Why is my car’s battery draining? How do I find out what’s draining my car battery? What are the ways to prevent it?…
There are many factors that can cause your car’s battery to drain even when your car is not being used. In this article, we’ve highlighted the top 7 things that will drain your car battery and how you can prevent them.
Top 7 Things That Will Drain Your Car Battery Quickly
#1. Human Error
Yes, human error. Everyone makes mistakes, and you too can, either knowingly or unknowingly. Your car can drain the battery quickly if you forget to turn it off properly.
For example, you may have forgotten to shut your boot properly or turn off the headlights or interior lights. Anyways, those things will drain power from your energy or even exhaust it overnight.
Eventually, the car may not start in the morning. Some cars will automatically turn off the lights if they’ve been on for too long or make a warning beep. However, most cars still require manual effort.
#2. Parasitic Drain
One or two things may still keep running in the background even after you switched off your car. Yes, this isn’t something new, as most technology devices also have this feature.
This reason is that some components must always get power if they’re to serve you well. This includes the memory for the clock as well as the radio presets.
Now, background activity is programmed by the manufacturers, so it won’t consume any noticeable or significant portion of your battery.
However, a problem may arise as a result of another problem in another part of your car. When that happens, the drain might exceed what is normal.
A good example is the case of an electrical problem. Other examples include a damaged relay switch, computer module, alarms, headlights, boot or glove box lights, or other electrical components.
#3. Environmental Factors (Temperature)
Depending on the type of battery your car is using, it will have a temperature range. When the minimum or maximum temperature value is exceeded, it may not be suitable for use until it comes back to the recommended value.
You can check one of our articles where we explained the 8 types of car batteries. It will help you understand the type of battery your car is using and other important details.
Don’t Miss – Types Of Car Batteries Available in Nigeria
#4. Old, Tired, Worn-out Battery
Maybe your car battery is draining so fast because it has outlived its longevity. If you have been noticing a gradual reduction in performance, or corrosion on the battery, those are signs that it is dying.
If you notice any of these signs, you can confirm by getting it checked by a professional. If the performance still drops after jump-starting it, then you should start saving for the worst-case scenario.
#5. Irregular Car Usage
Let’s dive into battery insights for a while. Whenever you want to start your car, the battery supplies a surge of power. When your car starts to move and is on the road, the alternator will recharge the battery to make up for the power used to start the car and keep it running.
Do the mathematics. The more distance you travel before stopping your car, the more time your car has to replenish the lost power.
Imagine not going to work or travelling average/long distance for about 3 months consecutively. Now you take your car to buy groceries every day or to the barber’s shop every week.
If you’re someone that goes on short trips, then there are chances that your car battery will lose charge every time and won’t complete the recharge.
#6. Defective Alternator
In #5, we explained how a car battery can recharge itself without being taken to a professional. We also explained the important role that an alternator plays in the process.
Now, what do you think will happen if the alternator is weak, faulty or no longer functional?
When the alternator develops a fault, the battery cannot recharge properly. Also, some other electrical components of the car that depend on the alternator will be affected.
The average lifespan of an alternator is about 7 years or between 100,000 and 150,000 miles.
#7. Loose Cables…
Or corroded battery terminals. Car batteries have both positive and negative terminals, to which cables are attached. If any or both of these cables become loose, the battery can discharge.
If you’re using a fueled car, then your battery can be fixed easily by a professional or yourself. Tighten the cables and re-install them properly.
If it’s a hybrid or electric car, then you should call in professionals to do the work.
5 Ways to Prevent Your Car Battery From Draining
- Turn off your car patiently and properly.
- Check the battery regularly.
- Avoid taking short trips (as much as you can). Only use your car when you have to. And if you do, try to drive for as long as possible.
- Don’t expose your car to extreme weather conditions. You should park it under a shed or in a garage.
- Pay attention to warning signs. A car battery doesn’t spoil overnight.
Wrapping Up: Top 7 Things That Will Drain Your Car Battery
Helpful Battery Tips
- Don’t overcharge your car battery.
- Charge your car battery at room temperature, not in the scorching hot sun.
- Don’t let your battery exhaust completely before you recharge it. Doing that over time will use up the battery cycle.
- You should only use fast charging when necessary. Fast charging uses high voltage, which increases temperature and can degrade the battery over time.