Can A Car Battery Die While Driving?

The battery helps start the car and provides electrical energy to the car system. Supposedly you have been having issues with your battery and wondering if your car battery may die while driving. 

The answer is yes; your car battery can die while driving. 

There are different reasons why a car battery can die while driving, and you should know them and know the potential fixes as there may not be a mechanic around. This article will help you understand why and what can be done if your battery dies while driving.

Reasons your Car battery dies while driving.

A few things can cause a battery to die while driving. Some of these things are easily spotted, while others will need the help of a mechanic to spot and fix. Here are some of the reasons your car battery may die while driving:

  • Bad alternator: the alternator supplies electrical energy that charges the battery while the car is running. When the alternator stops working, it starts running off the energy in the battery. Without the steady supply of electricity to the battery, the battery eventually dies and will soon shut off the engine. Some clear signs indicate the alternator is not working, like dim or blinking headlight and car interior light, odd smell, and grinding sounds.
  • Bad battery: old batteries or batteries that won’t hold charge have a high tendency of dying while you are driving. Before a battery goes bad, it will give out warnings, but it could just die on rare occasions. There are signs to watch for if your battery is going bad: the chief among them is the battery indicator light on the dashboard. Other warnings include a slow start, electrical components on but not the engine, and stalling of the car.
  • Faulty battery connector: the battery is connected to the car with cables which can become loose over time. There is also the risk of corrosion at the battery terminals and the connector. These can lead to the battery dying while you are still driving. If you notice the car takes longer to start, there may be a problem with the connectors. Regular cleaning and tightening the cable and the terminal can solve this problem.
  • Bad ASD relay: ASD is the automatic shutdown that helps start the car. It sends power from the battery to the car ignition coils and injectors and provides the spark that starts the engine. It is also subject to wear and tear over time. A faulty ASD will prevent your car from starting and can also cause the battery to die while you are driving.
  • Faulty fuel pump: the fuel pump helps feed the engine with fuel. The fuel pump may be faulty, preventing the car from starting and causing the car battery to die while driving. Most time, what damages the fuel pump is the gas in the tank or a blockage of the fuel pump filter. The best way to fix this is to seek the help of a mechanic.
  • Bad MAP sensor: Sensors are in place to detect physical and chemical changes in the car. However, the sensor may fail and give incorrect information. The information can affect the performance and efficiency of the vehicle, which can, in turn, kill the battery while driving.
car starter

Is it possible the car battery dies without warning while driving?

Even though the possibility is low, it is still however possible. The car battery is being discharged even when the car is off by the electrical component of the vehicle. An old or weak battery can suddenly die without warning from the drain of the accessory discharge. Also, a problem with the electrical component can increase the discharge rate on the battery and cause it to die suddenly. It is not a norm but a remote possibility. If your battery were to ever die without warning, you should seek professional help to help diagnose the problem.

What happens when your car battery dies while driving?

As said earlier, the car battery can die while driving, so what happens if the battery dies? Once the battery dies, the car’s engine shuts off, and the car comes to a stop. The leading causes of a dead battery are the alternator and the age of the battery. As the battery is the one that provides the energy for the car to start, once it dies, restarting the car will be impossible. Although there are some exceptions to this, like tightening loose terminals and cleaning the terminals but a car battery dying while driving will cause the following issues:

  • Car stalling in the middle of the road
  • The engine refuses to start
  • The exterior and interior lights are dull or do not come on.
  • There will be no or low heated water level.
  • The car radio may not come on or come on at random.

Steps to take when your car battery dies while driving

A few things are recommended for you to do if your car battery suddenly dies while you are driving. They are highlighted below:

  • Pull Over: the first step is to find a way to pull to the side of the road. If the engine is not dead before you notice the dead battery, look for a place to park. However, if the car engine is dead, you can still try by using the emergency brake to move the car away from the road.
  • Try restarting the car: Allow the vehicle to cool down for a few minutes before you try to start it again. In some cases, the vehicle will start. The issue is, however, not resolved. You still need to get to a repair shop to fix the problem.
  • Turn Emergency flashers on: it is better to turn on your emergency flashers for safety reasons. It will alert other drivers and allow them to give you some space.
  • Look under the hood: Pop open the car’s hood and check for dirt, debris, and corrosion on the battery terminals, which may prevent a connection to the alternator. Clean the battery terminal once the engine cools down and try restarting the car. If it works, great. You can then consult a mechanic for a check-up on the car.
  • Jumpstart the car: You can use it to charge the battery if you have a car charger kit. However, if you are not, another driver will hopefully stop and allow you to jumpstart your car with their vehicle, provided you have a jumper cable. It can help you get to an auto repair shop in time for a fix.
  • Call for help: most people are not prepared for a situation like this; take a deep breath and don’t panic. If none of the steps above work, you can call for a tow truck to take you to a repair shop. 
a car engine in cold weather


A car battery helps power the car and the electrical system in the car with the help of the alternator. Your car battery can die while driving, but you must know why your car battery may die and its implications. It will help you prepare for the inevitable even though it may never happen. It is also essential to note the steps to take peradventure your car battery dies while driving. Consider changing your battery as soon as it gives symptoms of being faulty and have a professional check out your car regularly for any damages.

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