Top 8 things that will drain your car battery

03/14/2019

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Have you ever been embarrassed by a battery drain? You probably were frustrated. Check out these top 8 reasons will cause your battery to drain & detailed explanation below!

Have you ever found yourself sitting in your car while listening to your songs on radio only to start your car after, to find out that it refuses to start? This can be pretty annoying as well as frustrating not knowing exactly how this could be so.

The car battery is like the effect of a water drop at the centre of the pool causing waves that reaches the end of the water body. The battery gives power to all other devices like the radio, the lights, air conditioning, navigation systems, and it even starts the engine from the starter motor to the sparks plugs and then to finally igniting your car’s fuel.

Naijauto feels the importance of a good battery cannot be overstated as this ensures that you have a functional and smooth running car. However, your car battery may suffer from any of the under listed reasons causing it to drain off.

1. Human error – To err is definitely human!

This is a very prevalent reason as human errors account for a large percentage of battery drain cases. Leaving internal lights on, forgetting to lock your boot properly, even forgetting to turn off your headlight overnight because you came home tired, is a scenario we are all familiar with. Although there are alerts to warn you once you leave a light on, there are no alert warnings for some other features. So, one should take note of these areas so as not to fall victim of a battery drain.

2. Parasitic drain – track it!

Parasitic drain is responsible for features like your car clock, your alarm systems, your security systems, and the likes. Your battery supplies enough power to ensure that these things don't drain the battery's power totally even after many days. However, parasitic drain can adversely affect the stored charge of a battery if there are electrical wiring faults and faulty fuses in the car system.

a-fuse-in-a-car-system

A bad car diode can cause excessive battery drain!

3. Faulty charging – is this even a thing?

Just as most electronic devices these days come with chargers, so does the car system. Its inbuilt charger is called the alternator which makes sure the battery is constantly charged even as it is discharged when in use.

Think of the alternator as the charger for your phone or your laptop, and so if your charger has issues then it might not charge your device effectively. This might cause it to discharge faster than necessary and eventually getting the battery totally drained. Some of the reasons for faulty charging of the alternator are loose belts and worn out tensioners.

>>> You might also want to read How to clean corroded car battery with Coca Cola

4. Defective alternator

Even though the battery gives power to start the car and also to enable other features like the power window, the lights, the air conditioning, and alarm systems to work, if the alternator becomes defective then the battery will not be charged as it ought to. An example of a defect that can disturb the alternator is a bad diode. This can drain the battery even while not in use and the car is turned off. It might be a big shock to find out your car refuses to start in the morning if you're not aware of the bad diode.

a-car-alternator-connected-to-the-battery

Defective Alternator can cause a serious battery drain as the battery won't be charged effectivley!

5. Extreme temperature – don’t make hell for your batteries!

Either it’s on the top high side or low side, extreme temperature can adversely affect the charge or the discharge of your battery. Extreme temperature can cause Sulphate crystals to form in your battery which has long-term damaging effects on it. If left in this extreme temperature for long, then it eventually affects the lifespan of the battery, and also takes a while for the battery to charge in such harsh condition.

a-car-dashboard-thermometer

Extreme temperatures can cause sulphate crystal formation in the battery reducing effective charge!

6. Short distance travels or is it sprints?

Batteries take some time before they start to charge. Due to releasing so much power while starting the car engine, it may require some time to regain the lost charge. Driving short distaste ranges might not allow the battery take charge properly before the engine is switched off.

>>> Should you charge your mobile phone in car? Is it good for your car battery?

7. Corroded or loose battery cables.

A corroded battery terminal loses connection with the alternator and therefore cannot effectively charge the battery. It is common to find out that your battery discharges faster than normal if the terminals have been corroded. One must take care to check the head of all battery terminals for corrosion and for dirt so as to clean it properly for adequate charging.

With a loose terminal connection, it might be hard to get your car engine to start. This is because current is not effectively transferred from the battery to the engine and as such would not be able to start the car.

a-corroded-battery-terminal

Corroded battery terminal is a hinderance for charge to reach the battery appropriately!

8. Old batteries.

The age of a battery is another germane reason for it not to hold charge for long, or to discharge before it's fully charged. If you have an old battery of 3 years or more, it's time to replace it. If your battery was not properly maintained it might die or have to be replaced sooner than the standard period of 3 to 4 years.

Final take!

These are the reasons for battery drain or why your battery dies sooner than expected. If you cannot effectively troubleshoot to ascertain the cause of battery, then you need to seek the services of a trained mechanic with electrical expertise who will diagnose electrical system to find out the cause of battery drain.

>>> Update useful car maintenance tips on Naijauto.com with our experts!

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