Car battery

How to tell if a car battery is dead

Written by Autofot
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Waking up to see your car’s battery flat on the ground is a nightmare that most car owners dread. It’s even worse if you’re in a hurry and have no idea how long it’ll take to get your dead battery up and running again. Here’s a quick answer to the question on “how to tell if your car battery is dead.”

How to tell if a car battery is dead

If your car isn’t running at all, there’s a good chance that the battery is dead.

If your car turns over but won’t start, try checking if there’s a spark at the end of the red cable. If there isn’t, then the battery is dead.

If you’re not sure whether your car battery is dead another way to find out is by jumping it with a jump starter or using another working car’s jumper cables. If the other car starts up, then you know your battery is dead.

What are the signs of a dying car battery?

If you notice a car battery is dead, it will be hard to start the engine. A clunking noise can also indicate that your battery needs to be replaced. The major signs of a dying car battery are:

1. Engine cranking

If the engine fails to start when you turn on your ignition, this is a sign of a dead battery. The car will not crank if there is no power in the battery.

2. Slow cranking speed

If the engine takes longer than usual to crank, it is a sign your car battery is failing. A slow cranking speed can also indicate that the starter is failing.

3. Dim headlights

If your car battery is dying, the lights will be dimmer than usual when you are driving at night or during bad weather conditions.

4. Slow engine start

If your car takes longer to crank than usual, it is a sign that the battery needs replacement.

5. Dashboard light notification

If your dashboard light is showing an alert sign, that is a perfect indicator. If the lights are dimmer than usual, it is a sign of a dying battery.

6. Battery acid leaks

If you see that the battery case has holes or if there is a lot of white smoke coming from the engine, it is a sign that there is acid leaking out of the battery case.

5. Slow car acceleration

If your car takes longer to accelerate than usual, it is a sign that the battery needs replacement.

6. Battery not charging

If you see that your battery does not charge properly, you need to replace it with a new one.

What tool can you use to detect a dead car battery

The simplest way to detect a dead car battery is to turn on the lights, and if they don’t work you may have a problem. Other ways are checking your headlights with an extension cord, checking the terminals with a voltmeter, or putting your headlights on high beam.

Are there ways you can revive a dying car battery?

If you smell gas, the battery is likely dead. A car’s alternator should be able to keep up with demand for electricity from a vehicle’s electrical system and provide enough power to keep a car’s battery charged up. If your car has been sitting unused for more than three weeks, the alternator might not be powerful enough to charge the battery while you’re driving.

All batteries will eventually die. In some cases, this happens because the battery is old and has simply reached the end of its useful life. But in other cases, a car’s battery can die because of problems with the alternator or other parts of the car’s electrical system.


It is important to know how to tell if a car battery is dead before you head on the road. A dead battery means that your car will not start and run without an external power source.

Many people believe that a car battery is dead when the headlights turn off. This could be true if you just left your lights on, but it isn’t always an indicator of death. If your battery is dead, you will notice a few other things besides the headlights.

The most popular indicator when your car battery dies is that all of the lights inside and outside of the vehicle go out. For instance, If you are driving at night, your headlights will go off and the dashboard lights will dim or turn off completely. If you try to start the car after this happens, it won’t.

lastly, ensure you check out for possible signs of a dying car battery, especially if it’s beyond 2years.

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About the author


Autofot is a website that blogs on the importance of taking good care of our automobiles. Little things that are ignored matter the most, hence we try to educate car owners and other different auto owners on how to go about taking care of their cars with little or no cost.

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