Have you tried to start the car this morning and the car completely dead doesn’t want to start? This is a sad situation since you will not be able to get to work on time. But luckily for you, you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic and learn more about the car completely dead problem.
Having a problem like this is really unfortunate. But we are here to help you out and teach you how to troubleshoot issues and help you solve this problem by yourself. As you know, troubleshooting is a true mastery that takes years to perfect and be able to diagnose issues even after you learn one or two symptoms.
That’s why you need to perfect your skill by learning more and more each day and one day to get there and be able to diagnose even some complex problems. Car completely dead is relatively easy to diagnose. But it’s a good starting point for you as a young mechanic. If you love to wrench on your car, this article would be a breeze for you.
First, we are going to start from the basics and learn what is a car battery. Then we will cover why the car completely dead happens and the signs of a dead battery. Later we will learn how you can troubleshoot the problem and how to solve it. We will also cover the cost of solving the car completely dead problem and the way to jump a car when your battery is dead. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
What Is A Car Battery?
A car battery is also known as a lead-acid battery is a battery that allows you to start your car every day. As you know the combustion engine needs something to power it up at the start to be able to run. Also, the accessories like the dome lights, radio, and other important bits and pieces need the power to run.
So, something had to be invented, and we call it a lead-acid battery. This battery has an extremely basic design and hasn’t changed a lot since its inception. Every battery is the same. It doesn’t matter if it is a car battery or a truck battery. They all work on the same principle of chemical reaction of the lead and acid to create power.
The only difference is the capacity of the battery. As we know there are different types of vehicles out there and some of them require a lot of power while some of them do not require a ton of power to start. The bigger the vehicle, the more power is required from it to be able to start. That’s why you need to learn more about the size of battery you need in order to make your car start.
The average car battery has 6 cells and 12V of power. But what does this means? This means that if you put a battery that has less than 12V it means that you will not be able to start the car and car completely dead problem will happen.
This might be noticeable when the car battery is starting to fail. But more on that later. Since there are also some other reasons that can make the car completely dead problem to happen.
Car Completely Dead, Why It Happens?
Now let’s focus on the primary reasons why the car completely dead problem happens in the first place. Knowing the reasons will make it quite easier for you to get to the solution.
There are primarily three reasons for this problem and we are going to elaborate in detail. After we finish the reasons, we are going to focus on the signs of the car completely dead problem, and based on these signs would be a lot easier for you to unravel the problem. But first, let’s discuss the reasons why this car completely dead is happening.
1. Dead Battery
The dead battery would probably be one of the primary suspects of the car completely dead problem. That’s why the main focus of this article is on this possibility. So, how come? Why a dead battery can make the car completely dead happen?
The answer is simple, the battery stores electricity. This electricity has to be on a certain level if you want to start your car successfully. If the electricity level is too low, you will be less likely to be able to start your car.
The recommended battery strength is 12V for the car to be able to start. If this power level is lower than 12V, the car will struggle to start and if the power rating is extremely low like 1V or 2V, you will be less likely to be able to resurrect this battery at all and make your car start. That’s why in the battery, you should look at your problem.
But still, there is a chance that the alternator can also make this problem and in the following chapter, we are going to explain more on this.
2. Bad Alternator
The second probable reason why a car completely dead problem occurs is when you have a bad alternator. As you know, the alternator is the component that is charging the battery. So, whenever you have an empty battery all of the time. The alternator is one of the probable causes for this problem.
The alternator is constantly not able to top of the battery. So, over time the level of the battery gets lower and lower until the car completely dead occurs.
Whenever you have a problem like this that happens after you replaced the battery, you should focus on the alternator and see if the problem comes from this component. If not, there is probably the third option and that is a parasitic loss.
3. Parasitic Loss
Parasitic loss is probably the third and last cause for a car completely dead problem happening to you. As you know parasitic loss is a situation when you are losing battery power from an unknown source. For more insight, you can check out our explainer on what drains a car battery.
Meaning that some of your components are draining the battery and you are constantly losing power from your battery. This constant loss of power will cause the battery to fail prematurely and the car completely dead to happen.
This is mostly caused by short in the system or if you have been messing up with the car’s electrical components and connecting some aftermarket stereo, surround speakers, or some LEDs in your car. These are the most probable causes for this since if this is performed by inexperienced people will cause the electrical installation to short and have a parasitic loss. When having this problem, the best thing is to consult a car electrician.
Signs Of A Completely Dead Car Battery
Now let’s cover the signs of a dead battery except the battery light. As you probably know, a dead car battery is one of the most common reasons for a car completely dead.
