Discharged battery: see how to identify and start your car

Discharged battery: see how to identify and start your car

Do you want to ask your questions about the discharged battery? So you are in the right place. In today’s article, I will explain what causes it, how to solve it, and much more about this problem.

You’ve probably been through or know a story of someone who had this “small” problem with a low battery. It’s not an uncommon situation, so knowing how to solve it is critical.

If you want to know more about the subject, I bring the answers to the main questions about battery discharging below.

Is a dead battery a serious problem?

In general, no. When the battery discharges, it is usually a small problem, due to forgetfulness and that can be solved in a few minutes by making a pacifier on the battery.

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However, there is the possibility that it could be a problem with the electrical part of the car as a whole. Some components, such as the radio, could be drawing too much energy from the vehicle and causing this discharge. Problems with internal lamps, any new connections you made, such as a built-in GPS, DVD, television, etc. These new additions to the car, which do not come from the factory, must be done by specialists so as not to cause electrical problems that lead to a dead battery.

How to know if the battery is discharged?

The main way to know if the battery is low is to observe the moment when the car is being started. At this point, if lighting items such as headlights, flashlights and other parts fail or are irregular, there may be a problem.

Another important care is to observe if there is oxidation on the battery poles. This issue can cause your battery to not fully charge.

If you notice any of these problems, the idea is to take the car to an authorized dealership or mechanic shop to carry out tests on the battery and avoid further complications.

How to start with the battery disconnected?

It’s not an uncommon situation, so knowing how to solve it is critical. We have already talked about 5 objects to have in the car for moments of suffocation with your car and the jump start cable is one of the main ones.

Having the correct cables, the process of making a pacifier on the battery is very simple and can save you in emergency situations. An important thing that you must pay attention to is to ensure that there is no one inside the vehicle when connecting the cables, because, in the event of an electrical failure, the airbags may activate, and that the car is not leaning against the wall or another vehicle.

What could be discharging your car battery?

There are several ways to identify the issues causing the discharge and fix them before they permanently damage the component. Below I have listed some of the most common problems for the battery to run down. Check out:

Key in the ignition for too long

It may seem silly, but leaving the key in the ignition (when it is turned until the dashboard lights turn on, but not to start the engine), even if forgotten, is one of the most frequent problems for a discharged battery.

Let’s take a very common example: you arrive somewhere on a trip, turn off the car, but don’t take the key out of the ignition so that the headlights don’t go out, for example. He starts to unload the car, packs everything, and only then remembers that he left the key in the ignition.

Even if you remember to turn off your headlights, it may be too late. During that time that the key was in the ignition, the battery was being consumed and the engine was not running.

Forget headlights on

Another very common mistake is forgetting the headlights on. If this goes on all night, for example, then there’s probably no battery in the morning that can withstand this memory lapse.

Most newer car models come with a device that beeps when the car is turned off and the headlights remain on or even systems that turn off the headlights along with the ignition. It is an important help for the forgotten on duty. But even so, before you go out and lock the car, make sure you haven’t left anything plugged in. This attitude can save your battery.

Radio on, engine off

If you’re the type of person who loves listening to music in the car, learn one thing: start the engine when you’ve been doing this for a long time. Whether in relaxing situations or when washing the vehicle, never leave only the radio on, as this drains the battery at a very fast rate.

Will you listen to music? Start the engine. You won’t have to worry about a dead battery, just your playlist.

Problems with interior lights

Do you know that little light inside the glove compartment? Or the one in the back of the passengers? So, any problem with the connection of these lights can cause the problem of a low battery.

In this case, it is important to take the car to a mechanic specializing in electrics so that he can identify the problem and fix it because no matter how many direct connections you make to the car, at some point the battery will no longer hold up and the only way out will be the replacement.

problem alternator

This problem is less common, but also the most expensive to repair. When the alternator is not working properly it stops charging the battery. In some cases, it may even unload it.

Identifying this problem is simple, but you will always be taken by surprise. A car with a dead battery is unable to start, which can be solved in stride. That’s because, after the engine is running, all the energy for the ignition sparks comes from the alternator and the battery ends up being for the other electrical components of the vehicle.

So, if your car starts to slowly die while you are driving and the dashboard lights start to go off or get dimmer, it could be a problem with the alternator. Often, redoing the stator wire layer, also known as alternator winding, does the trick. However, the practice is not that cheap, but it still pays off in relation to the replacement of the component, which is usually quite expensive.

very old battery

As we said before, a car battery has a useful life of, more or less, 2 years to 2 and a half years, varying according to the use of the car, whether for more or less. What is worth mentioning is that if the battery is giving you a lot of problems, if there are a lot of difficulties starting the car even with the cold start reservoir full, it’s probably time to change it.

This is a relatively simple procedure for professionals and can be performed in a short time.

What is the price of a new battery?

Typically, batteries usually have a life cycle of an average of 2 years to 2 and a half years, depending on some factors such as usage, and weather conditions, among others.

If you need to buy a new battery, it is important to know that the value of this part depends on the model and specifications of the car, but the average is between R$400 to R$500.

Have you ever been in a situation with a dead battery? Tell us in the comments!

Avoid unforeseen events: quote your insurance 

Have you ever thought if a problem occurs in your car and you don’t have Geico insurance with 24-hour assistance? What if you have your car stolen, stolen, or had an accident that results in a total loss? All of these are events that may be covered by insurance.


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