It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. An important meeting, a job interview you hurry and the car don’t start. What can you do in such cases? What to do with the discharged battery?
Why can the battery discharge?
There are numerous reasons why the battery is weak and does not work.
The most common are:
- You left the headlights, interior lights, and radio on
- You don’t use the car for a long time (for example, if it is stored in a garage)
- There isn’t an adequate maintenance of the battery (the terminals are not kept clean)
- General failure is that thee diode bridge or voltage regulator breaks down in the generator (alternator is what charges the battery while the car is moving)
- Cold weather: when the temperature is very low, the battery can freeze
What can you do if the battery discharged?
Use jumper cables
This is the most common method. To do this, you need only jumper cables, connected with one half to your own battery, the other in another car’s battery. Never try to start the car when the battery is cracked or leaking!
Follow these steps:
- First park with a working car so that it’s front will as close as possible to the front of the wrong car. (But the cars do not touch)
- In the case of the manual transmission car put the gear into neutral. Automatic transmission car put at the P mode. Turn off the ignition, remove the keys and pull up the hand break.
- Take the jumper cables. Make sure that the metal clamps aren’t in contact with each other. The positive cable is usually red, negative is black.
- Open the hood of both cars. Look for the battery and the terminals. Make sure you know which the positive and the negative pole is on it.
- Connect one clamp of the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal of the bad battery, and the other end into a good battery’s positive terminal.
- Start the good car.
- Now connect one end to the negative (black) cable to the negative terminal of the good battery. Do not connect the other end to the bad battery. Instead, mount it to an unpainted, non-moving metal part of the car. Wait a few minutes, so the alternator of the good car will load the bad battery.
- Try to start the car with a bad battery. If it fails, then repeat this step. If the car is started, run the engine at least 5 minutes so the generator will have time to recharge the battery.
- Finally, disconnect the jumper cables from both car in reverse order (start the black cable), as originally connected them. Make sure that the cables’ clips do not touch each other because it may cause a short circuit.
Push the car
If you can’t start the car because you have no jumper cable and the car has manual transmission, you can try another technique.
Follow these steps:
- Sit in the car and turn the ignition key to the start position, the gear shift into second place and hold the clutch pedal.
- Ask your assist to push the car. Make sure that the parking place or street is empty, you do not have to deal with oncoming traffic.
- If the car has been running, quickly let off the clutch, this should normally start the engine.
- If at first the car will not start, repeat the previous steps.
If you are not lucky, and the car doesn’t start after several attempts using either method, it is more than likely that you will need a new battery or generator. In general, the maximum service life of batteries is 2-3 years, even if the manufacturers say five years. Optimally, the battery should be replaced in every 2-2.5 year – before it becomes problems.
4 signals that the battery is exhausted…
The battery is like the heart, without it the car doesn’t have enough power to get start. Therefore it’s important to understand its operation and you know the most common sings of the breaking.
1. The ignition is ok, but the car doesn’t start
When the ignition is ok when you turn the key, but the car doesn’t start, the most likely culprit is the battery. If that happens, use a jumper cable. If the car is running, remove the cable and run the engine to approx. 30 minutes to allow the generator to charge the battery.
2. No ignition, no start, no lights
This situation is very simple to detect. The battery operates lights and all accessories in the car, especially if the generator is not working. If the car has no “sign of life”, then you should look at the battery.
3. One day good start, other day bad start
If the problem is intermittent that means the following: the poles of the battery are loose, broken, corroded. First, let’s look at the cables, because you can control them easily – they are closely aligned, there is no gap between them.
4. Cold start is difficult
Early signs that the battery’s life is running out – what most people ignore – that the car regularly need extra energy to start the engine. But remember, if there are really cold outside, relatively normal, that a bit more difficult to start the car in the morning.
From who can ask help?
Unfortunately, to restart the car due with battery failure is not one-man job, so you can’t do much alone. You will need help.
If you are using a rental car, call the car rental staff who tell you what to do. If you drive your own a car, get help to start, and then look for a car repair service, where professionals are able to replace the defective battery to you.