What to do About a Dead Battery

Dead car batteries are mechanics’ favorite problems to deal with, while at the same time being customers’ least favorite problems to deal with. Both of these occur for the same reason: The commonality of the problem.

J&M Transmission and Auto Service replaces and charges batteries almost as much as we rotate tires and change oil. It is not done as frequently as either of those, but it is the most common debilitating problem. As such, J&M has decided that it was best if the customer was educated on what to do about this problem.

Because when your car battery dies, things can feel hopeless. It is a car problem unlike any other, because at least when you need your oil changed or tires rotated your car still starts. What do you do when it does not?

Jump Start Your Current Battery

This process is an absolute chore, but if it works it can solve the problem right then and there.

Sometimes car batteries die for almost no reason. Maybe you have too many after-market add-ons, maybe you just ran it too long, too hard. In these cases, nothing is wrong with the vehicle. The battery died “just because”. This is a frustrating situation, but it has an easy fix: Jump starting your car.

Jump starting your car means getting another car with a healthy battery and attaching your battery to that battery by “jumper cables”. Then, start the other car and wait about ten to fifteen minutes. The other car will charge the battery of your car. If this does not work, however, then there is another problem afoot.

Get Your Alternator Checked

Once you have your car jump started, you should head right to a mechanic. You can get the charge of your battery checked there. If your battery is anything but fully charged by the time you get there, it might be time for a new battery. The way cars work, if everything is working properly, the car should be charging the battery too.

If it is not charged when you get there, then there is something else going on. The most likely culprit is the alternator. This is the piece of machinery that delivers electricity from the battery to the engine and back again. Get this checked, and if it is faulty, have it replaced.

Replace the Whole Battery

This needs to happen less frequently than you might think, but it might be necessary whether the alternator was at fault or not. Replacing the battery is a simple task that you can do on your own (much more so than replacing an alternator at least) as long as you have a new battery to replace it with.

Something to keep in mind is that it is extremely rare that a new battery is faulty. If this battery begins to have problems, then an alternator is the most likely the problem, even if the alternator seemed good before. There are other possibilities however, such as the aforementioned issues with after-market add-ons to your car.

Whatever the issue, J&M is willing to help. Come in or call us if you need any of these services.