Car Battery Won’t Hold Charge
If the battery in your automobile isn’t keeping a charge, you could get the impression that you’re skating on thin ice. A simple jump starter might be all that’s needed to fix this problem, but more complex issues call for diagnostic work and extensive repairs to be carried out.
We are aware of the significance of your automobile to you and the importance of its dependable operation and starting every time. Getting to the bottom of the issue and figuring out a solution to it are probably at the top of your mental priority list right now.
Continue reading to find out how the charging system in your car operates and how you can determine the source of the problem. We discuss the most common causes of a car battery that won’t retain a charge as well as the solutions that can help resolve the issue for you.
Your Car’s Charging System
Your car’s battery might not be what turns the wheels and propels your vehicle ahead, but your vehicle is dependent on it to get the electricity necessary to start the engine and power a number of its components. A dead battery is unable to power essential components, including you:
- Main relay
- Fuel pump
If spark plugs aren’t getting spark, the engine won’t be able to be started.
Your car’s battery could be able to provide the voltage that is required to power the vehicle, but if the charging system (alternator, voltage regulator, and drive belt) isn’t working properly, the battery won’t be able to recharge while you are driving the vehicle.
It is best practise to diagnose both problems using the same set of troubleshooting steps so that nothing is missed in the process.
What To Do First When Your Car Battery Won’t Hold Its Charge
Make sure that you have ruled out human error before diagnosing a problem with the ability of your automobile battery to keep a charge. After that, perform a visual examination of your battery.
Rule Out Human Error
- The failure of a driver to switch off their lights before leaving the vehicle is the most typical cause of a dead battery. It doesn’t matter if it’s your interior lighting, trunk light, or headlights; leaving them on all night can deplete the power in your vehicle’s battery.
- You should give your vehicle a jump start and allow it to charge all the way up to ensure that the problem wasn’t a one-time occurrence.
Check Battery And Connections
- Be sure to inspect your battery, as well as the connections and cables connected to it, for any signs of damage.
- Corrosion and a buildup of debris or filth can impede the ability to charge your battery, and both of these factors can cause accumulation. Make sure that you clean the batteries on a regular basis using a method that is both gentle and approved.
- The case of your battery should not have any dents, cracks, or bulges in it. Your battery’s capacity to store a charge may suffer if it sustains physical damage, which may lead to the malfunctioning or death of some of the cells contained within.
- Check that the positive terminal and the negative terminal of your battery are both securely linked to the cords. Examine the cords for creases or frays along their length.
Test Car Battery
- Connect a voltmeter or multimeter, if you have one, to your battery so that you can determine how much charge the battery currently has. When the engine is running, a healthy battery should register up to 14.6 volts, with a resting reading of 12.6 volts (and it should spike while the engine runs).
- If the battery has a low voltage, it means that it has not been fully charged. If the voltage does not rise when the engine is running, you may have a faulty alternator or one of the other components involved in charging the battery.
- Your battery’s overall health can be evaluated more thoroughly with the help of a load test, which can be carried out at a mechanic’s shop, as well as at the majority of battery dealers and auto parts stores.
- You will now connect your battery that has been fully charged to a load tester. This replicates the operating pressure that your battery needs to be able to withstand. If the voltage in your battery falls below 12 volts, you will need to replace the battery.
Common Reasons For A Car Battery Not Holding A Charge (And Fixes)
Prepare yourself for more in-depth testing if your car battery won’t keep a charge and the problem isn’t one of the ones mentioned above.
- Drainage caused by parasites
- Incorrect timing of the charging process
- The conditions of operation
- problems with your battery charging setup
Parasitic Draw (Or Blown Fuses)
Parasitic draining typically takes place in the event that an attachment fails to function properly or a fuse blows. Even though your battery does not mind a little bit of parasitic draining for things like the radio’s memory or your alarm system, any big draws may fully deplete your battery.
In this video, you will learn how to use a multimeter to not only check for a parasitic draw but also to discover which electrical component is generating the problem that you are experiencing. Your battery should be able to charge normally once you have repaired or replaced the component that was causing the issue.
Only Taking Short Trips
- If the only time you use your car is to drive a short distance to and from the store, the battery charging system definitely does not have enough time to make up for the power that is being used up.
- This difficulty does not arise for the vast majority of individuals, but it is possible to experience it if you find yourself merely performing a few quick errands. If you have reason to believe that this is the problem, you should let your vehicle run long enough for the battery to be fully charged, and then check to see.
- If this happens frequently, you might need to invest in an extra charger in order to keep your battery healthy. You might also try to compensate for the problem by going on some longer journeys.
- Keep in mind that cold water can drain your battery quicker than warm water. Perhaps the winter’s chill is to blame for your woes.
- At the end of the day, you need to be able to start your car and have enough power to drive safely. An old, defective, or nearly dead battery is usually present alongside this issue.
Charging System Issues
If the battery in your vehicle is unable to hold a charge while you are driving, the problem is likely caused by the charging system. These components are connected in a circuit that supplies electricity to replenish the battery.
For example, the alternator belt converts mechanical energy into electrical energy that is then regulated before charging the battery.
Examine these components for any evident signs of wear and tear (especially your belt, which can become obviously worn over time). You may also diagnose problems with your alternator and determine if you need to replace it by using an ammeter or a multimeter.
Any problem that arises with the functioning of either the battery or the charging system in your vehicle demands prompt attention. Even if the problem is very minor, there is too much potential for damage to your overall electrical system for you to justify driving the vehicle while the problem remains.
Follow this checklist of troubleshooting methods to get to the bottom of the issue, but don’t be afraid to bring in a technician for assistance if you can’t figure it out on your own. The vast majority of electrical issues may be easily resolved; however, if the issue is not addressed immediately, it will almost certainly grow into a more serious issue.
Is it difficult for the battery in your automobile to maintain a charge? Leave a comment with your symptoms so we may better assist you in diagnosing the problem.