Can a Bad Car Battery Cause Electrical Problems

When your car develops an electrical fault, you may assume it relates to the car battery considering that the battery powers the electrical system of the car.

A car’s battery can go bad within years of being in use. When this happens, will it cause an electrical fault? Is it possible for a bad battery to cause electrical problems?

Yes, a bad battery can cause electrical problems in a car because the battery powers the electrical system of the car. When the battery goes bad, it can prevent the car from starting and unable to power other components of the car such as the AC, radio, etc.

What is Considered a Bad Car Battery?

A car battery is considered bad when it is constantly having difficulties powering the car to start or if it starts inconsistently.

Also, if the dashboard lights are dim and or no sound is coming on, it might be an indication of a faulty or bad battery. When there is visible corrosion on the terminal of a low battery, it can be decided that the battery is damaged.

Can a Bad Car Battery Cause Electrical Problems?

Yes, a bad battery can result in electrical issues. The car battery powers the electrical system of the car, thus when it goes bad or gets old, it will affect all the components of the electrical system of the car.

While most people think it is not a big deal to have a bad battery, it is a big deal. Speaking from experience, a bad or old battery will affect and derail your driving experience.

You will not be able to start up your car and if you manage to get it to come on, you might not be able to turn on your car headlight and even your dashboard lights might be dim. Your radio and the AC might start to malfunction as well.

It is also not advisable to drive around with a bad or old battery because even if it can power the car to come on, it is not reliable as it can stop in transit and have you stranded.

This has happened to me and it’s not a good experience at all. It is thus advisable to check your car battery regularly and have it replaced when it is bad.

What Causes Car Battery to Go Bad?

A car battery can go bad due to several reasons including constant overcharging, terminal corrosion during winter or even too hot weather, charging system failure, and when the battery fluid in the terminal is low.

The car battery can go bad when the cables and terminals are broken, loose, worn down, hardened by some disposition, or converted into some calcium component.

How Does a Car Act When the Battery is Bad?

When the car battery is bad, it will prevent the car from starting. If you try to start the car, it will make a clicking and cracking sound.

The battery can disappoint you when you come to a traffic stop or red light and decide to turn your car off. I’ve experienced this. I was making a 360-mile journey. When I came to a car stop, I decided to stop and rest.

When I wanted to continue the journey. My car refused to start. Lo and behold, it was the battery that had gone bad. I had to buy another battery to continue the journey.

However, it is important to note that as it is the battery that powers the electrical components of the car including the headlight, if you start noticing that the headlights or the dashboard lights are dim or weak, it is a sign to check your battery. These were the signs I ignored that got me stranded on the highway.

When your car starts backfiring, it is time to check the battery. Backfiring is when the car undergoes explosions in the exhaust or cylinder, this is a sign that you cannot miss. Although backfiring can be a sign of other things, it is advised to check the battery first.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that a bad battery can also cause a car to misfire or have a rough idle.

What to Do if You Have a Bad Battery

When you find out that you have a bad battery, the best thing is to have it replaced. A dead battery can be revived by jumpstarting it but a bad battery cannot be fixed. It should be replaced to avoid it affecting the overall functions of the car and your driving experience.

Other Things That Can Cause Electrical Problems in a Car

Other things that can cause electrical problems in a car are:

1. Blown Fuses

Fuses are an essential part of the installation of electrics. They are small conductors deliberately designed to melt and separate when there is excessive current or any other kind of overload, this way electrics are protected from serious damage.

This is a car electrical problem and can be solved by just removing and replacing the burnt-out fuse.

2. Badly Connected Electrical Contacts

Because electrical appliances depend on a steady flow of electricity, a bad connection from switches or relays can result in electrical problems.

For cars, the bad connection can be from loose nuts and screws or a corroded connector. This can easily be solved by replacing contact connectors or just cleaning out corrosion.

3. Broken or Bad Wiring

This is usually very difficult to find because a car has hundreds of wiring. Finding the damaged one can be a draining task. Detectors of damaged cables can help to solve this and find the damaged wiring.

Also, the knowledge of the electric installation of the car can help to find broken wiring for replacement.

4. Bulbs

Just like every other bulb, car bulbs have an expiring lifespan and will not come on if the lifespan is exceeded. This can easily be replaced by a new bulb.

5. Short-circuit

In most cases, this is caused by damaged wires which can be from some work done on the car like an engine overhaul.

6. Sensors

Just like all other electrics, sensors can wear out, especially if they are exposed to moisture or heat. They are not also very difficult to replace, the bad ones can be taken out and new ones can be reconnected.

7. Plugs

These can be glow plugs for diesel engines or spark plugs for petrol engines. A plug can burn out without notice; however, the problem will begin when two or more plugs burn out.


A bad battery might not be the only cause of a car’s electrical problem but it most likely is. Thus, it is advised that if you notice a problem with your car’s electrical components, you should first check out your car battery to identify if the problem is from there or for some other reasons.

Although a bad battery might still power the car, it should be replaced as soon as possible to improve your driving experience.