How to Know Your Car Battery Is Really Dead

Your car battery is like the heart of the car, and when it's damaged or dead, it can affect your Car operations ultimately. A dead or dying car battery can also be a reason you are experiencing other problems with your car.

However, other signs may occur as a result of other mechanical or technical issues in the vehicle but behave a battery problem. Therefore, it is essential to take time and study the behavior of your car before ruling out that the battery is really dead.

A good battery should last you approximately five years before replacing. However, some conditions may trigger your battery to sudden death even when it's newly replaced. Therefore, it's essential to examine the battery without thinking of how long you have been using it to minimize risks on the road. Here are specific signs to look for while determining the life of your car battery.

If It Needs To Be Jumped To Start

Jump starting your car once in a while is no reason to panic that the battery is dead. Jump starting can happen as a result of several issues, and it’s a problem that can get you anytime.  However, regardless of the reason, if you need to jump-start your car every day or at least three times a week, it’s time to replace the battery.

The jumper cables or jump box are hard on your battery, and they work by shocking it back to life. Therefore, if you use this technique to start your vehicle, whether it’s new or old, there are days when it will not come back to life completely living you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Intermittent Starting Problem

Although other possibilities may result in intermittent starting issue, 90% of the matter is related to a dying battery. If your car has some wiring issues, it can be the reasons why the car will start today and tomorrow won’t.

Also if your battery terminals are corroded, loose, broken or calcified can be another reason for the intervals in starting. Therefore, before concluding that your battery is faulty, test check it yourself by observing the cable connections to ensure they are firm and secure.

Car battery check

Slow Crank

If your engine takes time to start, there are higher chances the battery is dead. You don’t have to wait until it completely refuses to start for you to know you have a dead battery. However, if it had not served you for the recommended time, then there might be other factors to consider.

For instance, your car will experience slow cranking due to weather challenges like cold weather. To correct this, you can alternate your starting from early morning to at least midday when the sun is burning. Alternatively, you may consider buying a battery that produces more amps to make you comfortable in harsh conditions. Another reason that may result in slow cranking is the parasitic drain.

Engine Cranks but Doesn’t Start

When you notice that your engine cranks when you turn on the key, but it doesn’t start, you probably are dealing with a dead battery issue. Although your starter might be having an issue, hence result in starting problems, the battery is often the primary cause.

If the car cranks vigorously, the ammeter may not show that your battery requires replacement. Therefore, you will have to manually check its behavior from time to time after it starts. This way, you will eliminate the risks of getting stuck on the road while on your way home from work.

Dim Headlights

The headlights are convenient ways to tell if your battery is already in its death bed depending on the way they operate. If you experience dim lighting even when you fully accelerate or turn the lights to full light, your battery is to blame.

For your headlights to illuminate well in the dark, they require a fully charged battery. Therefore, if you experience dimming, all you need is to find the time and replace the battery before it gets you in serious trouble. Driving a vehicle with dim lights is dangerous as it minimizes your ability to see oncoming traffic or the car ahead.

The Alternator

Just like the starter, when the car alternator is not working, among other reasons, the battery is the biggest culprit and should not be ignored at all cost. However, in instances when your battery is good, but the alternator is still not working, then it will still loose charge. Therefore, it's essential to ensure your alternator is well checked to prevent your battery from dying before its time.


Clicking Sound

Clicking sound under the hood can be as a result of faulty ignition switch, starter, or fusible link. However, even with all these possibilities, you still cannot rule out that your battery might be the problem. For your starter to power the engine, it requires battery current. When the current is low, the starter will not receive enough current power to start the engine; hence, the clicking sound will be heard.

Lack of Dome Light

Dome light is the light that comes on when you open the door. When you experience a lack of dome light, there are chances that your car might be having some wiring issues and requires to be checked. However, this may also happen as a result of a faulty battery. If your battery is weak, you will notice fainting door lights, but when it’s completely dead, lights will not come on.


Dealing with a dead battery can be a traumatizing experience. You don’t have to keep experiencing the problem every time you think of using your car. Additionally, even after replacing your battery, if it still emulates the same issues as a dying battery, it's essential to have it checked and prevent farther risks in advance.

Therefore, when you take your car for the next mechanical check, don’t assume the battery for any starting or lighting problems. Lastly, avoid idling in your vehicle while the engine is off, but you have turned on the AC or radio, these might also be the reason your battery is dying.

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