Wondering What Causes a Dead Car Battery?

Your vehicle’s battery is like the heart of your car. The typical battery is a “wet-cell” battery, meaning a plastic cube containing sulfuric acid and lead, with two terminals on the top side of the battery. Without it, your vehicle will not start, let alone keep running or considered as reliable transportation.

By knowing what causes a dead car battery, you can take some battery maintenance safeguards to prevent it.

  • First of all, be sure to check the fluid level in your battery as well as the battery cables. If the fluid is low and has been for a while, this will prevent your car battery from generating power or holding power. 
  • More critical are the battery’s cable connections to the vehicle. If the connections are loose or corroded, they prevent the electrical current in the battery from going to the vehicle’s components, thus causing your car not start.

Take a look at three common signs that your vehicle’s battery may be starting to fail:

  1. The engine cranks repeatedly but refuses to startIf your engine cranks or turns over when you turn the key but does not start the engine, the battery is the most likely culprit. It could be the starter, but probably not. Even if an ammeter says the battery is good, it can still be a few volts short to start your vehicle efficiently.
  2. The engine does not crank or turn over at all and the lights will not come on. When this happens, it is almost always a dead battery. The battery not only powers the starter but all the accessories and lights in your car. In this situation, it could be a combination problem involving your alternator.
  3. Your vehicle randomly starts from one day to the next. If your vehicle fails to start intermittently, two things are typically the problem, 1) your battery terminals are loose, broken, corroded, or calcified or 2) you have an accessory drawing electrical power from your battery even when the key is out of the ignition.

If these signs are apparent with your vehicle, it is time for a car battery replacement. Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Dependable Car Care for more information about what causes a dead car battery and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in the community of Ventura, CA, and surrounding area.