Is your car keeps dying, the battery and alternator are good, or the car battery keeps dying, but alternator is good? If so, you should see some common causes and also solutions down below.
An alternator is an inevitable component for a battery to mobilize the vehicle’s entire electric system. That is the reason why we check alternators when the car battery goes dead.
But, in many cases, not only an alternator causes a dead battery. Even, we found the battery and alternator are good, but the car keeps dying.
Here, we will find reasons why the car keeps dying, but the battery and alternator are good, why the car battery is dying but alternator is good, and more.
Let’s dive right in.
How Does The Battery And Alternator Work Together
When your car keeps dying, but the battery and alternator are good, you better understand the connection between the battery and alternator in the car.
An alternator is a generator that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy.
On the other hand, a car battery is a rechargeable battery that is used to provide power for starting a motor and constantly provides power to a car’s electrical components, such as headlights, dashboard instruments, radio, and more.
An alternator keeps the car’s electrical components alive while the engine is ruined. Also, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery.
When you’re running the car, the alternator provides electrical power to your vehicle and recharges the battery. But, when your car is shut off, only the battery keeps your car’s electrical components alive.
This is how the battery and alternator work together to operate the car. So, both the battery and an alternator are essential for the vehicle.
Causes Of Car Keeps Dying, Battery And Alternator Are Good
Loose battery connection, parasitic drain on the battery, poor ground connection, battery charging system issues, and short-distance driving are the most common causes of a car that keeps dying, but the battery and alternator are good.
Nine common causes why your car keeps dying but the battery and alternator are good:
- Parasitic Drain On Your Car Battery
- Loose Battery Connections
- You Left The Car Lights On
- Extreme Temperatures
- Poor Ground Connection
- You Taking Too Frequent Short Trips
- Corroded Connections
- Existing Charging System Problems
- Battery Has Leakage
1. Parasitic Drain On Your Car Battery
Parasitic drain is the most common cause of car keeps dying, but battery and alternator are good.
When a car’s electrical system continues to pull energy from the battery after the car is completely off, this is known as a parasitic drain on the battery.
Car electrical components such as radio, power mirrors, computers, interior/exterior lights, power seats, and more consume battery charge even when the car is off.
Parasitic draw on the battery does not interrupt the charging process of the alternator, but consistent parasitic drain makes your car battery dead quickly.
If parasitic drain continues on your battery, the new battery also goes to die. To detect parasitic drain on the battery required a test.
Using a digital multimeter, you can know whether your car has a parasitic drain on the battery. Auto repair shops perform parasitic drains, so you also connect with them.
Ensuring every electrical component is off before you leave the car is the best option to avoid parasitic drains on the battery.
Related: Why Car Battery Keeps Dying
2. Loose Battery Connections
The car’s several components are connected to the battery, but the most important connection is the terminal connection which is known as the battery connection.
As you might know, vehicles need electrical energy to start the engine, which is the energy the battery provides. That’s why starting your car’s engine is impossible without a battery.
But, loose battery connections cannot supply the power to the car’s electrical system, and eventually, the car keeps dying without electrical energy from the battery.
So, even if your car battery and the alternator are well, the car will die when your car battery connections are loose.
Loose battery connections also damage the car’s electronic components over time.
3. You Left Car Lights On
As I mentioned earlier, every electronic component of your run by the battery means the car’s electronic components drain the battery power when it’s turned on.
Among the car’s interior and exterior lights, headlights consume the most amount of power from the battery.
So, when you leave car lights on, it continually drains the stored battery power and makes the battery dead after a certain time.
But, if your car is running, the car’s lights get power from the alternator, which is consistently charging. That’s why it’s completely fine to keep the car’s lights on when the car is running.
Avoid unnecessary lights on the car and also only turn on lights when it’s necessary.
See Also: How To Keep Car Battery From Dying
4. Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures are not ideal for both the car and the battery because it prevents the battery from operating.
In too cold and hot temperatures, your car battery is going to drain, which you can’t even notice.
The car battery sends power signals to the car’s electrical system through an electrochemical reaction.
But, when you leave your car extremely cold, the chemical reaction in the battery gets slow, and eventually, the battery stops functioning.
That’s why your car keeps dying, but you find no problem with the alternator and battery.
