Imagine driving your car when the “battery warning” light on the driver information screen begins to glow. Now is when you must take action to manage this critical situation correctly, but a question keeps popping up in your mind

  • Can a car battery die while driving?’ Well, The answer is Yes. It can happen. 

Some of you might have already experienced this situation where the car battery goes dead while you driving.

A battery dying while you’re driving is never a good experience, especially if it happens for long periods.

Your car battery should not die while driving your vehicle unless there’s an issue with your battery or possibly your alternator. Batteries will normally die slowly over days or weeks when they begin to weaken and age, but they can also die in a short period.

Can a car battery die while driving

The first warning sign of your car battery dying while driving is when you are starting up your vehicle, it starts for just a moment before shutting off again. That’s an instant RED FLAG!

At this point, your car will likely not start even if you keep trying to turn the key in the ignition for the next hour. This is because your car battery is too weak to operate all the necessary systems within your car engine

There are a ton of reasons as to why your car battery died while driving, even if you think yours is the best car battery there is. Minor things like;

  • Faulty alternator diodes,
  • charging issues,
  • chronic electrical drains,
  • loose or corroded battery connections,
  • Harsh weather conditions are some of the most typical causes.

Let’s dive into the details:

1- Human Error

It is not uncommon for people to forget that they have left the lights on in their car when they exit. Over time this can cause your car battery to die while driving.

can headlights on while parked

This is usually not an issue with newer car models, where many of them come equipped with “auto-off” headlights, which means your headlights will turn off automatically even if you are still sitting in the car after a certain amount of time.

However, many old model vehicles do not come equipped with this module and can have your headlights active even when your engine is turned off with your car parked.

A good way to avoid this issue is to always turn the lights off in your vehicle after you exit or try using an app to track when your headlights are turned on and off.

2- Auto-Off Battery Disconnect

On certain car models, there’s an option to install a battery disconnect switch which turns the entire system off to prevent the battery from being drained when the vehicle is not in use.

car battery on/off switch

However, if you have a switch that turns your car off when it’s not being used, and you always leave it turned on, this can drain your battery over time.

Because of this, your battery must be disconnected to keep it from draining overnight or when you’re not using your car.

If you have an option to install a battery disconnect switch, make sure it’s turned off when you have to park your vehicle for long periods of time. This will prevent unintentional battery drainage.

3- Car Battery Parasitic Drain

Sometimes, a parasitic drain can occur when there are faulty electrical connections or wiring harnesses.

can a car battery die while driving?,car battery died while driving

A parasitic drain is the continuous draw of electricity from your battery even when the vehicle is turned off and not being used.

This is a less common issue with older cars because of their high electrical resistance compared to the new technology cars available today, which are highly reliant on electrical energy.

If you suspect a parasitic drain, you should have your battery tested at the nearest auto parts store as soon as possible.

If your car battery died while driving because of a parasitic drain, there are lots of professionals out there who could inspect and repair any faulty connections to restore proper function.

4- Faulty Alternator Diodes

A car’s alternator can become faulty over time when there are faulty diodes. A diode is an electrical component that allows electricity to flow in one direction while preventing the opposite.

If you have a faulty alternator, this means your car battery will be slowly drained even if your battery is fully charged.

If your vehicle is unable to hold a charge and shows signs of weakening when you start up your car, then there is an underlying problem with the alternator which means you need to have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

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5- Car Battery Water Damage

A common cause of a car battery dead while driving can be excessive water damage.

For example;

-If you have an aftermarket stereo that plays CDs or MP3s, the disc drive tray is open, exposing your vehicle’s electrical systems to any moisture in the air.

Driving a car through puddles can cause water to enter your vehicle’s sensitive electrical components if the doors are left open – This in turn can potentially damage your car battery.

If you suspect water may have entered your vehicle’s electrical system, you should always inspect the battery cables and terminals for corrosion or malfunctions before driving again.

6- Neglected Car Battery Maintenance

Neglecting proper maintenance of car battery terminals and cables can cause corrosion that increases electrical resistance to prevent a full charge.

When this happens, it slowly drains your battery over time, leaving you stranded when you need the vehicle most. 

car battery maintenance

Replacing a battery terminal can be an easy fix if your terminals have become corroded because it only requires the removal of a bolt to disconnect.

However, to prevent corrosion from happening in the future, you should always clean your battery terminals and cables when replacing a dead car battery.

7- Extreme Temperature Exposure

Extreme temperatures can cause a significant loss in car battery power.

Suppose your vehicle is regularly exposed to high or low temperatures;

-This can cause the battery’s chemical components to become unstable and ionize incorrectly, which limits the electricity it can produce.

Extreme temperatures also make batteries less efficient over time and reduce their overall lifespan.

Moreso, using your car heater and the air conditioner has been proven to lower your vehicle’s battery life.

If you have to park your car outside, you should try to find a temporary solution by investing in a battery cover or getting a battery heater so there is no chance the cold weather will drain your car’s power while it isn’t being used.

Batteries defaults can be a serious time and money hog, occurring at the worst of times, so it’s advisable to always have a contingency plan in case your battery dies while driving.

If none of these issues seem to be the cause of your dead car battery, it could be time for a new one.

But rather than fork out hundreds of dollars to get a new car battery, use Tom’s expert, battery reconditioning formula to bring your old or dead battery back to life.

If you have any questions we didn’t cover in this article, feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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