What Do You Do If Your Car Battery Dies?

If your car battery dies then it is important that you know how to get the battery working again quickly. Failing to do so could cause a number of potential problems, which is why understanding what to do if the car battery dies is so important for any car driver.

What Happens When My Car Battery Dies?

When your car battery dies or is otherwise in the process of dying, you will notice a number of obvious problems. These problems can include the following issues, that you should always be aware of and on the lookout for:

  • The engine doesn’t start properly — if your engine is really slow to start, or doesn’t start at all, then it is likely that you could have a problem with your car’s battery being dead. This is one of the most obvious signs and will usually give you a little warning before the battery completely dies as well, which is always useful to know as it will give you time to get prepared in advance.
    • If you find that it seems to be temperamental when starting, though, the problem might not be with the battery itself but instead with the connectors.
  • Lights don’t work — your car’s battery is the sole source of electricity for all of the different electrical components of your vehicle, such as the dashboard lights. If these do not illuminate properly or don’t even light up at all, then the car’s battery condition is likely to blame for this problem.
  • You’ve jump-started the vehicle’s engine before — this is an obvious sign, of course. If you’ve had to jump start the vehicle’s engine at some point in the past then it is likely that you have had problems with the vehicle’s battery before, and should look at getting it replaced.

So, you’ve come to the conclusion that your car battery has died or is otherwise dying. What now?

What To Do Next?

Once you have come to the conclusion that your car’s battery has died, you will need to think about your next steps. There are two different options available to you, really; either you need to jumpstart the car to give the battery a new lease of life, or you need to otherwise get the vehicle to a safe position and call out a team of vehicle repair and car battery repair experts to help you get back on the road again.


In order to jumpstart your vehicle, you will need to first get your jumpstart cables; all vehicles should keep these somewhere safe and accessible, as you could need them one day in order to jumpstart your vehicle. Next, you will need to find another vehicle with a battery that has the same voltage as your own; this ‘good Samaritan’ vehicle will be the one who will donate a little bit of juice for your own vehicle’s battery.

Start by making sure that both vehicles are fully secured. Once this is the case, the jump cable leads can be hooked up the Samaritan’s vehicle’s battery and your own. Once this has been set up properly, you can then get the working vehicle to turn on and run for a few minutes—at which point, you can try to start your own BMW.

Jumpstarting is normally a fairly reliable way of getting your car started again, but if it doesn’t work, it is important to consider the possibility that your car’s battery has had it, and cannot be fixed—at which point, professional help will be required.

It is important to note that jump starting a vehicle is not a form of car battery repair; rather, when you are jumpstarting the vehicle, you are merely delaying the inevitable. Jumpstarting should thus be used as a means to get the vehicle going again until you can get the battery fixed by your local BMW service Roseville team.

Professional Help

If you cannot get your car to start by jump starting it, or if there is no one around to help you jumpstart it, then your only option is to call out your local BMW service team to help you replace the battery of the vehicle. Once this has been done, your vehicle should be as good as new once again and you can get on with your day. An experienced team such as ours at Ryan GMW will easily be able to help you get your vehicle’s battery replaced, so there is no need to panic!

Book your appointment here and select the most convenient time for you. You can also call Ryan GMW at (530) 305-2499 for further information on your BMW’s battery problems.

How To Prevent Car Battery Drain?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your vehicle didn’t have a battery? Probably not. Most everyone knows that the battery is the start of everything your car does. It allows accessory features to work, including your radio and lights. It is also responsible for giving your ignition system enough juice to fire the motor. Without a fully operational battery, you can’t do anything with your vehicle. In some rare cases, those that are equipped with fully electronic doors and locks, you might not be able to enter the car.

It is essential to know how to keep your battery working as it should. A battery that holds a charge will continue to start, run, and charge effectively so that no matter when you turn the key, everything works as it should. Take a look at these top four ways you can prevent your car battery from draining, when not in use.

Car Battery

  • Keep Vehicle Cool

Batteries don’t respond very well to the heat. A car that gets toasty frequently will have more of a chance of a dead battery problem. Stay alert as to where you park your vehicle. If outside, try parking under a shaded area. This is an excellent tip, especially for those that park their cars outside every night. If possible, use a garage, and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

  • Turn Off Accessories While Car Is Not Running

Do you like sitting in your car listening to music? Do you also leave the car off, and simply run on the accessory mode? Nothing will drain your car battery down faster than using the accessories while the car is not turned on. Instead, you may want to rethink using the car audio system while not turned on.

  • Keep Battery Clean

A great tip for preventing your car battery from draining is to keep the terminals clean. Some shops will offer car battery services, including terminal cleanings. This eliminates any corrosion on the battery, the terminals, and the posts. Periodically check your vehicle’s battery for signs of leakage, including bloating or misshapen boxes. While some corrosive material is normal, especially in older cells, having a massive amount caked on is not.

