Symptoms You May Be Having
Headlights and dash lights dim to exhaustion.
You may be experiencing the dimming of hell. All lights in your car used to be bright. However, now they aren’t as bright. They are slowly dimming until they are exhausted, weary of their travels. Now, your lights may turn off and your car may turn off as well.
The jump starts not working.
Your car won’t turn on no matter how hard you try. The random stranger helping you is trying his or her hardest to bust your battery with their juices. But it just isn’t working. You’re getting fed up listening to them boast about how much they know about cars.
Having to pull over to rev until lights aren’t dim
You realize you don’t want to stress because you play chess. You pull over to rev the car a bit. You then step on it as hard as you can until it all makes sense.
Battery is Bad
The battery won’t hold a charge.
For some reason, your battery won’t hold a charge. Your alternator tried its best. However, no matter what, the battery won’t basket your apples. This could be due to the following:
- Battery past its expiration (dead)
- Bad chemistry (not enough water or dried-up acid)
- Heat damage
- Corrosive damage
Corrosion of connections
Dentists always mention brushing your teeth and not forgetting to floss. It’s no different for car batteries. You need to keep those terminals nicely flossed and clean. Corrosion of connections and battery terminals frequently causes batteries to not get charged properly. An improperly charged battery is one with little juice. Little juice leads to permanent damage over time.
Alternator is Bad
It Is possible your alternator is not supplying the Jesus juice your battery deserves. When this happens, your battery is not staying hydrated with energy. As a result, your car burns more of your battery’s electricity than it is receiving.
Not converting AC to DC efficiently
Your alternator has diodes (we knew that). These diodes convert AC (direct current, which comes from three-phse generators) to DC (direct current, found in batteries). You won’t have a good battery if this process is not working correctly.
Peripherals draining more than the alternator can bring in juice.
Daddy put too many lights on your car. Aside from looking like the next generation of a neon badass, you’re burning more electricity than your car can generate. Hm.
Bad Serpentine Belt
You should check the serpentine belt first more than anything. Replacing a serpentine belt is cheaper than replacing the whole alternator. Not only that, but it’s also a faster process, too.
Serpentine belt slippage means your alternator is not spinning how it should. This could cause a lot of problems. For sure, this perhaps may be why your car is dying while driving.
This is a common problem with old cars. Their technologies are less sophisticated than today’s modern cars.
Blown Car Fuse
Don’t forget to check the fuse box. Stare into their souls and find a broken or blown fuse. The starter has a fuse. So does the alternator. Find one and go buy some more. This may be the reason your battery is not charging anymore. Or, this could be why your car won’t jump-start (the starter fuse is blown).
Alternators and Batteries Kill Each Other
Understand that alternators and batteries are heavenly people. But they are also silent assassins. Bad batteries may cause bad alternators. Bad alternators may cause bad batteries. It’s important to get the whole system checked out and tested to rule out one, the other, or both. Don’t follow this advice and you might end up having to buy the same part twice. Check both and ensure that the assassinations stop here.
Frequently asked Questions
The car dies while driving battery light comes on. Why?
Your car is programmed to alert you when your battery voltage has fallen below its nominal recommended threshold. In this case, either your battery cannot hold a charge, or your alternator is failing.
Car battery keeps dying overnight. Why?
Your car is dying overnight because:
- Parasitic drain. Peripheral / auxiliary devices on your car are draining your battery while you are away.
- Parasitic alternator diodes. The alternator is supposed to block electricity from flowing from the battery and to the alternator. This actually happens when the rectifier diodes in the alternator are bad.
- Bad battery. There’s no way to hold a sufficient voltage in order to keep your car running phenomenally.
Can car battery die while driving?
Yes. This happens more frequently with older cars. It is possible either the battery, the alternator, or the serpentine belt are to blame. This could be due to corrosion, bad connections, bad diodes, etc. but this is mostly due to the alternator, as the alternator is supposed to keep the battery charged while driving. The faster you drive, the more the alternator charges your vehicle. Also, even if the alternator was failing, your car system is connected in parallel to the output of the alternator. So, the alternator theoretically should keep your vehicle alive. In my opinion, check the serpentine belt driving the alternator first. Then, check the fuses. Then, check the alternator.
Does car battery charge while driving?
Yes. The alternator charges the car battery while you’re driving. Every revolution your engine goes through (think RPM) is driving the alternator. The alternator has three-phase generation technology that charges your vehicle battery. The battery should be charging while driving unless your alternator isn’t function properly.
Is my car battery dying?
Check the voltage level. It’s considered somewhat normal for the voltage to drop just a bit (0.1 volts or so) depending on the condition of your battery and car. However, if you notice a huge difference between when you turn off the car and when you later come back to it, there’s something wrong. Of course, after attempting to charge the car battery and it’s not charging up past 12 volts, your car battery may be closer to its expiration date. Check with a mechanic or go to your nearest auto parts store. They may test the charging system for you.
What to do while driving battery light comes on?
Drive to your nearest auto parts store or shop if you can safely make it and the lights aren’t dimming. However, in the case you notice things aren’t going your way, you may want to pull over when it is safe to do so. The biggest risk is the car completely shutting off in the middle of a drive. This shuts of practically all systems in the car. Without a working power steering system, things can get dangerous. Proceed with caution.
Does a car battery charge while idling?
Yes. Idling technically means revolving at around 1000 RPM. Since the engine is still working, the alternator is being driven to charge the battery. So, yes.
What to do if the car battery died?
Go to your nearest auto parts store and test the battery, the system, and replace if necessary.
Car battery not charging while driving. Why?
Either the connections are poor, or the alternator is giving out. Check with a parts store or mechanic for testing of the system.
How long to charge car battery while driving?
Under normal circumstances, you can charge your car for 10 to 20 minutes before it is sufficiently charged to start up again later. Of course, this is dependent on the condition of the vehicle and the charging system. Check with a local mechanic or parts store for further testing of the charging system.
What happens if my key fob battery dies while driving?
Nothing out of the ordinary. When your key fob dies, you cannot lock and unlock your doors. This doesn’t mean you cannot start your vehicle. More than likely you’re confusing the key transponder with the key fob. The key transponder is the password portion of your key. Your key handshakes with the vehicle to know if this password is on site. This happens using electromagnetic waves. These waves power the key transponder system long enough to handshake properly. This has nothing to do with the key fob. I wish you luck entering your car, however. Especially if you drive a BMW.
Car died while driving and won’t start. What now?
First, check the fuses. Best hope it’s a blown starter fuse. Now, observe whether the vehicle cranks. If it does, your battery is low. Find out why. Bad battery? Bad alternator? You need to get the system checked out. But before that, we need to bring the battery voltage back to 12. Find a mechanic or DIY this and find out what it could be.