Car Battery Dead: What to Do When Your Battery Dies

Car Battery dead
Al Ibrahim, Flickr

Car battery dead? Let’s take a guess: it’s an inconvenient time, right? Car batteries always die at the wrong time. Not that there’s necessarily any good time for a battery to give up the ghost. But you usually only discover it’s dead when you’re in a rush to get somewhere and your engine won’t turn over. We can help.
What should you do? Before you freak out, read on. You just might find a quick solution that’ll get you back on the road in short time.

Car Battery Dead – Quick Fixes

1. Look around you.

Depending on where you are and what time of day your battery’s decided to punch the proverbial ticket, your options could vary.
The first thing you’re going to need are some jumper cables and a willing person to pull his or her car up alongside yours and give you a jump start. If you’ve never learned how to jumpstart a car before, and are asking yourself, “Positive to negative, or positive to positive?” here’s how. Try asking someone nearby if they’d be willing to give you a hand. Don’t be shy about asking – almost everyone’s been in this situation before and can probably identify with your dilemma.
If there’s nobody around, move on to the next step below.

2. Phone a friend.

Pull out your cell phone and start swiping through your list of contacts. Call your spouse, your best friend, or a family member to ask them if they have jumper cables and if they can get to you. If you have to be someplace and don’t have the time to deal with jumpstarting your car, they can at very least give you a ride to your destination.
While you’ve got your phone out, be sure not to waste time on social media, or other battery-consuming sites. Now isn’t the time to have a dead phone battery, too.

3. Call for professional help.

Roadside assistance is an optional car insurance addition that can sometimes swoop in for the big save during your hour of desperate need. If you’ve got roadside assistance, get on the horn and call in for help. Not sure if you do? Call your insurance company and find out.
For a fee, most towing companies can come to you and jump start your car or tow you to a mechanic who can determine if your battery needs to be replaced, recharged, or simply jumpstarted.
Want a modern solution for roadside assistance? Openbay offers on-demand (meaning no pricey membership necessary) roadside assistance, with flat rates for a battery jump, among other services, and for towing, based on distance.
Typically, all a dead battery needs is a jump start to get it going again. Once it’s been brought back from the Great Beyond, driving your vehicle should be enough for it to recharge back to its normal, fully functional state. If your battery continues to die after it’s been jumped, this is a sign that you may need to have it replaced. Fortunately, battery replacement is fairly inexpensive.

Advice to Keep Your Car Battery Alive

Extend the life of your car’s battery, and try not to put yourself in a situation where you have to use any of the above fixes.

  • Don’t leave your stereo on.

    When the vehicle’s not running, the stereo can quickly drain the battery.

  • Don’t leave your lights on.

    Make sure your headlights and interior lights are off every time you exit your car. If you’ve got an option to leave the lights on an ‘automatic’ setting, use that one to avoid having to flip the switch.

  • Be conscious of cold weather.

    Cold weather can test the limits of your battery and can sometimes be the very thing that does it in. Try to bundle your errands together in the winter, so you’re driving longer, as starting the engine is especially stressful on the battery when temps have dropped. Try to park it in the warmth of the sun, and if you live in one of America’s coldest places, consider insulating your battery. Read more here about how to keep your battery alive and kicking during the winter months.

  • Keep an eye on it.

    Peek under the hood every so often to check the condition of your battery. Corrosion can often build up between around battery’s connectors, causing it not to operate properly. If you notice corrosion, use a wire brush to scrub away at it. Here are some additional tips for doing that.

Even though a battery replacement is a relatively inexpensive repair, it still pays to comparison shop.  Start with Openbay. Compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button. Openbay is car repair for today’s world.

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