You should also clean the battery and posts if you notice dirt and grime accumulating. The more debris that stands between the terminal posts and the wires, the worst the connection can be.

  • Increase Drive Time

One wouldn’t think that driving your car more would be the solution to preventing a drained battery, but it could be. The alternator recharges the battery. The more revolutions the engine produces, the faster the alternator spins. This makes the alternator more capable of recharging the battery. Longer drives can help to recharge the battery if the alternator is working as it should.

Is There Car Battery Repair

Have you been wondering how to repair a car battery? Are there any car battery repair services available? Depending on the status of the car battery, there may be repair options available. In most cases, it is more effective to recycle the old battery and install a new one. One of the few repair services available is refilling the battery with acid. This is often more affordable than replacement.

When the shell of the battery is broken or splits, these situations always require a replacement battery to correct. On average, most vehicles can use their batteries from 5 to ten years before having to replace them.

Setup an appointment here or simply call (530) 305-2499 for further inquiries on Ryan GMW’s car battery services and other BMW Service Roseville.

Buying Used Car Batteries: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

There is no clear-cut time period for when you should consider replacing the battery in your car, as the battery’s condition will largely depend on how you use your vehicle. Frequent journeys using stop-start technology (sitting in a queue at rush hour twice a day, for example) will take a much greater toll of your car’s battery than a weekly stroll to the store would. Furthermore, old cars with relatively basic on-board technology won’t use the battery for much more than the standard functions, but newer vehicles with in-built computer technology will find that their battery gets drained just a little bit more quickly than the vehicle’s older counterparts.

Function of the Battery

The battery has a large range of functions in the car and, put simply, your car simply can’t start and run properly without it. To begin with, when you’ve initially turned the key in the ignition, the battery provides the energy to turn on the lights of the dashboard. After this, when you turn the key the full way, the battery is then responsible for producing an electrical current which transfers to the fuel tank to ignite the fuel. Aside from this critical function, the battery is also tasked with powering all the lights in your car—including the indicators, headlights and rear headlights. It doesn’t take a genius to realize how dangerous driving without these working would be. In fact, flat or completely dead batteries are one of the most common reasons for a roadside call-out!

Jumper Cables

Replacing Worn Batteries

Despite its importance, many car owners neglect to check the health of the battery on a regular basis. However, it is imperative that you do take the time and, if you notice that it is getting past its best, you must have it replaced.

Of course, if you do find that you’ve worn your battery right down, it’s not free to get it replaced. In fact, brand new batteries can cost up to $100 or more. Naturally, some people will be trying to weigh up the pros and cons of buying second-hand. We’re here to help with that.

First, you need to ask yourself a relatively basic question, but one that people buying second hand often forget: why is it being sold? For all you know, your new purchase could be stolen or otherwise defective. Make sure to get the facts straight first.

Second, when buying a used battery, get the data on it. How old is it? How many miles has the car done whilst using it? What are its Amp Hours, Reserve Capacity and Cold Cranking Amps? Is it even the right type of battery for your car?

All of these factors should be taken into account, along with the cost of buying the battery, so that you can decide if the saving is worthwhile. Because it’s all very well and good buying a two-year-old battery for half the price of retail value, but when it gives up a year later and you have to spend $50 more to get another secondhand battery, you might as well have just paid for a new one in the first place and enjoyed the security associated with the manufacturer’s warranty.

What To Look For When Buying A Car Battery?

A car’s battery is responsible for a whole host of jobs, including: starting the car when the key is turned in the ignition; providing the electricity to start the heating elements (which in turn ignites the fuel and gets the engine running); and providing the power for the car’s lighting—this includes indicators and the rear and main headlights! All in all, it’s clear to see just how important a reliable and efficient battery is for a safe driving experience.

Many drivers may be tempted to simply go for a well-known brand of battery, assuming that it will be the best, but this is not necessarily the case. Instead you should compare the following two criteria to determine which battery will best suit how you use your car.

  • Amp hours denote the expected life of the battery. In simple terms, the higher the value, the longer the battery ought to last. Note that this value only represents the life when the battery isn’t automatically recharging from the vehicle’s engine.
  • Reserve capacity is similar to the Amp Hours, however is more of a failsafe function. It indicates the duration for which the battery can deliver the vehicle’s essential functions before the alternator packs it in and dies.
  • CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) measures the power output of the battery when it is cold outside. The higher this value is, the more resistant the battery is against the cold and the easier it will start on a frosty morning!

Another point to consider is the ease of fitting a new battery. Whilst the standard shape for a car battery is usually generic, the ease of accessing the battery holding varies between engines. Always ensure you can get the battery into place before purchasing it!

