternator could also be a culprit. Battery usage seems infinite when you’re driving down the road, and that perception is thanks to the alternator. It charges the battery.

A fault in the alternator, belts or wiring contributes to a failed battery. You might notice that the car seems to lose power as you pull up to a stop light, for example.

Every Additional Accessory

Today’s vehicle options are vast, from loud stereos to Bluetooth connectivity. Every item seems to draw power from the car battery.Popular Mechanics¬†advises that too many accessories might be draining the battery. This drain doesn’t necessarily occur during the car’s operations either.

The accessories draw minute amounts of power from the battery as everything remains off. When you try to turn over the engine after a good night’s rest, there’s no battery power to draw from.

Lights On, No One Home

How to prevent battery drainage also relies on your attention to the vehicle’s lighting system. Leaving any light on, including the trunk, will drain batteries. Many of the latest car models have automatic lights, which makes people complacent about checking for forgotten illuminations. These lights drain batteries with relative speed.

You should be able to jump your battery after a drainage issue with left-on lights. The experience might make you more aware of the lights in the future.

Lack of Road Trips

Extremely short trips, such as less than a single mile, will drain car batteries. The problem lies in the duration. Your battery just supplied the entire car with a lot of power upon ignition. It’s time for the alternator to charge the battery. However, the alternator cannot perform this charge within a mile’s time. Driving for several miles at once will give the battery a solid charge without the drainage issue.

Corroded Battery Wires

Battery power becomes an issue when corrosion is a factor. Battery wires and terminals can corrode over time. This hardened residue becomes two very separate problems, including:

  • Creating shorts that damage the battery
  • Forming barriers to the electrical current trying to recharge the battery

Clean off corrosion as quickly as it develops. This tip is one of the most important ones. How to prevent battery drainage starts with regular maintenance.

Regardless of the technology, your battery should last for many months. Pinpointing any problems will get you back on the road.