The idea of keeping your car away from any extreme temperature is that the battery will not die so fast.
Instead, park your car outside of the garage, and put your car in the garage in cold weather. In the summer, don’t leave your car under the sunlight; park your car in shady places.
5. Poor Ground Connection
As you might know, a bad or poor ground connection won’t be able to charge the battery, which is why a good battery ground connection is necessary.
Also, if your car has a poor battery ground connection, the electrical circuit won’t deliver power to the car’s electrical system.
When the battery has no charge left, it makes the car keeps dying along the way. For bad battery ground straps, various problems can be found in your car.
Ensuring the car’s battery ground connection functionality and good is necessary whether it’s a new or old car.
Check Out: Dead Car Battery Signs
6. You Taking Too Frequent Short Trips
Driving too short distances is always bad for the car’s entire functions.
Too much short-distance driving is another cause why your car keeps dying, but the battery and alternator are good.
Your car’s alternator needs enough time to start recharging the battery, which is not possible when you are taking a too short-distance drive. The situation gets worse when you take too frequent short trips.
The alternator cannot recharge the battery when you drive too short a distance, and eventually, the battery keeps dying, but the alternator stays in good shape.
Avoid short-distance driving if it’s possible; otherwise, the battery keeps dying but the battery doesn’t get any charge.
7. Corroded Connections
Corrosion makes your battery faulty and also brings defective battery connections.
Corrosion can be the major cause of car battery dying, but alternator is good.
Terminals of your car battery are responsible for charging the battery and supplying the power to mobilize the vehicle’s electrical system.
Battery connections need to be clean and tightened, especially completely corrosion free.
When the battery connections are corroded, the battery gets fewer chances to charge and eventually goes dead, although the alternator is good.
8. Existing Charging System Problems
A vehicle charging system has two jobs; one is to deliver electrical energy to power the vehicle, and another is to sustain the battery charge while the car is running.
For various issues, a car’s charging systems can become defective, and some vehicles have existing problems that owners don’t know yet.
If the vehicle has existing charging system problems, it’s not going hard for the battery to get charged and supplied properly.
So, when you find that your car keeps dying, but the battery and alternator are good, it’s necessary to look for problems in your car’s charging system.
I strongly suggest checking your car’s charging system with an auto mechanic unless you are a mechanic.
9. Battery Has Leakage
Don’t be a fool by driving your car with a leaking battery because it’s not safe at all.
Sometimes, it’s hard to notice the car battery leaking without proper inspection of the battery.
Excessive battery leakage is a reason for cars not starting, although the battery and alternator are good.
The car battery leaking must be fixed as soon as possible before the battery harms anything.
Leaking car batteries leak Sulfuric acid solution that is highly toxic and not also capable of damaging the skin and clothing.
Related Also: Why Can Drain A Car Battery When The Car Is Off
What To Do When Car Keeps Dying But Battery And Alternator Are Good
As you already know, what are the causes why the battery and alternator are good, but the car keeps dying. Now you need to know what to do.
- Avoid Short Distance Driving:
Avoiding driving too short distances is the first thing to do when your car keeps dying, but the battery and alternator are good.
The battery won’t get charged from the alternator for a short distance. In driving a car, at least 15 to 20 minutes is required to recharge the battery.
- Tighten Battery Connections:
Battery connections are important to deliver and consume the electrical power from the car’s electrical system.
Keep the battery all connections tight so that the battery supplies the right amount of power and also can be recharged again.
- Keep Car Away From Extreme Temperature:
Although your car’s battery and alternator are both operating properly, the excessive temperature can make your car not start.
Parking your car in the garage is always a great idea to keep your car battery from dying in too hot and cold weather.
- Avoid Parasitic Draw On The Battery:
For the parasitic draw, your car keeps dying, although the alternator is good. And if the parasitic draw keeps consistent on the battery, it is going to make the car dead completely soon.
Turn off all the electrical components in your car before leaving the car.
And don’t forget to perform a parasitic draw test on your car battery if the car battery keeps dying.
- Regular Car Charging System Inspection:
For various reasons, the car charging system can be defective; it could be manufacturer error, overcharging the battery, undercharging, and more.
But, there is a strong connection between why car batteries go dead and defective charging systems.