If you have already replaced the battery and is still draining then you might want to take a look at the parasitic loss reason or the bad alternator. If not, stick with us until the end. In the following chapters, we are going to learn all of the different signs of a dead battery and a car completely dead. So, let’s begin.
Car Cranks Only A Few Times And Stops
The first sign of a dead car battery is when the car cranks but it doesn’t want to start. The car battery simply doesn’t have the electricity to push the starter motor and eventually dies off.
Whenever the battery is close to its death, you will notice how the car loves to crank and doesn’t want to start.
This might make things even worse and completely kill the battery of the vehicle. Whenever this happens on your car it is often advised to run the car for a good time to let the battery fill completely and then turn off the battery.
If you are driving on short distances only, you might only do harm to this battery that is already dying and kill it prematurely. Then the car completely dead problem will occur and you will not be able to start the car. So, watch out, excessive cranking is one of the early symptoms of a failing battery. Now let’s move to the next.
Car Doesn’t Want To Crank, It’s Completely Dead
The second sign of car completely dead is when the car is completely dead. It means that the car battery is empty and doesn’t even want to crank.
This might even happen all of a sudden. Once upon a time, I tried to start my car and the car only made a clicking sound. So, how do I conclude that the problem is in the battery?
I turned on everything inside of it and saw that there was no power. This is a clear and easy way how you can test a failing battery. As you know the battery is powering everything when the car is not running. So, you can make your own conclusions about how things went.
I immediately purchased a new battery and the problem was solved. What is important to do here, is to use your knowledge and quickly make a conclusion about what can make the car completely dead problem happen and make sure in an instant what is wrong with it. That is a troubleshooting mindset that you need to make. Now let’s move on to the other signs.
Dome Lights Flickering Or Don’t Turn On
Another symptom of car completely dead is the dome lights in your car flickering or not wanting to turn on.
As you know, internal components in each vehicle need the power to work properly. So, if the voltage is relatively low and not enough to power the lights on your cluster. The lights will flicker and you will feel like you are in a horror movie. Especially if this happens at night when everything is dark. It can get a bit scary at some point.
But this is not something that you want to ignore and pretend like everything is ok with your car. When this happens you need to take some action and try to find out why the lights are flickering and going off sometimes.
As you know when you start up the car if you are able to do so, everything might come to normal. But if it doesn’t want to start then things are getting serious and you need to jump to conclusions. And the probable conclusion for a car completely dead problem is a dead battery. The battery doesn’t have power enough to power these lights. Now let’s move on to the next.
Accessories In Car Start Glitching
Another thing that is also very common when your battery is dead or close to death is the accessories in the car will start to glitch.
At first, you will probably be thinking that your car is possessed by demons. But this isn’t the case. Luckily for you, this is one of the car completely dead symptoms and this means that the battery is very weak.
The accessories will try to run but this low power output from the battery will not be enough and will turn on and off. If you can start the car, they would probably get to normal. But in most cases, they do not. Meaning that car completely dead will happen sooner or later.
This with the accessories glitching, dome lights flickering, the continuous cranking of the engine, and the trouble to start it can only mean that the battery is nearing the end of its lifetime or is simply low on power.
Especially if the car was sitting for a long time. When cars sit, it is often advised to have your battery connected to a charger if you want to avoid the problem of a car completely dead. Now let’s see what you can do if you have a problem like this with your car and you are unable to start it.
Can You Recharge A Completely Dead Battery?
We learned the signs and the probable reasons for a car completely dead. Now let’s learn if you can recharge a battery. And the answer to this question is really depends much on the battery itself.
If we are talking about a relatively new battery that is less than a year old and was drained because of a bad alternator or the car was left sitting for months not started, then you probably would be able to resurrect this battery and bring it back to life. You will only need a car battery charger.
You can get one of these chargers on Amazon and use this charger always plugged in your wall to make sure that the battery never gets empty again and you will never face a car completely dead problem again.
On the other hand, if we are talking about a battery that is very old, and who knows how many cycles it went through. It is good to know that you probably won’t be able to resurrect this battery and bring it back to life.
The average lifespan of a battery is about 2 years more or less. If it’s out of warranty just go and grab a new battery from the parts store. You will be good for another 2 years. Meaning that you will not face with car completely dead problem during this time if you go this route. Except if you don’t leave it sitting like that.
How To Jump A Completely Dead Car?
Now, presumably, your car is completely dead. Let’s learn all of the ways that you can start your car. As you know there are multiple ways that you can pull this off and resurrect your car once again.
