If you are experiencing a loss of power in your car all of a sudden, this is concerning to almost any car owner, and no one wants to be going about their day and then have their car die on them. But what do you do now?
If you are driving and your car is completely dead with no power, you need to bring your car to a trusted mechanic so they can diagnose the issue for you. However, if your car is not running, you might need a company like Cash Cars Buyer to come and collect the car for you.
Where does your car get power from?
Suppose you realize you have a “car completely dead no power” condition in your vehicle. In that case, you first need to know where your car gets power, the function of the battery in your car, the function of the alternator, and how these two work together to prevent this condition in your car.
Today’s cars with gas and diesel engines get their electrical power from two main sources – the battery and the alternator. The battery functions to store the leftover power to run the car, and the alternator is the part in charge of producing the power necessary to keep the engine running.
The car battery provides electricity to power the electrical components within your vehicle. Without the battery power from the car’s internal battery, no electrical component will work, leaving you without any dashboard lights, headlights, radio, and power windows. If the battery is not working correctly, you will experience a “car completely dead no power” condition.
The chemical reaction occurs in the battery system, transforming the chemical energy into electrical energy to deliver voltage to the starter. In addition, the battery stabilizes the voltage to keep your engine running consistently and constantly. Without the battery, the car would not have the energy required to start and maintain the power to run your vehicle.
The battery must store the power and do the following in your vehicle:
- Turn on the engine
- Run the accessories while the engine is off and not revving
- Power the alternator’s voltage regulator
Now let’s see how the alternator comes into play with the “car completely dead no power” condition in your car.
Signs of a Bad Car Battery
When looking at why you might have a “car completely dead no power” situation, there are common signs and symptoms of a bad car battery that can cause this to harm your vehicle.
- Very dim headlights – if you find that your headlights are dim all of the time and do not get any brighter when you rev your engine, this is due to a dying battery that will soon be completely dead. In this situation, the lights will not get any brighter after you drive your car and will stay at a suboptimal brightness for the entire drive.
- Key clicking in the Ignition – clicking sounds while you turn the key in the ignition is a sure sign of your vehicle’s battery issues. When you turn the key, the battery sends an electrical current to the starter solenoid to power up the vehicle. If the battery is dead, the solenoid will not receive the signal, and the starter will have less power to run the car.
- Engine backfiring – Luckily for you and most drivers, this is a warning sign that is nearly impossible to miss. A failing battery can cause intermittent sparks, leading to fuel build-up within the cylinders and causing engine backfiring.
The alternator generates electrical power and is a huge part of the vehicle’s charging system. Almost all cars with an internal combustion engine contain an alternator as well. When the engine in your car is running, the alternator’s job is to maintain a proper charge in the battery and supply electric power to the vehicle’s electrical systems.
The alternator is connected to the engine and is controlled by a drive belt. If the alternator doesn’t charge, then the engine won’t work properly, and you will have a “car completely dead no power” situation on your hands.
Alternator Function Tests
If you realize your alternator is not functioning correctly, then you can do a few tests on this part to ensure it is working in the right condition. Your mechanic can determine your alternator charging system’s status by using a battery and charging system tester. This battery and charging system test, which is known as an AVR test, can range from about $30-$50 if you get it done at an auto body shop.
If the charging system did not pass the test, your mechanic needs to do further tests to see if the problem is the alternator not charging. Some other charging problems can include a drive belt fault or a defective ignition switch. If the drive belt doesn’t work, the alternator won’t be running properly, and it can’t provide a charge, leading to a “car completely dead no power” condition.
Signs of Bad Alternator
- Dashboard light – The most common sign there is a problem with your charging system is an icon on your dashboard, usually the symbol of a battery. The word “CHARGE” might also appear. Typically, this warning light comes on when you turn the ignition and then disappears when the engine starts. If it remains illuminated, you have a “car completely dead no power” situation.
- Dim headlights – Another bad alternator symptom is the dash lights and headlights will get lower when your car is idling but become brighter when you rev your engine. The lack of headlight power means that you could have a weak alternator or a damaged connection. You could also have a loose drive belt, which would result in a lack of power and cause the “car completely dead no power” occurrence.
- Slow engine cranking – When the alternator is damaged, the car’s engine will slowly crank. To figure out the cause of the slow cranking, you need to check the ignition system before making a decision. The inability to crank might also be paired with loud noises due to a worn-out drive belt, causing your car to have a “car completely dead no power” problem.
Car Completely Dead Symptoms
Your car might not start for numerous reasons – however, if you realize your battery is working correctly, this no-start condition could be due to other reasons, like a faulty starter system Let’s check out the most common car won’t start symptoms and what you can do to troubleshoot the “car completely dead no power” problems.
The car is silent when you turn the key
If this is the case, check the new battery terminal cable connections to see if there are any loose wiring connections or damage between a connector and the terminal post. If it starts when you turn on the engine, you might need to check the new battery cables.
The car makes a clicking noise and won’t start
If you realize that you have a “car completely dead no power” condition, this could be due to an improper battery installed in your car. In rare circumstances, mechanics would install a dead battery in your car during a replacement and cause your car to make a clicking noise and not be able to start.
The car cranks but won’t start
If you hear noises, but your car still won’t start, then you need to check the fuel supply to your engine by analyzing the fuel filter, the fuel lines, and the fuel injector to ensure they are all working properly. If they are all in good condition, check the spark plugs and see if they send the necessary electrical sparks and timing to your ignition to spur the internal combustion. If the combustion is not happening at the right time, you will have a “car completely dead no power” situation.
The engine starts but dies very quickly.
If you use a car that has a carburetor, then check to see the choke and see if it is closing and opening at the right intervals. If you have fuel injection, you can’t make this diagnosis on your own and will have to bring your car to a mechanic to see why you have a “car completely dead no power” condition in your vehicle.
Car won’t start on rainy days
If the problem of your “car completely dead no power” occurrence only happens in certain weather conditions, this could be due to excess dampness inside of the vehicle. Have you or a mechanic check the distributor cap inside for any wetness or dampness, checking to see if the moisture has harmed the internal components. If this is the case, try to get rid of the dampness by evaporating it inside the cap using an aerosol can of a solvent.
You might be experiencing a “car completely dead no power” occurrence for various reasons. However, checking on your distributor cap and dampness inside of your car, battery problems, damaged alternator components, debris-filled carburetor issues, battery terminal connections, and other conditions can help you prevent this issue. If you do not solve these problems before getting any worse, they can increase in severity and slowly kill your car over time!