How To Fix A Car Battery That Doesn’t Hold A Charge

What will you do if you are in a hurry to leave to catch that important meeting and suddenly your car won’t start? The engine is dead, and no matter how hard you try the ignition on, nothing is happening. Everything is dead. The most obvious culprit here is your car battery. Is there something that you can do to make it work again?

How to fix a car battery that doesn’t hold a charge? Perhaps, the first thing that will enter your mind is to jumpstart your car. But there are other practical ways to fix a car battery.

I will show you how. These are the simple steps:

Step 1: Clean the post of the battery
Step 2: Do the load test
Step 3: Detach the battery covers
Step 4: Do the Hydrometer test
Step5: Test the battery

More details on the Ways to Repair a Car that Doesn’t Hold a Charge

Step 1: Clean the post of the battery. First, you have to prepare the battery and use safety glasses. You can clean the battery posts through the use of the battery post cleaner. You have to twist it back and forth until it becomes free from dirt.
Step 2: Do the load test. Try to connect the load tester in the positive terminal of the battery. Then, followed by the negative post. It will discourage sparking. Then, you have to turn on the load tester and check if the load is not dropping under 12V.
If for example the meter dropped down to the scale and did not rise. Your battery needs a replacement and can no longer be saved.
Step 3: Detach the battery covers. In removing the battery covers, you will use a screwdriver. Pry up the battery’s cover and remove the cover.
Step 4: Do the hydrometer test. By using the hydrometer, try to squeeze the bulb and make sure that you insert the tube in the battery. You have to press the bulb several times to be able to stir up the solution. If the battery solution gets dark in color, your battery is already corrupted, and replacement is the only way to do it.
Try to draw the fluid up in the hydrometer scale. You can do it by squeezing and releasing it while the tube is immersed in the solution. You have to observe the color of the liquid that increases. Green juice means that the battery is in good condition. White means fair, and red means it has to be charged. Repeat the test on all cells. Take note of all the readings you had.
Step 5: Test the battery. In testing the battery, the positive probe of the voltmeter has to be placed on the positive battery post. While the negative probe has to be in the second cell. If your battery does not reach even 2 Volts on your meter, your battery has an issue.
Then, you have to place the positive one in the second cell and the negative to the third cell. Repeat the same action until you have finished testing all the batteries. Monitor your readings and make sure that the final reading is zero.

Why Does a Battery Fail to Hold a Charge?

When a battery starts failing to hold a charge, it is an indication that the battery is getting weaker and needs a replacement soon. Here are some of the reasons why your battery failed in holding a charge.

Battery Corrosion

The build-up of corrosion at the battery ends, and terminals are one of the primary cause of battery’s failure to hold a charge longer. The flow of electrons makes it harder to force the engine to start.

Learn what cause car battery terminal corrosion?

Breaking down of battery acids

When battery acids breakdown. The acids separate, Well, during cold weather, the water freezes. If the car still doesn’t stop, you can also see the freezing waters. It results in getting the end of a battery connection dirty. Clean it with a mix of water and baking soda. Apply grease to prevent it from rusting again.

High Parasitic Draw

It can quickly discharge a battery when you have a big parasitic draw problem. Your trunk light, cigarette lighter, radio, or any other electronic devices may cause the parasitic drain. You can check it using an ammeter.

Having a high parasitic drain is one of the leading cause why batteries won’t hold a charge. You can isolate the problem quite quickly. All you have to do is to pull out a fuse one by one until your ammeter stops reading and starts to drop.

Can a Bad Alternator Ruin a Battery?

Yes, a bad alternator can ruin a battery, even the newly replaced and purchased battery can go wrong when the alternator is bad. Not being able to charge the battery when needed is one of the most potent effects of a bad alternator. If it failed to charge the battery, eventually the battery will die.

The alternator and the battery work hand in hand with one another. If the engine failed to start, you could point it out to any of the two culprits: a bad battery or a faulty alternator. Whichever is at fault, the result will always be a no engine start at all.

Learn this interesting topic of Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery: Which One Is A Problem?

I just Had a New Battery, a Few Days Later, it Already Failed to Hold a Charge, What Could be the Reason?

Yes, it could be possible that after replacing the battery it will break down again if your starter is bad. The battery is the one giving the starter power in which the alternator gets that power and gives back the power while you are driving.

A bad alternator could also cause it. No matter how new your battery is, if the alternator is faulty, it will keep draining the battery.

A battery that keeps draining can need a replacement, or you better check your alternator for problems. Knowing how to fix a car battery that doesn’t hold a charge can be beneficial for emergency purposes. You must be able to root down the cause of why it doesn’t hold a charge. Solving the problem needs a long term solution.

Sources:
1. How to Fix a Car Battery That Won’t Hold a Charge – It Still Runs
2. Experiencing Problems With Your Car Battery Holding A Charge? – Autobatteries.com
3. Alternator Q&A – KnowYourParts