Battery discharged in SUV

My SUV quit running after the battery discharged.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi. If the battery discharged while you were driving, it sounds like you have a charging system problem. The computers that enable the engine to run need the battery, with a charge, to operate. Even with a good alternator, a shorted cell in the battery can cause the vehicle to stall. The battery needs to be tested first, then the charging system with a good, fully charged battery. If you need further assistance, I recommend you have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, inspect the battery and repair any other failing components.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

If your Honda Pilot battery warning light comes on while driving, be sure to turn off your accessories, so the battery doesn`t ditch divergent. The warning light usually means that the alternator isn`t working well meaning you are operating solely on battery power.
The charging system warning light comes on when there is a problem with the electrical charging system or when the igni- tion switch is turned on with the engine not running. If the light comes on while driving, stop and check to see if the alternator belt is loose or broken.
When someone says that their car battery is dead, this usually refers to the idea that it is discharged. This means that the voltage of the battery is below a functional amount. Car batteries tend to run 12 or more volts, and if the battery falls below that amount, you could have a dead battery. Source: Reader`s Digest.
To begin, set the multimeter to 20 DC volts. Then, place the negative battery terminal against the negative meter probe. Likewise, touch the positive battery terminal to the positive meter probe. From there, you`ll see a number illuminate on the multimeter screen, which provides you with the battery`s charge reading.
Driving with your battery/check charging system light illuminated could leave you stranded. If your vehicle has a failing battery, faulty alternator or bad wiring, it could stop working at any time. Make an appointment with your mechanic before your car puts you on the side of the road.
The car battery light might come on for many reasons, but generally, the reasons are: An old car battery. Car battery connections that are corroded. Car battery cables that are misconnected.
Basically, the light indicates a battery charging problem. If the light comes on and stays on while driving, this means that your alternator is running solely on energy stored in the battery. If you continue driving, your battery will eventually drain and your vehicle will stop working.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Battery light stays on and overnight battery drain. 2006 Land Rover LR3
ANSWER : Hello – this problem can be diagnosed by connecting an ammeter to the positive (red) battery cable, observe the current drain (likely less than 1 amp), then, one at a time, remove each fuse, check to see if the current drain has dropped to near 0, then reinsert the fuse. This process should identify the faulty circuit in most cases. The specific components on that circuit can then be checked for current drain problems. A professional mechanic, like YourMechanic, can come to your location, and perform this procedure for you, and identify, replace or repair the failing component.

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Battery light stays on and overnight battery drain. 2006 Land Rover LR3
ANSWER : Hi there – yes, something is going on here that’s draining your battery. Perhaps the pressure of the engine wash dislodged wiring which has shorted, or there was a chemical reaction to the cleaning solution that caused electrical damage in the alternator or voltage regulator. These componnents can be checked off of the vehicle. Vehicle wiring can be diagnosed by connecting an ammeter to the positive (red) battery cable, observe the current drain (likely less than 1 amp), then, one at a time, remove each fuse, check to see if the current drain has dropped to near 0, then reinsert the fuse. This process should identify the faulty circuit in most cases. The specific components on that circuit can then be checked for current drain problems. A professional mechanic, like YourMechanic, can come to your location, and perform this procedure for you, and replace/repair the failing component.

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I have Chrysler 300c. Battery light came on, changed battery and alternator but power still getting drained and battery light still comes on.
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. This may be a sign of a failing starter relay. The starter relay is a small unit near the starter that directs power to the starter from the battery. When this fails, it may cause a clicking sound and will not allow the starter to engage the flywheel when you turn the key. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose your starting issue to determine the solution to get you back on the road.

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Car battery light is on replaced alternator battery and starter and battery light is still on.
ANSWER : You may have a failing voltage regulator that could be allowing the alternator to supply too much or too little amperage to the battery resulting in the battery never maintaining a consistent charge as it is designed to. The voltage regulator is a unit that regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator. When the voltage regulator is not working properly, this may result in the alternator allowing too much power to be delivered to the battery resulting in damaging wires and prematurely sometimes destroying the battery. A common sign of this is usually the acid inside the battery boiling causing the battery to swell. You may also smell a bit of smoke due to things potentially getting too hot. In other cases it may result in the alternator not supplying enough power to the battery, resulting in undercharging the battery or not charging it at all. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your vehicle’s charging system.

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Has new alternator, new battery when started , motor dies when battery is disconnected…my mechanics are stumped on this
ANSWER : Hello.

If replacing those particular components did not correct the issue then the next thing I would look at is the vehicle’s voltage regulator. It appears that this engine’s electrical system is equipped with an external voltage regulator that functions, or malfunctions, independently of the alternator. The voltage regulator regulates power from the vehicle’s alternator, and can cause issues with the electrical system when it malfunctions. I would test it to see if it is functioning properly. It is a silver box that should be mounted somewhere in the engine bay, usually on a wheel well. A technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to replace your car’s voltage regulator if necessary.

Regards,
Eduardo

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Hi Roberts. How would you rate a Subaru Outback battery compared with consumer reports best rated battery like diehard, and others
ANSWER : The very first thing to do is have the battery load tested. If the battery passes a load test be sure it is NOT a marginal pass in which case you should simply install a new battery to reduce diagnostic headaches. As far as buying a new battery, there are actually relatively few battery manufacturers and so a lot of the output is identical but just carries a different brand name. You would be wise to consult "Consumer Reports", as they have already done all of the required battery research for you and so you can safely and reliably purchase whatever they deem to be a top rated battery. If and once you replace the battery, be sure to measure the output of the charging system to confirm that the alternator is properly re-charging the battery. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

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When changing the car battery, do you "register" the battery to the car computer?
ANSWER : Hi there. Changing the battery has nothing to do with programming a battery. If the car was flat dead with a battery that lost all of the power because the dome light was on, then when jumped the vehicle will run fine. What may need programmed when the battery is replaced is the key fob. The key fob will lose programming to the computer as the vehicle computer is reset. However, if a 9 volt battery saver was put into a cigarette lighter and the car battery was removed, then the computer will not lose its memory and be just fine. If you need further assistance with your battery, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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I have a 97 Dodge caravan sport.. battery light is on, replaced battery, started and after two or three hours, battery light back
ANSWER : Hi there. Electrical issues like you are describing are typically caused by a constant parasitic drain. In most cases, this is due to an accessory relay that is faulty, allowing the component to constantly draw power from the battery. It could be other electrical problems causing this issue, so before you attempt any more repairs, it’s probably better money spent to have one of our mobile mechanics come to your location to complete a battery won’t hold a charge inspection. This will allow them to isolate the source of the drain and recommend the right repairs.

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