Returning to your car to find the battery is dead is almost a rite of passage for every driver, especially if you're starting out with a "banger" of an older car that has seen better days. A dead car battery shouldn't come as a surprise; there are ways to gauge/guess if you're about to experience this.
Let's look at some of the signs your car battery could be about to die and what options you have.
Your car is having a little trouble getting going
If you start experiencing your car having issues getting going, pay attention to what the car is trying to tell you. Realise you're always trying to force a strong action when turning a car on. Batteries that could be running into issues will give subtle hints like having the car take longer to start or there's a clicking noise coming through (clicking is typically a sign that the vehicle can't draw enough power from the battery).
Did you know that flat batteries are the Number 1 cause of car breakdowns in Ireland, accounting for almost a quarter of cars on the roadside? While this blog post is focussed on reading the signs of battery problems, we highly recommend reading up on how to avoid a flat car battery & how The AA helps customers out.
Your battery light comes on
It's somewhat ironic, but when your car battery is about to die, you might have the battery light coming on in the dashboard. Annoyingly, this light can come on due to connection faults more than anything else, but if the battery starts showing up and STAYS there while you're driving, there is a good chance your battery is having trouble charging and may end up running flat.
Your car gets jumped more than once in one week
Jumping a car because the battery is flat is common. In fact, it is completely normal to need a jump, especially if a vehicle hasn't been used in a while or you're trying to start an older car in colder weather. There's also the dreaded "headlights were left on", which flattens a battery without damage.
What isn't common but is a sign of a battery having seen better days is when you need to jump-start a car more than once in one week. Think of jumping a car just like using a defibrillator. When we do it, we're shocking the battery to get going again. Keep having to do it, and there are only so many times the battery will work going forward.
Is a car not starting a sign of a dead battery?
You pop the key in the ignition, give it a turn to go, and nothing happens. While a flat battery can be the culprit for a non-starter, there are other causes worth knowing about, including stuck ignitions & fuel problems. We've listed some of the top reasons here, which is well worth a read.
Want to make sure you're covered on the road in the event of a dead battery?
You're not expected to be a car expert, so if/when problems arise, The AA is here to help. We provide roadside assistance for customers across Ireland, offering 24/7 help that includes personal cover & an 80% repair rate. If you're interested, or you're an existing AA car insurance customer who wants added protection, give our team a quick call at 0818 227 228.