Could my car battery need replacing?

Yesterday, I was sitting in my car for a half-hour lunch break. My headlights were on. When I went to start the car later on, it wouldn’t start. It did not seem to me that my car battery should’ve been drained that quickly. Does this mean my battery needs to be replaced? 

17 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 month ago

    Assuming you aren't just trolling - you can always get the battery tested, then you will know if you need to replace it or not.

    If the battery tests good, then you might just need to clean the contacts, apply some dielectric grease, and then tighten them down.

    If it continues to have problems, your alternator may not be charging the battery - and you may need to get it tested as well.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    It is normal for a battery to drain if the headlights are left on. Doing this too many times will wreck even a new battery.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Why were the headlights on?  You are not driving anywhere.  You are sitting. Dome light can be put on without headlights.

    . Batteries get OLD.  7 years is the maximum on a $100 battery(it is guaranteed for 5) A $200. will give you 10 years.  

    . only YOU know how old your battery is.

    You can buy the cheaper 300Ah battery or the more expensive 1000Ah battery(a battery made for diesel cars<because they have high compression engines>(450psi compared to 160psi for gas)

    .Movies and TV detective shows are REAL BAD at showing real LIFE owning a car.  They always leave the car with headlights on and go and have a gun fight or a stake out or buried a body or a dozen bodies.  Then they get back into the car and start it up. After an hour the battery is "flucking dead" man.  Then they will say something stupid like the "starter went out".

    (or even worse, it is out of gas)Instead of the battery is dead.  It is not in the script.

  • Andy C
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Perfectly normal for a older standard flooded starting battery to be drained by such in the time mentioned. 

    Look into a dual-purpose battery (like Optima Yellowtop or Odyssey) so you can get powered electronics to work when engine is off and not damage your battery. 

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 month ago

    I can't test your battery from here.

    That said, 1/2 hour with the headlights on and the engine off can EASILY use enough power that the battery can't power the starter. As we don't know now far you drove the last time the engine was running, we can't be confident it was fully charged when you parked.

  • 1 month ago

    It means you ran the battery down through carelessness. It also means you need to have the battery charged by taking a long drive or use a battery charger. You can have the battery load tested at a car part store to get  the real condition of the battery.

    Headlights use a lot of juice when the engine is off. Make sure you didn't also have the fan, window defroster, stereo or other accessories running too.

  • Phil M
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It is normal for a battery to drain if the headlights are left on. Doing this too many times will wreck even a new battery.

  • Barry
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    It may do. However why did you leave the headlights on? That was asking for trouble.

  • 1 month ago

    Leaving the headlights on for half an hour without the motor running will drain the battery! Go to Auto Zone and they test batteries and charging systems for free.

  • Murzy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    They can put a "drain" on your battery and see if it needs replacing.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.