A bad car battery can cause dropouts

This is how you can tell that the car's battery is dead

Is the car battery defective? Good question, because the most common cause of a car breakdown is a discharged or defective car battery. The battery often breaks down, especially in the cold season.

Bad battery: early signs

Even for the layperson, the signs of a weakening battery can be recognized at an early stage.

  • The first sign is that the starter is reluctant to turn the engine when starting.
  • If the engine is just about to start, it is urgent time - then the battery is about to run out.
  • This weak start becomes more noticeable when it is really cold outside.

These are all typical signs of a weak battery. After a few minutes of driving, the battery is recharged by the engine power.

Most of the time, the problems go away. They think everything is all right again. But the next morning the same problems return and get worse day by day. You should use these signs as an opportunity to test the battery.

Check battery

Measure the voltage of the battery

Take the car to an auto repair shop and ask them to measure the voltage in the battery with a voltmeter.

The voltage of an intact battery when fully charged is around 12.8 volts. If the voltage drops below 12 volts, there could be a defect.

Visual inspection of the battery

A look under the bonnet reveals further clues for impending problems with the battery.

If the contacts on the battery are stuck with dirt and oil, this threatens the service life of the battery. In the worst case, traces of oxidation can be seen.

Immediately clean the contact points on the battery.

The pollution results in so-called leakage currents. Leakage currents discharge the battery. In the long run, the battery is put under excessive strain. In extreme cases, the pollution causes a short circuit that destroys the car battery.

Before you buy, however, you should check whether the weakness is perhaps only due to the lack of acid levels: Check the acid level of the car battery.

The battery is not always the problem

But a battery is not always to blame if the car does not start. If the problems persist after replacing the battery, the problem is usually with the alternator or starter. It is therefore always advisable to test with a voltmeter before spending unnecessary money on a new battery.

Careful use of power consumers in the car is recommended. If you have less than half an hour to drive, you should avoid the car radio if possible. In this phase, the car consumes more electricity than can be replaced by ongoing operations.

If the car is standing still for a long time, especially in winter, you can disconnect the battery to save it. All you need to do is loosen the wire at the negative pole. Small "power guzzlers" such as a clock, which continue to consume electricity, are then shut down.

How long does a car battery last?

  • Car batteries last around 4 years on average.
  • On many short journeys, it can collapse after just 3 years.
  • With good care, it will last 6-7 years.