Can a car battery die whilst you're driving?

Car batteries die. Just like every other battery that you put in a TV remote, electric toothbrush or remote control car, they all die eventually. What’s unlikely to happen however, is for your battery – well any battery really, to just stop working out of the blue.

There are usually some signs that your battery is beginning to make that slow crawl towards the big battery recycling plant in the sky and if you know what to look out for, you can avoid conking out in traffic or on the highway when you’re driving.

Now something we need to clarify here is that there’s a difference between a battery dying (also called a flat battery) and a battery that isn’t holding charge. If your battery is dead, it will definitely need replacing; however, if your battery isn’t holding charge, this could be an alternator issue and you may need to replace both battery and alternator.

What happens if the battery dies when driving?

If you’re happily driving along to your favourite tunes and you notice a few of the following things happening, it’s likely your alternator has died:

  • Lights are dimming
  • Fan’s running slower
  • Dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree
  • Your car starts chugging and coughing

This is a surefire sign your alternator has died which means all your car’s electrics – the stereo, the lights, the air conditioning, the GPS, literally anything electrical is now running purely off your car’s battery reserves.

This means your car will progressively get worse and worse until you have to roll off to the side of the road and put your hazard lights on (which will probably be dim by this stage).

If this has happened to your car, it’s no use getting a jump start. You might get the car started, but as soon as you take those jumper cables off, your car will simply konk out again.

If this happens to your car, it’s likely you will need to have the alternator replaced by a licensed mechanic for the car to start working again. Depending on how much drain has happened on the battery and how old it is, there’s a chance you will be able to continue using the same battery as before.

Signs you have a sick battery

The other scenario is that your car is giving you signals that it’s time to replace the battery and you’re just not listening. Here’s a few signs your battery is on the way out:-

  • Your car doesn’t turn over first go
  • Your car takes a long time to turn over
  • The headlights seem dimmer
  • Interior lights are dim or flash
  • Radio has poor signal no matter what station you tune it to

If you’re after a more in-depth article, take a look at our blog post Telltale signs your car battery is about to die.

So as you can see, car batteries don’t usually just randomly die when you’re in the middle of a road trip somewhere, they will however give you some telltale signs they’re not happy.

If you keep these in mind when you’re driving your car, you will be able to replace your battery in good time and not trash your battery, alternator or worse, your car if there’s an accident or you need to leave it on the side of the road for an extended period of time.

When you think about it, the cost of a new battery is incredibly minimal when compared to the headache of your car dying whilst driving!

Talk to Allstar Batteries today about your car battery requirements. We stock batteries for most makes and models.

We have the northside of Brisbane covered when it comes to your battery requirements so drop into one of our main stores at Brendale, Caboolture or North Lakes.


12 Garret Street
Brendale Qld 4500
Ph: 0413 692 236


6/106 Lear Jet Drive
Caboolture Qld 4510
Ph: (07) 5309 4905


12/88 Flinders Pde
North Lakes Qld 4509
Ph: (07) 3048 2293


Allstar Batteries - 'Positively the Best'