It takes more than filling up at the local gas to keep your car running smoothly. Underneath the hood lies a battery providing a zap of electricity to start your engine and later supply the alternator.

Its other many functions include supplying power to electrical components in the car as well as stabilizing any voltage fluctuations while driving. If the battery does not work properly, then your car will not start.

Maintaining a battery in proper working order becomes a must.

What can drain a car battery when it is off?

Your key enters the ignition switch, and with a flick instead of the purring of the engine, you hear the rat-a-tat-tat sound.

Something has drained your battery.The battery has died. A battery normally performs dependably day after day. For years it will start the car in all sorts of weather.

So, what happened?

First things first check your headlights. In a rush to get home you may have simply left the headlights on.Headlights on all night will drain a car battery.

The second most common cause lists as you the car owner retrieves something from the trunk and then for whatever reason you do not shut it all the way, leaving the trunk light on all night.

Many new cars have alerts to let a car owner know this has happened. Just charge the battery, and the car will run like it did the day before. 

Car battery Drain Test

Other things can cause a car not to start. A quick way to know your battery is dead is to use a multi-meter. A multi-meter device measures electric current, sometimes resistance, and voltage.

Made to trouble shoot electrical problems, it will give a numbered read out of the state of your battery. Fitted with red and black probes simply touch the black probe to the negative battery post/cable and the red probe to the positive battery post/cable at the same time.

The digital panel or the analog scale will give a numbered read out indicating the state of the charge.

What is draining your car battery when it’s off?

After a dead battery incident and the battery becomes recharged in most cases no more problems occur. If your battery continues dying, then some other mechanism in the car drains the battery.

It means an electrical component in the car system continues to use electricity even when the car is off. This does occur somewhat with some items, but it should never drain the battery.

Why does my car battery keep dying?

If a car battery keeps dying it may be the age of your battery. Check your battery cables. Is it corroded or loose on the post? Extreme weather will affect older batteries whether hot or cold.

Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are more durable than the lead-acid type. Absorbed Glass Mat batteries cost more than the standard lead-acid type. If you live in an extreme weather area as in heat or cold or you do unusual heavy duty driving the absorbed glass mat may be a good choice.

What causes your battery to drain?

A host of reasons exists that drain a battery.

  • Bad charging
  • Defective alternator diode
  • A relay circuit is sticking
  • An electrical module does not go into sleep mode
  • A shorted diode is sometimes on and sometimes off

These items take a mechanic to diagnose. It may take some time to find out the problem since cars now have many diodes, circuits, and components that use a tiny bit of electrical power from the battery while the motor is off.

What causes your car battery to die?

As faithful as batteries are the number one reasons cars breakdown on the road lists as a bad battery. The battery itself can get acid stratification where the electrolytes inside separate, so the acid component of the battery does not distribute evenly.

This happens when batteries are not fully charged consistently. Which means you need to drive your car on long runs to fully charge a battery. City driving sometimes can become the problem since your battery may not fully recharge.

Relays getting stuck on a position kill batteries. Relays complete a circuit and if stuck will continuously use your battery power till exhausted.

Why your car batteries die quickly?

Premature car battery death happens from extremes. Extreme weather events such as heat or cold imbalances the electrolytes making batteries die quickly.

Also, Problems in a car’s electrical system also will make a car battery die quickly.

How to keep your car battery from dying in cold weather?

The number one call the American Automobile Association receives lists as the battery will not start in extremely cold weather.

To prevent such a problem mechanics, suggest after turning off the engine of a car and an extreme cold weather alert has posted, get towels or a blanket and cover the warm battery with it.Then close the hood. It retains the heat.IF that fails, then you get boiling water and pour on the battery to warm up battery fluids.

Do not use a blow torch or use flame directly on battery since it will catch fire. Many in northern climates recommend a battery tender that plugs into household electrical outlets and keeps a battery recharged.

How to stop car battery drain

Keep the car in good working order and do regular maintenance. Ask your mechanic, auto parts store or your oil change place to do a simple diagnostic on the vehicle.That will alert you to any potential problems.

Double check before going in for the evening that all lights are off and all doors are shut on the vehicle. Park the car in a garage or sheltered area during extreme weather conditions involving excessive heat or cold.

Have preventatives of towels, ice, hot water, or products ready just in case the battery needs a bit of help in such conditions.

Conclusion

Batteries rank as one of the most faithful mechanical items known. Rarely failing they are a forgotten essential workhorse of your automobile.It often comes as a surprise that a battery failed and you will feel betrayed that such a thing could happen. Fortunately, battery problems are easy to fix and low cost if you know exactly what you should do.