The car battery is a crucial component that not only powers every electrical circuit but also provides the necessary power to start the engine. It can be frustrating for car owners when they turn the ignition on and nothing happens, indicating a dead battery.

So how can you tell if your car battery is dead?

There are various symptoms of a dead car battery, including an unresponsive ignition, a delayed start, and a swollen battery size. By inspecting the battery’s condition or attempting to start the car, you can identify whether the battery is dead or not.

In the following segments, we will discuss other methods to determine the condition of your car battery.

Without delay, let’s delve into our segments.

How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

As we previously mentioned, batteries are vital to your vehicle as they power everything from the electrical circuit to your car’s engine.

But, how long do car batteries last?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive answer to this question, as the lifespan of a battery depends on various factors. However, proper care and use typically make a car battery last about 3 to 4 years, though it could last longer or shorter.

What causes a battery to die prematurely?

In this segment, we’ll explain some of the significant reasons why your car’s battery may die early.

Not in use or left idle for an extended period

Batteries need to be in regular use, as their cells lose charging capacity due to self-discharging. After some time, this can cause the battery to go bad or die completely.

Exposure to extreme temperatures

Batteries aren’t designed to handle extreme temperatures, and exposure to them can cause the battery cells to go bad, leading to irreparable damage.

Unclean cables

The wires that connect the battery to your vehicle must be clean to transfer power from the battery to the car’s electrical circuits. Dirty cables make it hard to transfer necessary power and may damage the battery’s power cells, causing it to go bad.


While engine vibrations don’t usually affect the battery, if they’re severe, they can cause the battery cells to fail, making the battery useless.

Corroded terminals

Over time or long hours of driving, the positive and negative terminals of a battery may corrode and stop functioning correctly. If not cleaned and maintained properly, this can lead to a dead battery.

Fast and overcharging

Fast or overcharging may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. It slowly decreases the battery’s ability to hold its regular power supply and eventually renders it unusable. Some people believe that fast and overcharging are good for the battery, but this is a misconception.

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How to Identify A Dead Battery in My Car?

Being able to identify a dead battery is crucial for a smooth ride in your car. Without a functioning battery, your car won’t start or provide the necessary power to keep it going. Luckily, there are ways to determine the battery’s condition, which will help you identify whether or not it’s functioning properly.

Here are some effective ways to identify a dead battery:

  1. Unresponsive Ignition: Your car’s ignition is responsible for starting the engine. If it doesn’t ignite properly, your car won’t start because the battery provides the necessary power to produce the ignition. If your car’s battery is dead, it won’t be able to provide the required power, and your car won’t respond to the ignition when you turn it on with the key or switch.
  2. Unresponsive Engine: The engine is a vital component of your car, and without a good battery, it won’t function properly. The battery provides the necessary power to keep the engine going and make your car run smoothly. If your car’s battery is dead, your engine won’t be able to provide the necessary power to start, and your car won’t start.
  3. Delayed Start: If your car takes longer than usual to start, it may be due to a dead battery. Every essential part of your car is powered by the battery, and if it’s not working, nothing in your car will work properly.
  4. Swollen Battery Size: Fast charging or overcharging is unhealthy for your car’s battery. Continued use of either method will cause the battery to swell and gradually render it useless. If you notice any signs of a swollen battery, it means the battery is either dead or dying.
  5. Headlights/Radio Not Working: Your car’s battery powers everything from the engine to the radio. If you’re having trouble turning on the headlights or radio, or they’re not responding properly, it means your battery is either dying or dead.
  6. Odd Smell: The battery contains liquid acid, which is an essential component of the battery. When the battery is dead or dying, it will start producing an odd smell. If you smell something like a rotten egg from your car battery, it means your car battery is either dying or dead.
  7. Old Battery: Like everything else, your car battery also has an estimated lifespan. Even with proper care and maintenance, it will eventually expire. If you’ve been using the same battery for several years and you’re having issues with your car’s power supply, there’s a high probability that your car’s battery is dead.
  8. Engine Turns On/Off: Without a continuous power supply from the battery, your car’s engine won’t be able to sustain its capacity to keep your car going. If your engine starts but shuts down immediately, it’s a clear sign that you have a dead battery.
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Is it Possible to Jumpstart a Dead Battery?

Yes, it is possible to jumpstart a dead battery using jumper cables and a power source, such as another car or a generator. Here’s how to jumpstart a car using another car:

  1. Position the working car close to the dead car’s hood where the battery is located.
  2. Turn off both cars and locate the positive (red) and negative (black) leads on the battery. Remove the keys from both cars.
  3. Take the jumper cables and identify the red and black alligator clips on both ends.
  4. Attach one end of the jumper cables’ red clip to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Leave the black clip on the hood.
  5. Connect the other end of the red clip to the positive lead of the working battery. Connect the black clip to the negative lead of the working battery.
  6. Attach the black clip to a grounded section of the dead car to avoid short circuits.
  7. Start the working car and let it run for at least 2 minutes.
  8. Try starting the dead car. If it starts, the jumpstart was successful.
  9. Remove the cables in the reverse order: first, the negative cable, then the positive cable, and then carefully place them on the ground, ensuring the clips don’t touch.

Note: If the car does not start after 2 minutes, try charging it for a little longer.

Should I Replace My Car’s Dead Battery?

Are you wondering if a dead car battery needs to be replaced? While it may seem like a dead battery is useless and needs to be replaced, you can actually jump-start it with jumper cables and a power source from another car.

If the jump-starting process doesn’t work, then replacing the dead battery becomes necessary. However, we recommend trying to jump-start the battery first as it can save you from spending money on a new battery.