7 Things That Can Drain Your Car Battery

Many things can make you feel drained, such as an unbalanced diet, a long day at work, or even spending too much time with others. And while your car battery probably won’t get too many social gatherings outside of business hours, there are plenty of other things that can make it feel just as drained.

What Drains a Car Battery?

A dead car battery can be annoying, but it can also be avoided. To avoid a dead battery, the first thing you need to know is what’s causing it. Put those jumper wires aside and check out these seven things that could explain why your car battery keeps draining.

1. You left your headlights on.

If your car battery continues to run out, the first thing to do is to check your lights. Many newer vehicles have headlights that can be turned off after a certain period of time. If your car doesn’t have this feature, your headlights may stay on until you either turn them off or until your car battery is completely discharged.

2. Something is causing a “parasitic draw.”

Even when your car is turned off, your battery powers things like the clock, radio, and alarm system. These things shouldn’t affect your battery much. Interior lighting, door lighting or even bad fuses can discharge a car battery when it is switched off.

While your engine is running, the alternator charges the battery so you usually don’t have to worry about the battery running out while you blow the radio on your drive to work! However, when the engine is off, the alternator cannot charge the battery, so small electrical breakdowns can completely discharge the battery. The battery drain caused by these electric whoopsies is known as parasitic drag.

You can avoid parasitic pulling forces by turning off all lights and making sure the trunk, glove box, and doors are completely closed and latched before getting out of the car.

3. Your battery connections are loose or corroded.

The positive and negative terminals attached to your battery can sometimes loosen over time. These connections can also corrode. If your terminals loosen or corrode, you may have problems starting the vehicle as your battery cannot transmit its power properly!

They could even fail while driving or damage the vehicle’s electronic components. You can avoid corrosion problems by cleaning your car’s battery terminals regularly!

4. It’s extremely hot or cold outside.

Frozen winter weather and hot summer days can cause problems with your vehicle’s battery. Newer batteries tend to be more resistant to extreme seasonal temperatures. However, if your battery is older, extreme cold or heat can affect its performance or even cause it to become completely empty! When you notice your battery is struggling to brave the elements

5. The battery isn’t charging while you drive.

Your car relies on your battery to start the engine. However, when your vehicle is driving, your battery relies on the alternator to keep it charged. If your alternator isn’t working properly, it can’t effectively power your battery, which can make your car difficult to start even if you’ve just been driving!

Related Post :-  How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Alternator?

If your car won’t start after driving, there may be a possibility that it is your alternator.

6. You’re taking too many short drives.

Starting the engine uses a tremendous amount of power from your battery, but as mentioned earlier, the alternator charges your battery while the engine is running. However, if you make frequent short trips, the alternator may not have enough time to properly charge the battery between pit stops, especially if you have an older battery. In the long run, frequent short trips can shorten the life of your car battery.

If I tell you, you can increase your battery life or run like new again. Check out How to increase battery life by reconditioning it.

7. Your battery is old.

Nothing lasts forever, including your car’s battery. In some cases, your vehicle’s battery can last up to five years. However, it depends on where you live and how you drive. Extreme temperatures, frequent short trips, and everyday life can shorten the life of your battery to two to three years.

If your car battery runs out quickly even after jump-starting, it may be time for a new one to Recondition your battery. But how? Check out How to recondition a car battery?

What To Do When Your Car Battery Dies

The most common way to deal with a dead battery is to jump-start it up. All you need to jump-start a car is a set of jumper cables and another car (a good Samaritan) with a working battery. Remember that you should never attempt to start a car if the battery is damaged and there is visible acid leakage.

Still, confused check out How to Jump-Start a Car?.

To safely jump a start, follow these steps:

  1. Take out your jumper cables: It is a good idea to purchase a set of jumper cables and keep them in your car. If you don’t have jumper cables, you need to find good jumper cables.
  2. Put both vehicles in the park or neutral and switch off the ignition in both vehicles: also apply both parking brakes.
  3. Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery. It has “POS” or “+” or it is larger than the negative terminal.
  4. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other vehicle.
  5. Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the other battery.
  6. Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that is not near the battery. Use one of the metal braces that is holding the hood open.
  7. Try to start your vehicle: if it does not start, make sure the cables are connected properly and let the Good Samaritan run his engine for five minutes. Then try starting your car again. If it still does not start, your battery may need help.
Related Post :-  How to Charge a Car Battery?- Quickly and Safely

Still, confused about what to do? Here is another article How to jump-start a car?

