There is nothing more annoying than attempting to start up your car only to realize that your battery is dead especially when you are in a hurry. According to the knowledgeable experts at Citywide Towing Service there are a number of reasons why your battery can drain including an old battery or problems with your alternator.
What Can Drain a Car Battery When the Vehicle is Off?
Does this scenario sound familiar? You are running late and you rush out to jump into your car only to discover that your car won’t start, your headlights are dimmer than they should be and the engine refuses to even turn over. Your car ran perfectly the day before so the million dollar question is, how did this happen? The top five reasons that cause a car battery to drain include:
Human Error: Most of us have experienced this scenario at least once and if you haven’t the likelihood that you will is pretty high. You are in a hurry rushing to get home after a stressful day at work and you jump out of the car and forget to turn off your headlights or you are unloading the trunk and when you are finished you don’t latch it properly and the interior light stays on. The next morning your car won’t start because your battery has drained overnight. Many of the newer cars on the market will beep with an alert if you accidentally leave your headlights on but most cars and SUV’s don’t have alerts for door hatches and trunks.
Parasitic Drain: A parasitic drain is caused when the electrical components within your car continue to run even after your key is turned into the off position. While some battery drain is considered normal for items including your clock, security alarm and preset controls on your radio if your vehicle experiences an electrical issue a parasitic drain can exceed what the battery is designed to handle leaving you with a battery that is essentially drained to the point that the engine won’t even turn over.
Compromised Charging: Your charging system is designed to charge your car battery while you are driving but if it is compromised it can drain your battery. Most vehicles power your operating systems including your lights and radio from the alternator which can quickly deplete your battery especially when you are experiencing a charging issue. In fact the likely hood that you will be stuck on the side of the road stranded is fairly high when your charging system is malfunctioning. Contact your regular mechanic for a diagnosis and repair of your charging system.
Defective Alternator Diode: One of the functions of your cars alternator is to power some of your electrical systems and recharge your battery. When your alternator has a bad or malfunctioning diode it can cause the circuits to continue charging even when the engine is turned off. The next morning you will find yourself with a dead battery and a car that refuses to start.
Old Car Battery: If your battery is aging there is a good chance that it will no longer continue to hold a full charge. One of the most common warning signs of an aging battery is when your car starts intermittently. It is recommended that you replace your car battery every 4 to 5 years. If you are having problems with your car starting and your battery is old consider replacing the battery as soon as possible to avoid further issues.
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A battery that won’t hold a charge is frustrating to say the least. Finding yourself with a vehicle that won’t start or ending up stuck on the side of the road is even more frustrating. Contact the knowledgeable experts at Citywide Towing Service for professional roadside assistance or emergency towing services.