Next you have to consider the type of battery that you are going to buy. In this day and age, stop-start technology is being utilized more and more often. If your vehicle uses this functionality then we highly recommend you do not go for a standard-issue lead-acid battery. Whilst these are a reliable old design of battery, they simply do not deliver power fast enough to enable the stop-start to work effectively. In this case, you have the choice of two batteries: an AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) or an ECM (Enhanced Cyclic Mat).

As a final word of advice, always opt for a new battery if possible. Whilst a second hand battery may get you through temporarily, all batteries—even those which have not been previously used—lose power as they age. In an ideal situation, always go for a battery which was made in the last six months, as this should protect you from buying a battery with feeble life. Usually you can find out the date of manufacture from the packaging, with some brands using letters and numbers for the month and year (e.g. B9 would be February 2009) and others opting simply for a numeric date.

Always ensure that your battery is functioning efficiently, even after you have replaced it, and never hesitate to get it checked by a mechanic if you suspect it is going wrong. It’s never fun to be caught out, but if you are proactive with maintenance you shouldn’t find yourself if that situation!

When Is It Time To Replace Your Car Battery?

The battery is possibly one of the most important features of your vehicle. It makes everything happen. Without one your car wouldn’t start, you couldn’t operate any lights, and there would be no radio. As a crucial component of your vehicle, it is a good idea to know when you to replace the battery. It is also good to see warning signs that your battery is going bad.

While a vehicle not starting can often be confused with the starter, a battery problem presents itself differently. Some red flags will give you a good indication that it is time to replace your car battery and they can include the following. How To Clarify Which You Have: A Starter or Battery Problem?

Slow Engine Starts

If you turn the key to your vehicle and it doesn’t start right up or takes longer than usual, this could be a significant indicator you need a battery replacement.

Low Battery Fluid

Checking the battery fluid is one way to see if your car’s battery is on the way out. Some cells have a see-through part of the casing that will allow you to check the fluid level. If the fluid drops below the lead plates, it is time for a new one. Ryan GMW can perform a battery fluid check to see if this is indeed the issue and recommend a battery replacement.

Leaking Battery

Almost everyone has seen this universal sign on a battery. When a cell leaks it creates corrosion. A white buildup presents this, that is typically on the positive and negative posts. There is a good chance you aren’t getting the best connection to the battery corrosion being present. While you can clean the terminals and get a little more life out of the battery, it is also a sign you will probably need a replacement shortly.

Swollen Battery Case

With excessive heat in the engine bay and outside, this can cause a battery to become swollen. The battery will not have it’s same square or rectangle shape. It could have a bulge or bulges on the sides or top of the battery. A bloating battery case will ultimately mean the battery’s life is shortened.

The Age Test

Batteries don’t last forever. While batteries do last a very long time, it is encouraged to have them inspected after three years. After this amount of time, it is a good idea to check it annually. It will ensure it’s operating correctly and free of corrosion. If your car has a ten-year-old battery in it, and you have any of the other symptoms of a failing battery, then it is probably time to replace.

Is My Starter Going Bad?

Your car won’t start again! Could it be your starter? How much will it cost to fix? What is going to happen to my car now?

There are so many questions running through your head when you attempt to turn over that ignition, and your car doesn’t start. First off, if your vehicle’s engine is turning over but not starting, it’s not your starter at all. The starter is only responsible for turning the engine over. If you turn the key and hear nothing at all or a quiet click or a loud “clunk” that means you have starter issues.

If you hear the loud “clunk” when attempting to start your car, it is very likely that you have a poor starter solenoid and will need to be replaced.

If you’re in Roseville, it’s time to visit a Roseville BMW service station immediately.


When your starter starts going bad, you’ll notice a few signs and symptoms leading up to this. Pay attention to your vehicle and what she’s telling you. It could help save you the frustration, money and time later.

  • Engine begins turning over slowly
  • Dashboard lights becoming dim while you are starting your car
  • Battery terminals get really hot
  • Turning the key and nothing happens or a single click
  • Turning the key and hearing a single loud click or clunk
  • You hear a grinding noise when trying to start. This grinding sound is similar to the one you hear if your vehicle were on and then you accidentally hit the starter. This can cause damage to the engine flywheel
  • Freewheeling occurs when you attempt to turn over the engine and instead of it starting, you’ll hear a high pitched whine coming from the engine. This usually means that your starter is not engaging with your flywheel
  • If you see smoke coming from your vehicle, it could mean you have a starter problem, but smoke could mean a lot of things. If you see smoke when trying to start your car, that could mean that too much power is being pulled through the electrical supply to the starter. This could be caused by a short, has a connection problem, or has been operating too long without rest.
  • Oily or over saturated(in oil) starters will likely have a shorter life. That also means that you have an oil leak. It is recommended that you repair the leakage and replace your starter before it malfunctions.

The most typical malfunction with a starter is a malfunctioning starter solenoid. The solenoid transmits an electrical current from your battery to the motor in the starter which in turn causes the car to start when the key is turned.