Skip to content

6 Reasons Your Car Battery Keeps Draining

Driver jump starting dead car battery with another car

A dead car battery can leave you stranded in the worst of situations. By understanding what causes a dead battery, you can take steps to extend your car battery life and prevent your car battery from draining. Here are six reasons why your car battery could die.

1. You left the headlights on
Newer car models feature headlights that turn off automatically when you stop the engine. However, if you have an older model vehicle and leave the headlights on while it’s turned off, it won’t take long before the battery loses all its juice.

2. Your car is experiencing “parasitic draw”
Even when the engine is turned off, the battery powers the car’s clock, radio and alarm system. If your vehicle has faulty wiring or its interior lights fail to turn off when you close the doors, your car battery will slowly drain until there’s not enough life to start the engine. Ensure your interior lights work correctly and that your trunk, glove box and doors are closed and latched whenever you leave the car.

3. The battery has loose connections
The positive and negative terminals on your battery are connected to the vehicle by cables. These connections can loosen, so the battery can’t deliver its power to start the engine. The terminals can also get corroded. Check the terminal contacts on your battery from time to time and clean them with a metal brush if needed.

4. Extreme temperatures
When the temperature dips below -15 C, your car battery has more difficulty starting the motor. In severe cold, plugging in your vehicle’s block heater four hours before you need to drive reduces stress on the battery and makes it easier for the engine to turn over. Extreme heat can also affect the chemistry of the car battery, shortening its life.

5. The alternator isn’t working
As you drive, your car’s alternator works to recharge the battery so it’s ready to start the engine next time. If the alternator isn’t functioning, your battery won’t get recharged and will eventually die. If your car’s having trouble starting, visit an automotive centre, and a technician can determine whether it’s a battery or alternator issue.

6. The car battery is old
Car batteries generally last between three and five years, depending on where you live and how you drive. If your battery’s a few years old and needs frequent jumpstarts, it may be time to replace it.

Car Battery Checks and Replacement in BC and Alberta

At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we provide car battery and charging system checks to inspect the condition of the terminals, check electrolyte levels, test the current and assess your alternator belts. We have 15 convenient locations across British Columbia and Alberta. Contact us today to book an appointment.


Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres Address Common Issues

Here at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres in British Columbia, we’re always pleased to help our customers get the most out of their cars and trucks. To that end, we’ll add a relevant blog topic from time to time to keep you up to date and getting the most out of your vehicle.