Can A Low Battery Cause Car To Stall? How to fix

Car battery plays an essential role in the life of every car. Without it, the vehicle cannot start. But can a low battery cause car to stall? While the vehicle can run idle without a battery, you need to understand that Low car batteries are the common causes of several electrical issues in a vehicle.

In this article, we’ll see if a low battery can cause your car to stall and also look at the common signs of a weak car battery, problems caused by low batteries in vehicles, and how your car acts when the battery is dying. Whether you’re a car owner or a mechanic, this article provides valuable insights into the impact of a low battery on your vehicle’s performance.

will weak battery cause engine to stall

Can a low battery cause car to stall?

Car batteries play essential roles in providing the needed power to start your vehicle and cushion the electrical system components in your car whenever the alternator is not working as it should. Will weak battery cause engine to stall?

Low or dead battery in a car will hamper the vehicle’s performance. It’ll also cause the car to stall as you drive. At the early stage, a low battery in a car will reduce the electrical component performance. For instance, the headlights and inner lights will dim, and the horn sound will reduce. The radio sound will also decrease. If you continue driving with the car, the battery will grind until the vehicle finally stops in the middle of nowhere.

Whether your alternator is faulty, the battery is not holding a charge, or you have a dead cell in your car battery, a battery that doesn’t supply the required power to run all the electrical system components in the car will not provide power to essential mechanical engines components like the injectors and spark plugs.

Aside from stalling, if your battery dies for any reason, you’ll notice a gradual drop in engine performance. Various dashboard lights, including the battery light, will appear on the dash, the fan speed will reduce, and other system performance will drop.

What are the signs of a weak car battery?

Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere due to car battery low issues can be quite frustrating and unnerving, but it can become dangerous when you get stuck in the middle of the winter.

Luckily, batteries do not die without giving us heads-up of what’s coming. Here are weak or dead battery symptoms you should keep your eyes on to help you get a replacement before it leaves you stranded by the roadside.

Dim headlights

As reiterated above, if the car battery is weak, it won’t provide enough voltage to power the car’s electrical systems, including the headlights. Dim headlights are a common sign that your battery is low in the car. Both the high and low beams will be lower than usual.

Clicking noise from the starter motor

Sometimes, you may have a dead battery but the light works. The next thing to watch out for is a clicking noise from the starter motor. When you insert the car key into the ignition and turn it to start the engine, the electrical system sends power to the starter motor to turn on the engine. If the starter motor receives insufficient power to start the vehicle, it’ll make a clicking noise instead of starting the car.

Slow crank

Sometimes, a low battery can start the vehicle, but the engine will revolve slowly. If you notice that your car revolves slower than it used to, it is a red flag that the battery is closer to the end of its life shelf.

Car won’t start unless you depress the gas pedal

By default, your car should start smoothly without feeding it with gas. If your car refuses to start unless you depress the gas pedal, it’s a sign that you have a weak battery that needs replacement. However, it’ll be unfair if I mention that several factors could prevent your engine from starting until you depress the gas pedal.

Bad Battery cause car to stall YouTube

Engine stalling & backfiring

A weak battery or a battery that won’t hold charge will cause an intermittent spark in the combustion chamber. This will result in gasoline accumulating in the combustion chambers. Since there’s an intermittent spark, once the plugs ignite the accumulated gas in the combustion chamber, it’ll lead to backfire and engine stalling.

Needs to jumpstart the car at every start

If you regularly plug in your car to a neighbor’s car or use a portable jump starter more frequently before starting your vehicle, it’s a good sign that the battery is weak and needs replacement.

This is common with old batteries. However, it could be that the battery is fine, but the alternator can’t charge it. Contact your mechanic if the car keeps demanding a jumpstart before starting.

Low battery fluid

Some car batteries have removable caps that you can remove to inspect, repair the battery and refill the fluid (electrolytes). If you have to top up the electrolyte regularly or the battery light appears on the dashboard, it shows the battery is weak. 

Common problems caused by a weak battery

Car batteries are crucial for optimal engine performance. If they run out of juice, they will cause several issues in the car. Some could be minor, while others are significant. Here are the common problems caused by a weak car battery.

  • Engine backfiring
  • Random and spontaneous illumination of dashboard lights
  • Spontaneous alarm activation
  • Auto start/stop failure
  • Clicking noise when starting the car
  • Slow rev upon start up
  • Power windows move slowly
  • Wiper blades move slowly
  • Radio sound reduces
  • Dimming headlight.

How does a car act when the battery is dying?

As explained earlier, when a car battery is dying, you’ll notice that the engine will crank more slowly than usual, the car will make a clicking noise in some situations, and you’ll experience engine backfiring or stalling in the long run.

Also, the windows will move slowly when rolling them up or down, the power windows will also move slowly, the radio sound will be reduced, the headlights will become dimmer, and the auto start/stop feature in some newer cars will stop working. The battery lights and other check engine lights will appear on the dashboard.

It is important to note that you’ll not experience all these issues. You may only experience two, three, or four, as the case may be. Also, if you have two cars and swap the weak or failing battery on the cars, you’ll likely have different symptoms on the vehicles.

How to fix a car stalling due to low battery

The first step to fixing a car stalling due to a low battery is to track why the vehicle is stalling. Is it the battery? In most cases, the alternator is not recharging the battery; electrical issues are draining it, or something else that needs to be addressed.

If the battery is indeed the root cause, replace it with a new car battery. But before replacing the battery, ensure the alternator and other electrical system components are in good condition. If any of them are bad, fix them and see if that fixes the underlying problem.

When you need to jumpstart the vehicle every morning, it could mean some electric components, especially the security systems, are draining the battery juice when parked. If this is the leading cause, all you need to fix it is to unplug your negative battery terminal whenever you park the car. By so doing, nothing will drain the battery life.

However, you may have to consult a mechanic for a professional inspection. After the inspection, he’ll advise you on what to do or proffer a solution to the underlying problem.

Final words

The question, can a low battery cause car to stall, is common among drivers and car owners with a weak or failing battery. A failing car battery can cause several issues, including stalling an engine. However, several factors can make car stall idle. So, running a diagnosis whenever your engine stalls are essential to prevent unnecessary battery replacements.

Thankfully, a weak battery will display several symptoms, like the illumination of the battery light and other dashboard lights, slow cranking, and many more. So it is easy to figure out when the battery is the root cause and rectify it before it keeps you stranded in the middle of nowhere.


Mr. Shafiqule Islam is a graduated Mechanical Engineer and has more than 15 years experience of repairing and maintenance of different brand vehicles like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, Mercedes, BMW etc. He is also giving training to Mechanics. He has started writing to share his practical knowledge to Vehicle Owners, Drivers and Mechanics to keep their cars at best fit.

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