If you have ever tried to start your car and the battery simply does not work, the first thing you might want to do is check the voltage. A standard voltage meter is the best way to go about testing it, but what if the voltage is fine and the car still does not turn on? Can a car battery test well and still be bad?
Yes, a car battery does not only hinge on the voltage pulsing through the unit. There could be additional issues like the plates or the cells not working. This article aims to look at some of the possible causes that allow a car battery to test good, but still not work:
Voltage Vs Amperage
Even though the voltage is working the way it should work, amperage is another important part of the battery that people often forget about. The voltage will measure the total energy that is stored in the battery. The higher the voltage, the more power is often stored in the battery cells.
However, the amperage is what happens to that energy and how it makes its way to the car. If the voltage is fine, but the amperage is low, the battery would not be able to distribute a high enough current.
The amperage could be low due to several factors, but when you use a multimeter to test the voltage and everything tests good, you could be dealing with other issues like the amperage. The battery might not be able to provide the current that you need to power everything. We will discuss a few things that could be causing this to happen.
How Do I Know The Battery Is Losing Amperage?
One of the first things you will need to do is identify if it is the amperage or the voltage that is causing the issue. By now, we all know that the multimeter would indicate whether or not it is the voltage. However, there are a few signs that the amperage is not pushing enough current through the car:
- Starter Motor Not Working: The first sign would be that the starter motor does not work. The component won’t be able to draw enough energy to get it cranking and start the engine.
- Electrical Components Not Working: Most cars have tons of electrical components and these components might fail. Your headlights, dash lights, and other electrical components would not operate at full capacity.
- Air Conditioning Won’t Work: Finally, the Ac unit in your car is energy hungry and often demands a lot of power. However, when the amperage is not sufficient, your AC unit will not work to its fullest capacity.
These are only three signs, but they all come down to the same thing. Once the amperage your battery pushes out does not seem to be sufficient, some of the important components of your vehicle will stop working.
Reasons Your Car Battery Can Test Good But Still Not Work
If your battery voltage is stable and the battery is working like it should when tested, there could be a few additional issues. To help you understand what could be causing these issues, here are a few possible reasons:
1. Worn Out Internal Plates
Inside the battery, you will find electrical plates and these electrical plates will send a signal to one another in an attempt to produce the current. However, these plates are not impervious to damage, and over time, they will be damaged by things like heat.
One of the major issues we often see is when the plates start to melt into one another. This can cause the battery to short, which causes internal damage. If you continue driving with a battery that is creating this short, it could cause the car to set a light.
2. Corroded Battery Terminals
Once again, the battery terminals are two of the most important parts of the car. This is what ultimately connects the car to the battery. It allows the current to travel into the car to various components that your car will be using. However, these terminals can corrode and get damaged over time.
The first thing you need to do is to check if the battery terminals are damaged or if there could be anything impeding a connection between them. This could cause only a partial current to spread through the car. Not only can this damage the internal components, but it might also stop the car from working.
Fortunately, cleaning a corroded battery would be one of the easier things to do. You don’t need to replace the battery and can simply buy a corrosion remover like PB Blaster to help remove some of the corrosion and get them back in the optimal condition for working.
3. Dead Battery Cells
While this could pick up when you are using the multimeter, dead battery cells are one of the most frustrating things. The battery would hold a charge for a short while, but there is no way for it to efficiently store this energy.
Dead battery cells are often seen when you charge the battery and the voltage seems fine. However, a couple of minutes later, you will notice a significant drop in the voltage. This also stops the battery from producing a solid current that would make it possible for you to use all the components in the vehicle.
4. Defective Alternator
The alternator is responsible for helping the vehicle create a current and charging the battery. While you might think the battery is dead, it could potentially be an issue with the alternator not working the way that it should.
If the alternator does not operate in the desired way, the battery would never hold a charge and this could cause some issues. If you have tested the battery or even replaced the battery and you have the same issue, it could be due to a defective alternator. This would be an expensive thing for you to fix.
5. Problematic Components
Another major issue could be related to problematic components in your vehicle. If one of the components turns out to be defective, it could be demanding far more energy than it should. By demanding so much energy, it could drain the battery and cause other components not to work efficiently.
You will need to test the battery and turn off some of the components to figure out why this is happening or what could be causing the potential issue. Problematic components can be one of the most frustrating things as you need to figure out which one. You will also need to pay to have the components fixed or replaced.
6. Leaking Battery Acid
Another frustrating thing could be that you are dealing with battery acid leaking. The problem is caused by bad batteries or when you force a battery to work when it does not want to comply any further.
It is important to immediately replace the battery when acid is causing the issue. A leak in battery acid could cause a reaction that sets the car on fire or it could damage other components inside the vehicle.
What You Can Do To Fix A Car Battery Not Working?
Once you have identified that the car battery is not working, you will need to work to have it fixed. It is important that you identify the problem first and this could be one of the most daunting aspects. Fortunately, your local mechanic would have the skills and tools to help you identify the possible issues at play.
However, your best bet would be to give the battery a thorough clean and this would be the best you can do from the outside. If it still does not work, you might want to consider fully charging the battery inside the car.