Auto Repairs That Might Be Needed If Your Car Battery Is Dead

A common auto repair is to replace a bad battery. However, a battery should charge up as you drive it, so if the battery is dead, it either won't hold a charge or it isn't being charged. If your battery isn't getting a charge, the alternator could be bad. Either way, you probably want to take your car to an auto repair shop. If the alternator is bad, you may need to have your car towed. Here's how to deal with a bad battery.

Consider Why The Battery Is Bad

If the battery is dead because you left something on overnight, such as a light or headlights, you might be able to have the battery jumped and then let the alternator recharge it as you drive. If the battery is dead because it's old and it's cold outside, the battery may not hold a charge, so you probably don't want to drive it. The battery could die again and leave you stranded.

Decide If You Want To Replace The Battery Yourself

If you're handy with cars, you might replace the battery yourself. However, if you've never changed a battery and you don't know how, let an auto repair shop do the job for you so you stay safe and your car isn't damaged. Plus, the auto repair shop will know if the alternator is bad too, and replace it if necessary.

Take Your Car To The Shop

If the battery is still fairly young, the mechanic might just clean the terminals to see if that makes a difference. However, they can test a battery to tell if it's good or needs to be replaced. To replace it, the negative terminal is disconnected first and then the positive one. The battery is then pulled out and replaced with a new battery. Connecting the terminals is done in reverse by connecting the positive terminal first and then the negative one once the cable ends have been cleaned if they need it.

Replacing the alternator is more work. It's harder to reach and has a lot of screws to remove. First, the mechanic disconnects the battery and belt. Then they remove the cables from the alternator. Several screws need to be removed to free the old alternator from the car. Then the new alternator is put on and secured with screws. The cables are attached, the belt is replaced, and the battery is connected. After that, the mechanic starts up your car to make sure everything is working as it should.

For more information about auto repair, contact a local auto shop.