Car Battery Keeps Dying? Here’s What To Check

If your car battery keeps dying, you'll need to get to the root cause of the problem.
Written by Lisa Steuer McArdle
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Nov 30, 2021
If you've ever been stranded because your car battery keeps dying, you know that it's an unpleasant experience. Batteries seem to die at the worst possible time, like when you're on your way to work or when the windchill is below zero. That's why all drivers should know how to
jump-start a dead car battery
But unfortunately, even if you have a set of jumper cables with you, sometimes no one will stop to help. That's where
roadside assistance
is invaluable. But a jump-start is a temporary fix for a dying car battery. You'll need to get to the root cause of the problem. 
It's frustrating when your car battery keeps dying, but there's probably a reason why.

Reasons your car battery keeps dying

Sometimes, the cause of a dead battery is readily apparent. Maybe you left your
headlights
or dome light on overnight. In many newer cars, these lights will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time. But if you drive an older car without these fancy features, forgetting a light is easy to do.
And if your
car sits for a long period of time
without being turned on or driven, you shouldn't be surprised if the car battery keeps dying. The battery actually charges every time you drive. Over time, if a car sits parked, the battery will lose its charge. 
But if you need to jump-start the battery for any other reason, you'll need to do some investigating on your own or bring your car to the shop. There are countless reasons why a car battery can repeatedly lose its charge. However, most battery issues will fall into one of three categories: poor battery condition, extreme weather, and charging issues. 
Poor battery conditions include an older battery that's near the end of its lifespan and built-up corrosion. Extreme weather conditions on their own usually aren't enough to cause a battery to die. However, scorching temperatures or subzero weather can exacerbate other vehicle problems. And lastly, charging issues could be a problem with the battery connection or a parasitic drain within the electrical system.

Routine maintenance is the best prevention for a dead car battery

Every time you pop the hood of your car, it's a good idea to check the battery. Look for any corrosion around the battery terminal connectors, which appears as white, blue, or green blooms. If you feel comfortable removing the corrosion yourself,
Lifewire
has detailed DIY instructions. 
You'll also want to make sure the terminal connectors are tight. If the connection is loose, the battery won't fully charge when you're driving and you could end up stranded on your next trip.
Checking the health of the battery is one way to
prepare your car for winter
. When your vehicle is in the shop for routine winterization, ask the mechanic to test the battery's charge. If your battery isn't operating properly, the mechanic can pinpoint the exact cause. The best place to find out that you have a parasitic drain or a dying battery is while your car is already at the shop!

Consider roadside assistance coverage, just in case

Sometimes, a car battery keeps dying without much or even any warning. Even if you maintain your vehicle and your car battery, life happens. A car insurance policy that offers roadside assistance for towing and jump starts will offer you peace of mind. 
To find the right insurance for your budget and your needs, check out
Jerry
. You can compare the top insurance companies and get quotes, without any hassle or high-pressure sales.
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National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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