Diagnosing a car’s charging system requires advanced skills; that’s why considering an auto mechanic would be the best option for you.
- Keep Battery Connections Clean:
I couldn’t stress enough how important it is to clean the car battery connections.
The battery connections are responsible for supplying electrical power; that’s why keeping the connection neat and clean is necessary.
Keep the battery connections from corrosion, loose connections, and torn apart.
Reasons Why Car Battery Keeps Dying But Alternator Is Good
Every electrical component in your car draws the battery power to operate, but that does not mean electrical components keep draining the battery.
The assumption behind why the car battery keeps dying but the alternator is good makes sense because the car’s battery and alternator are connected to each other.
Here are several reasons why your car battery keeps dying but the alternator is good:
Your Car Battery is Too Old
In most scenarios, the car battery keeps dying, but the alternator is good because the battery is too old.
An automobile battery life expectancy is around three to four years. But, when you have been using the battery for five years, it’s spontaneous to see the car battery die quickly.
If you are not sure how many years you have been using your car battery, find an alphanumeric code on the battery that tells you how old your car battery is.
An old car battery has less capacity to hold old charges. That’s why no matter how many times the alternator recharges the battery, it will keep draining automatically.
Related Article: Car Battery Sparks When Connecting
Unused or Stored Battery
As we all know, a car battery can be stored or let the battery sit for a very long time.
But, you should know the battery can go to die while it’s stored. That’s why we often have difficulty starting the vehicle after not using the battery for a couple of days.
Some car batteries can be completely drained when they’re not in use. That’s why a functional alternator cannot recharge it again.
Faulty Battery Connections
The battery cable connections are equally important as battery electrical power.
Without a proper connection, the car’s electrical components are not going to get the right power to operate. Similarly, the battery needs to recharge through connections.
Your car alternator also recharges the battery through connections, but if the connection is bad, it’s hard to recharge the battery for an alternator.
So, eventually, the battery keeps dying, but the alternator won’t charge the battery again for bad connections, although the alternator is completely fine.
Related: Things To Do When Car Battery Dies
How To Tell If Alternator Is Draining Battery
To tell if the alternator is draining your car battery, you must run a taste on your car’s battery.
Here are the simple steps to tell if the alternator is draining the battery:
Step 1: Keep The Engine Running
First up, you must keep your car engine running. The taste of telling if the alternator is draining the battery is going to take only a little bit of time, so keep the engine running.
Step 2: Open The Car’s Hood
While your car engine is running, get out of the car and open your car’s hood slowly.
Step 3: Remove The Negative Cable From The Battery
If possible, wear rubber gloves or mechanics gloves before touching battery cables.
After ensuring the car engine is running, now just remove the negative cable from the battery properly.
Step 4: Check Car’s Condition
If the car dies instantly or stalls, that means your car’s alternator is bad, and this also indicates the alternator is draining the battery.
Will A Bad Alternator Drain A Battery?
In short, yes, a bad alternator can drain a battery, but this is not common. So, if your car battery keeps draining, the alternator is not the cause every time.
When the connections of alternators are not right, the alternator can drain the battery.
Also, if the alternator goes bad for defective components, the battery can die.
Therefore, when your car battery remains drained, you can’t directly blame the alternator.
The Car keeps dying, the battery and alternator are good is a common scenario, especially in old cars.
In most cases, your car keeps dying for loose battery connections, although the alternator and battery are operating properly.
Excessive temperature, the poor ground connection, and consistent parasitic draw on the battery can cause the car to keep dying.
Sometimes for these same causes, you can experience the car battery keeps dying, but alternator is good.
Regular inspection of the battery and keeping the battery connections clean is good practice to avoid all those issues in your car.
More About Dead Car Battery:
- Dead Car Battery Tricks
- Can A Completely Dead Battery Be Recharged?
- Who To Call When The Car Battery Dies
- How To Move A Car With A Dead Battery
How is it going?
I’m Meraj Sarker. I am a Car Mechanic and a student of Automobile Restoration here in Florida, USA. I’ve been studying automotive for around 9 years now. So you can rely on my recommendation. For me, studying and getting knowledge about automobile it’s really fun and entertaining. I will help you to get solutions for your car through this website. If you need any help let me know.