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What Are The Things That Drain Your Car Battery?

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Imagine being in a situation where your car refuses to start. The headlights look dim and the car simply makes noises but refuses to start and move. In most such situations, the batter acts as the culprit. Being in such a situation when you are in a hurry to go somewhere is the worst.

This article tries to analyse the different things that drain your car battery so read on.

What Does My Car Battery Do?

Car battery is undoubtedly one of the most crucial components of my car. Without it, you won’t be able to drive or even start your car. Your car’s battery is what is responsible for sending power from the starter motor to the spark plugs. This power then ignites the car’s fuel. This power also reaches other systems like radios, air conditioners, etc. making them start their work. Diagnosing a faulty car battery can’t be that hard. It is better to get it checked when you find it difficult to start your car or if your car’s light is dim or a weakening alarm system.

8 Things That Drain Your Car Battery

There are a few things that are capable of draining your car battery. Knowing these can come in handy for you. You can do certain measures to avoid these things altogether to guarantee a long life for your battery.

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1. Human Error

One among the other things that drain your car battery is human error or the mistakes you make that make your battery drain faster than it should. One such instance can be you forget to switch on your car’s headlights after a busy days’ work when you reach your house. There is nothing that can help drain your car battery faster than this. Many such instances like forgetting to completely close the trunk or forgetting to switch off some internal lights can all cause your car battery to drain. Some cars, especially newer models, come with alerts that go on when you commit mistakes like this but you may not be an owner of such cars.

2. Parasitic Drain

Don’t worry. By parasites, we do not mean any parasitic organisms like fungus or bacteria. Here the word parasite is used to refer to components in your car that drain your car battery even when your car is running. Some parasite drains are normal. For example, your car battery always provides power for components like your car clock which needs it. Otherwise, you will have to set your car clock’s time every time you restart your car. Other such components are radio presets and security alarms.

The parasitic drain gets concerning when certain components start using more power than what is normal. This happens when there are electrical problems like faulty wiring, poor installation and defective fuses.

3. Faulty Charging

Having a faulty charging system can make your car battery drain faster. A faulty charging can drain charge from your car’s battery even while driving. Most cars take charge of the alternator for the radio, lights and other systems while driving. If your car is having faulty charging, this can only make things worse. The alternator may have loose belts or worn out tensioners that do not allow it to work properly.

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4. Defective Alternator

The alternator is the component responsible for recharging your car’s battery. As mentioned above, the alternator is responsible for charging radio, lights, air conditioners and other systems. However, if your alternator has a bad diode, it can result in the draining of your car battery. The circuit may charge even when the engine is off if your alternator has got a bad diode. This will end with you having a car that refuses to start.

5. Extreme Temperature

Temperatures can play a great role in the failure of drainage of your car battery. Both extremely hot (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and cold temperatures (under 10 degrees Fahrenheit) can cause sulfate crystals to build up. If action to stop this is not immediately taken, it can cause car battery failure within a few days. Such situations can also make it difficult for your car battery to charge.

6. Excessive Short Drives

Believe it or not but if you are someone who does excessive short drives, the chances of your car battery draining fast is higher. Your car battery takes the most power when you are starting your car. So when you do frequent short drives, your car battery takes up a lot of charge while starting and fails to get recharged as your alternator won’t get enough time to start and do the work. This makes excessive short drives one of the things that drain your car battery.

7. Corroded or Loose Battery Cables

Recharging your car battery is impossible by the charging system if the battery connections are corroded or if there are any sort of loose cable connections. It is advised to check the connections frequently for dirt or signs of corrosions and must be cleaned using a cloth or a toothbrush. Loose connections or loose battery cables make it difficult to start the engine as they won’t be able to transfer the electric current efficiently.

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8. Old Battery

Is your car battery quite old? In such a case, your car battery may not be able to hold the charge well. In such a situation, you will find consistent difficulty in starting your car. This happens because your battery is worn out and is too weak. It is generally advised to replace your car battery every 3-4 years so it’s best to replace your car battery if it is older than that.

What Should I Do With A Car Battery That Drains Quickly?

To be in a situation where your car battery drains off quickly can be frustrating. Such a situation can cause you a lot of difficulty like finding it difficult to start your car. Such a situation can be annoying especially when you are in a hurry to go somewhere. It is best to get advice from a qualified mechanic who can diagnose what the issue is with your car battery, in such a situation.


Several things can cause your car battery to drain off faster than its normal life span. This article has covered the different things that drain your car battery. Knowing these details can help you both diagnose the issue with your car battery and avoid such issues happening to it. Hope this article helped you.