Can a bad battery make a car already in motion stop moving?

By Product Expert | Posted in Technology, Tips and Info on Thursday, June 11th, 2020 at 9:38 pm
Man pushes a car along a road.

Car Battery Driving Impact

A car’s battery exists to provide starting power and buffer electrical demands when the alternator isn’t spinning fast enough to keep up. What happens when the battery dies? Can a dead battery stop your car if you’re driving it?

Yes, a dead battery will cause your vehicle to function progressively worse until it finally grinds to a halt on the side of the road. Whether your battery merely doesn’t have enough power to run the car, or is damaged to the point that it can’t hold a charge, a battery that supplies inadequate power to a vehicle will eventually be unable to power the spark plugs and injectors, which are essential mechanical elements.

What will happen to my car if the battery dies because the alternator has stopped working while I’m driving?

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If your alternator has stopped working and your battery dies, you’ll notice a progressive drop in vehicular performance. Lights will begin getting dimmer, the fan will run slower, and other systems will weaken. Spark plugs and injectors will lose power, and chugging will commence. All the lights on the dashboard will illuminate. Soon, you won’t be able to keep moving.

A car is towed on the back of a tow truck

What should I do if my battery dies while driving?

If your battery stops providing power while your vehicle is in motion, activate your flashers and head to the side of the road. The best option is to call for a tow. A jumpstart will be ineffective, as the car will simply stall as soon as the jumper cables are disconnected.

Ever Wonder: Will flat towing a vehicle damage it?

Why do a battery and an alternator tend to die at the same time?

The alternator and battery rely on one another for support. A car battery exists to provide starting power and to buffer electrical demands when the alternator isn’t spinning fast enough to keep up. As such, a dying battery puts a big load on the alternator. This will overload the alternator and damage it. As a result, the battery and alternator generally need to be replaced together.

What if my battery is weakening but my alternator is healthy?

If your battery is weakening but your alternator is in good shape, your vehicle can still stall out if the electrical load it too high. Avoid this outcome by shutting off electrical systems, shifting to neutral, and revving the engine. No vehicles have the alternator output to equal a full electrical load at idle RPM.

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