Can a Car Battery Die While Driving? (YES OR NO)

Can a Car Battery Die While Driving

Car batteries are very important to a car as it is responsible for powering it and other accessories in the car. A battery derives its power from the alternator, the alternator recharges the battery even when the car is been driven. But, can a car battery die while driving?

A car battery can die while driving if there is a problem with the battery itself or the alternator. However, if your car battery dies while driving, your car will keep running until it shuts off; you won’t be able to start the car because of the dead battery.

However, it is very possible to prevent this from happening if only you won’t ignore the signs your car gives you.

What is a Dead Car Battery?

A car battery is considered to be dead when it doesn’t have any power left on it and it’s fully discharged. Any car battery that is below 12v is said to be as good as dead.

The length of time it takes for a battery to discharge and eventually die will depend on the condition of the battery and that of the other components in the engine.

A car battery can die due to a lot of reasons which are:

  • The battery could be an old one
  • The battery could be in a bad condition,
  • Idling a car for a long period of time
  • Parasitic drain
  • Using accessories in the car when it is off etc.

It is possible to know when your car battery is not recharging thereby leaving the battery weak and eventually dying if nothing is done. The battery is responsible for starting the car, and a dead battery means you won’t be going anywhere until something is done.

An easy way to revive a dead car battery is to jump-start it, although this is not a permanent solution, it allows the car to work till you get to the mechanics.

Can a Car Battery Die While Driving?

It is very possible for a car battery to die while driving. A car battery dying while driving doesn’t mean the car will stop moving, what it means is that once the engine is turned off you won’t be able to restart the car.

A contributing factor to a battery dying while driving is if the alternator doesn’t provide power to the battery, the alternator is responsible for recharging the battery.

So, if the alternator is not charging the battery the way it should, the battery will die eventually when driving. Also, if the battery itself is already bad, the battery will die while driving.

Battery dying while driving has happened to me and it wasn’t a nice experience. I was lucky that day that it happened at a gas station when I turned off my car to buy gas. Trying to start the car again, it could not start. I had to buy a new battery to continue my journey.

What Can Cause Car Battery to Die while Driving?

Reasons why a car battery dies while driving could be because of:

1. A Problem with the Alternator

The alternator as responsibility of recharging the battery by supplying power to it. When something is wrong with the alternator, the battery uses up its power without a means of recharging. A battery will eventually die when it is not been recharged.

2. Poor Condition of the Fuel Pump

A bad fuel pump can also cause the car to die while it is being driven. The problem with the fuel pump could be as a result of clogged pump or filter.

A clogged fuel pump interrupts the flow of liquid and limits its supply thereby reducing or stopping the engine’s combustion level.

3. Insufficient Fuel in the Car

When you run out of fuel, the car will die because it can’t run on empty. This is why it is important to check your fuel gauge and refuel as often as you can.

Although it could happen that the fuel gauge is giving you a wrong reading, if this is something you have noticed over time, you should get someone to look into it.

4. Worn Out Ignition Switch

A loss of power to the engine can be caused if the ignition switch is worn out, this is because a worn ignition switch will cause a shaking when the car is driving on rough land. The shaking causes loss of power ad eventually leads to the car going off.

5. A Bad Battery

The problem could also be with the battery itself.  Car batteries whether gotten newly or pre-owned grow weak over the years and will need to be replaced.

If the car battery is weak, it discharges quickly and wouldn’t hold in enough power. When you notice that your battery dies at regular intervals then you should have it checked out and replaced.

6. Bad Wiring between the Alternator and Battery

Both alternator and battery can be in good condition, but if the wiring that should serve as a means of power transfer is badly connected, the battery won’t charge. It is important when either the alternator or battery is changed, the wiring should be done correctly.

What to do if Car Battery Dies While Driving

One of the worst things that can happen to a car is for it to die while you are driving, it is not uncommon but always a frustrating situation. If this happens to you, the following should be done;

Park the Car on the Safe Side of the Road

First things first, you should have the car parked on the safe side of the road. It is not advisable and safe to keep driving a car with a dead battery, doing so will only put you in danger. But while parking, ensure the place is safe.

Check if the Battery is Connected Well

Ensure that the battery is connected well to the alternator. I stopped to buy something one day in a grocery store parking lot and my car refused to start. When I opened the hood, I noticed that the battery was not connected well. It wasn’t tightened very well.

Restart the Car

Allow the car to rest for some minutes then try restarting it or in some cases, jump start it. The car may or may not start but worth the try. If it starts again after tightening the battery to the alternator, then that is the problem.

Jump Start The Car

If you try starting your car and it refuses to start even after verifying that it is connected well, then you need to jumpstart the car and drive to where you can purchase a new battery.

If you can’t purchase another battery immediately, you can go ahead and drive home. But ensure you never turn off the car until your get home.

Turn On Your Flasher

If you couldn’t jumpstart the car, then you have to turn on the emergency flasher alerts other road users to the fact that you are unable to start your car.

Make a Call for Help

Calling for help should in fact be the first thing you do after parking the car, this is because even if the car starts, it is unsafe to drive the distance to the repair shop except it is a short distance from where you are parked. What if it mistakenly turn off before you could get to the repair shop or home.


It is important to reiterate that your car will not stop running if the battery dies, however, it will do you good if you do not keep driving for much longer when it happens. Rather, take it to a repair shop and have it checked.

The cost of fixing the cause of a dead battery will depend on what the problem is, in some cases, all you have to do is refuel and you are good to go.