Is it the battery?

Hi folks, novice here with quick question: I sat in my relatively new (2009) car with the accessories on (fan only) for 20 minutes, now it is clicking and won’t turn over. Do i just need a jump? will my battery recover after running? thank you!

Yes it will recover, somewhat. You might find yourself wanting a new battery if you live in the north once cold weather sets in. A 4 year old battery can’t hold as much charge as a brand new one, especially if you’ve done this (run the accessories for a while) before. It recovers, just not to the “new” state. Once jumped, run the car 20-30 minutes of highway driving or put it on a charger to bring the battery up to a full charge.

Thank you! This is literally the first time i have ever left the car accessories running for more than 3 minutes! now i know why. I’m not in the cold, so hopefully it will last this winter then i can upgrade the whole car before next winter.

I cannot see how running accessories for 20 minutes will kill a good battery…Most car batteries are rated between 40 and 60 amp hours. I left my headlights on for 2 hours on my 89 Mustang GT drawing about 15 amps and she started right up. My lawn tractor battery which is half the size of a car battery is rated at 30 AH stamped on the battery. You need to have your battery checked, once a battery reaches 3 to 5 years old it loses its capacity due to old age. There is one poster on here that swears car batteries are only 30 amp hours…not true…unless your have a lawn tractor battery in your car. Thats why I change out my battery every 4 years unless if fails before that time…Just don’t feel like push starting it by myself at 63 years old after having by-pass surgery, although I am feeling great now.


That was your battery telling you it’s going to be checking out soon

I realize your car is a 2009 model year, but it may have been produced in late 2008, which would make the battery 5 years old.

4-5 years is the life span of the average battery. You’re already there.

4-5 years is the life span of the average battery. You're already there.

IF YOU LIVE IN THE SOUTH. Heat really kills a battery. Here in the North East…I usually average from 7-10 years. Never had a battery fail less the 6 years.

After your battery recovers, have it “load tested”. This simple and usually free test will reveal any battery problems…It will take 2-3 hours of driving to completely recharge your battery. Make sure the connections are clean…

I live in Southern California

Virtually nobody hear gets 7 years out of a battery

“IF YOU LIVE IN THE SOUTH. Heat really kills a battery. Here in the North East…I usually average from 7-10 years. Never had a battery fail less the 6 years.”

I spent a winter-and-a-half in Madison, WI. Saw a VW van with the battery cracked open by its frozen fluid.

Concur w/ @Caddyman … and others here, 20 minutes of listening to the radio and running the vent fan shouldn’t run down a good battery. The battery should be load tested. Otherwise, OP is risking being stranded. And you know that when your car strands you, it is always at a time when you need to get where you are going, or get away fast from where you are. It’s a law of nature or something maybe, but my experience, a car will never fail to start you when you are on your way to the dentist.

I spent a winter-and-a-half in Madison, WI. Saw a VW van with the battery cracked open by its frozen fluid.

Must have been pretty cold since the freezing point of battery acid is -50. Never gets that cold here in NH, unless you’re in the mountains.

It was pretty cold. High temp for first three weeks of 1970 was +5 deg-F. In the mornings my 912 would skunch forward in neutral when the clutch was engaged. And that VW van was probably a student’s car. Good chance the battery electrolyte was not up to spec’s.

A battery that is discharged will freeze at a much higher temp. because the battery acid concentration drops as it discharges. I have even seen it happen in Buffalo NY and I think the record low there is -16 F

I remember lots of frozen batteries back when I worked in a gas station in Connecticut in the 70’s.

Customers would try to start their car on a cold morning, cranking away until the battery was dead. Then they’d call us to come and get the car (and they’d get to work another way).

Often times the car sat for many hours in the cold temps, with a dead battery - perfect combination for battery to freeze.

I can also recall seeing a number of frozen batteries in NJ, where the winters are milder than in NH. It all depends on whether or not the battery has been discharged. Once it has been discharged to a great extent, it is amazing how easily a battery can freeze–even during a NJ winter.

Have the battery load tested (free). It will give you your answer.

Too many variables. I have found modern cars are much harder on batteries due to slew of electronics and systems. Having my Acura MDX OEM battery only last 3-4 years is considered normal life. Although Acura eats that mostly with their 4yr 50k warranty.

In addition to the higher electrical load on cars nowadays as a result of the plethora of electronics (and also anti-theft systems that drain some electricity while the engine is turned off), I believe that no-maintenance batteries are also part of the problem. My observation–over a period of many years and several cars–is that no-maintenance batteries do not give you any advance warning of their impending death.

Years ago, you would likely notice that your starter was turning over more slowly as the battery reached the end of its life, but my observation is that no-maintenance batteries have a disturbing habit of acting normally and then being dead shortly thereafter. As a result, I start doing load tests on my batteries when they reach 4 years of age.

put the battery on a charger then have it tested. the alt. in a car is designed to maintain a battery not charge a discharged battery. that you need a charger for that. 4 to 5 year old battery is at the end of its service life. it may test good today but 3 days from know in the next heat wave or cold snap it might say uncle and leave you on the side of the road with a large bill for a ride side help or tow