We will start from the basic ones that you can try and then move on to the more complex ones that will require more experience.
Option 1: Get A Jumper To Start Car Completely Dead
The first thing that you might try if you have one of these tools running around is to try to jump-start the battery with a special charger. If you have one of these chargers then this will be the way to go. Just connect the positive to the positive terminal and the negative on the negative terminal and turn the thing on.
The jumper will instantly send electricity to the terminals of the battery and the car should start right up. These jumpers are trendy right now and can be cheaply purchased.
Option 2: Get A Charger To Start Car Completely Dead
Another method is to try to charge the battery. If you have a battery charger, connect the battery with the charger and let it sit like this for a couple of hours until it gets charged.
The downside with this method is that it takes quite a bit to charge the battery. Also if the battery is completely dead it wouldn’t hold a charge. Meaning that this method of charging will not work with this battery and you will still be needed to buy a new battery from the store to fix the problem of a car completely dead.
Option 3: Get A New Battery To Start Car Completely Dead
The best way to overcome this problem of a car completely dead is to get a completely new battery. Just get a taxi or an Uber and get a new battery from the closest parts shop.
Make sure that you get a decent quality battery with a warranty and replace the old one. Then your problem or car completely dead will be solved permanently and you will not experience any more issues like this in the upcoming years to come.
Option 4: Get Another Car To Start Car Completely Dead
If you get the car completely dead on a parking lot let’s say and there is nothing around you except cars, you might ask some of the people parked next to you to jump-start your car.
If you have a manual, someone could push you to start your car. Or if you have an automatic transmission, you can use jumper cables to get your car started. Both ways work. Depending on how skilled you are and how prepared you feel when it comes to jump-starting cars.
Having a set of jumper cables is one of the essentials that one should have in their trunk. And you should be one of those guys if you want to avoid getting stranded for hours on the side of the road or at the parking lot.
Cost To Fix The Car Completely Dead Problem
The cost to fix this problem greatly depends on how you want to fix this problem. Why I’m saying this? Well, because there are multiple ways. You can patch it out by charging the battery or jump-start it by connecting it to jumper cables. By doing these steps, you can expect to patch the problem and pretend like it’s not there.
The way you want to sort this problem would be to go and get a completely new battery for your car at your local parts store.
This new battery will cost you about $100 but will be good for another 2 years more or less and you will not have the problem of a car completely dead any time soon. It greatly depends on which route you want to go and how you want this problem sorted out. Personally, I would go the second route with a new battery and never worry about the car completely dead again.
Car Battery Facts: What to Know When Your Car Won’t Start
- A dead car battery can often be the reason why a car won’t start, and it’s much easier and cheaper to fix than engine problems.
- Before panicking, check the lights and controls. If the controls were left in the “on” position, you may have accidentally drained your battery. If the lights work, the battery may not be the problem.
- An old or weak battery can cause a car to occasionally refuse to start without a reason. Check the battery terminals for frayed wires, white buildup, or leaks.
- Most car batteries last between three and five years. You can check your battery’s age by looking for a circular sticker or date code stamped on the top of the battery.
- If your battery is more than three years old, you may need to replace it. It’s best to get your entire charging system tested by a professional.
- If you have a AAA membership or roadside assistance, call for help. Many roadside service operators can make a basic diagnosis of your problem and jump-start your vehicle if necessary.
- If you believe you have a dead battery, you can jump-start your car with good-quality jumper cables and a running vehicle. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your car.
- If your car starts and stalls, turn the key off, wait a few moments, and try again. If it doesn’t crank, the cable clamp connections may be weak. Try wiggling each clamp to ensure a clean connection.
- If you’re unsure why your car won’t start, it’s best to consult a mechanic. Having a professional diagnose the problem can help you avoid needlessly replacing expensive parts.
- If your car battery needs to be replaced, you can call a towing service to bring your car to a repair shop or your residence, or roadside assistance, which may replace your battery on the spot.
Conclusion To Car Completely Dead
In this article, we covered the problem of a car completely dead. First, we learned the probable reasons behind it. As we can recall, this problem is mostly caused by a dead battery but also a dead alternator, and parasitic loss can also be one of the causes for this problem to appear on your car.
Then we learned the signs of a dead battery. As we noted, these are the signs when the lights are flickering, the accessories are starting to glitch throughout the car and the car simply doesn’t want to start. In the end, the result will always be the same, dead battery.
Then we covered the possible solutions to start a vehicle with a dead battery. As we noted. There are a couple of them. With jumper cables, a jumper pack, or a new battery. Either way works.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.