If the jump works and your car starts, don’t shut off your engine! Drive around for at least 15 minutes to recharge your battery. If the car won’t start the next time you use it, the battery isn’t holding a charge and needs to be replaced.


What can drain your car battery?

7 Things That Can Drain Your Car Battery

  1. You left your headlights on.
  2. Something is causing a “parasitic draw.”
  3. Your battery connections are loose or corroded.
  4. It’s extremely hot or cold outside
  5. The battery isn’t charging while you drive
  6. You’re taking too many short drives.
  7. Your battery is old.

What can drain a car battery when the car is off?

Even while your car is off, your battery provides power to things like the clock, the radio, and the alarm system. These things shouldn’t have a major impact on your battery. What may drain a car battery when it’s off are things such as interior lights, door lights, or even bad relays.

What would cause a car battery to drain overnight?

This can be a result of various factors including the number one because which is leaving headlights, glove box lights, or cabin lights on overnight. Parasitic drain can also be caused by defective fuses, bad wiring, and poor installation of a new car battery.

Why does my car battery died after sitting for a few days?

A car battery that dies after sitting for a few days will either need replacing due to age or be suffering from a parasitic drain. A badly wired radio, a faulty relay, or a phone charger left plugged in could all be drawing power from the battery while the car is sitting.

What causes battery to drain fast?

Here are some of the most common ones: There are too many push notifications and alerts draining the battery. There are too many apps running location services. There are too many apps running in the background.

How do I know when my car battery needs replacing?

How to Know When it is Time to Replace Your Car Battery

  1. Your Battery Struggles to Combat Seasonal Challenges.
  2. Your Car Has Been Sitting for Too Long.
  3. Your Vehicle Struggles When Starting.
  4. Your Battery Is Older and Triggers a Dashboard Light.
  5. Alternative Starting and Battery Problems.

Are drained batteries useful or harmful?

While throwing away batteries may seem harmless, it can have dire effects on the environment. Each battery contains hazardous, toxic, and corrosive materials like mercury, cadmium, lithium, and lead.

How long should I keep my car running to charge the battery?

Be sure to drive your car for about 30 minutes before stopping again so the battery can continue to charge. Otherwise, you might need another jump start.

Does idling a car charge the battery?

Assuming the alternator, engine, belt, and battery are all in working order, then yes, a car battery will charge when idling. The only caveat is that it doesn’t really “charge” that fast. This is solely due to the fact that the engine doesn’t have a load on it when your car is simply idling.

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Will a car start after sitting for 2 weeks?

A car sitting idle starts to have issues after a few weeks if it remains untouched, with a few contributing factors considered. Ideally, you want to start up your car at least once a week and drive it around for a good 20 minutes to help recharge the battery and get the fluids running.

How fix battery drains fast?

7 Steps to Fix Battery Draining So Fast Android

  • Check Battery Usage of Phone Apps.
  • Switch Off the Auto-Brightness Setting.
  • Turn Off Unimportant Notifications.
  • Disable Connections Manually on Android.
  • Shorten the Screen Timeout on Android.
  • Check the Software Glitches.
  • Keep Battery Healthy.

How can I test my car battery at home?

Watch the brightness of your headlights. If your headlights dim noticeably as the engine turns over, your battery doesn’t pass the load test. The battery should hold enough charge to handle the 10-15 minutes before the engine starts, and once the engine turns over.

What happens if batteries are not disposed properly?

But by not disposing of batteries accordingly, you risk highly hazardous materials entering the ecosystem, killing wildlife, and polluting the water. For this reason, placing them in the general waste bin is not a safe option, as their harmful contents will return to our water supplies.

Why mismanagement of battery waste can be harmful?

Battery recycling is very vital as it contains heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury which if comes in contact with the environment is very harmful. Hence, should be handled properly.

How long should I run my car after a jump start?

After getting a jump, you should leave your car running for at least 30 minutes. For more reliable results, drive it around instead of letting it idle. This should fully charge the battery so it won’t die on you again.

How long should you run a car after a flat battery?

After you’ve done a jump-start, you’ll need to keep the vehicle’s engine running for around 30 minutes to allow the alternator time to charge the battery sufficiently.

How far do you need to drive to charge a car battery?

On the upside, the alternator would charge the battery in no time. Most cars will charge a flat healthy battery after thirty minutes of driving at highway speeds without using electrical components such as lights, HVAC, and wipers.

How far do you have to drive to charge a car battery?

“It needs to be driven and not idled.” That means driving at least 10 km at a time, and longer in the winter, because you’re using the heater, rear defroster, and heated seats – they draw a lot of power, which means less power will be available to recharge the battery, Feist says.

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