Left Car Lights On

When you left car lights on and your vehicle won't start, here's what to do. Tips for being a safe driver and minimizing car insurance costs.

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Left Car Lights On

It can happen to anyone and in most cases it is a one-time mistake, but when you leave your car lights on, you may end up with a battery that does not work. If you left car lights on, this drains the battery in the car to keep them going. When you try to turn them back on, your car may not start. Here’s what to do when your car battery is dead and how to stay safe on the roadways in all cases.

Lights On – Car Batteries Tend to Stop Working

The lights on your vehicle are critical. If you left the exterior lights on, chances are good they will not burn out on you. However, they may run the battery dry in your car. The interior lights will do the same thing. When this happens, your car will not start. If it does start, it may be more likely to stall out on you when you are on the roadway.

Car batteries maintain their charge as you drive the vehicle. They are not designed to keep the systems in your car running without the engine in place to keep the battery charged. That is why car batteries can die even after just a short time if they have to power the lights. This can also happen if your other devices are left on. For example, if you have electronics that link to the vehicle, and those items are left on, they can drain the car battery.

What to Do When Your Auto Battery Is Dead

When your auto battery is dead due to the lights, it’s important to call a mechanic to get some help for you. If you know how to jump the vehicle, you can attempt to do so on your own. This is a process of hooking up a second car’s battery to your own battery. When you do this, and then start the second vehicle, it helps to provide enough power to the stalled battery to get it back to working condition. Once you do this, you can run your car for 20 to 30 minutes to help charge the battery. This may not always work. There are times when the battery simply needs replacing.

Unfortunately, your car insurance is not likely to pay for your tow truck or the cost of a replacement battery. This type of situation falls under routine maintenance and upkeep. Even though it was an accident, most batteries also do not cost more than the deductible you have on your car. For this reason, your auto insurance policy may not offer any financial help to you in this case.

Car Battery Replacement – When to Replace Your Battery

There are times when a car battery replacement is necessary. You may need to replace your battery if it no longer will hold a charge. Most batteries need to be replaced every few years. However, if the battery causes your car to stall frequently, you shouldn’t wait to have it replaced.

Imagine what could happen if you are on the freeway and the car stalls on you. This creates a high-risk situation for an accident. While your car insurance may cover these costs, it’s best to avoid this type of situation by simply keeping your battery in good working order. Have your mechanic check it at least one time every three to six months to ensure it is working properly.

When the time comes to replace your car battery, speak to your technician about your options. Choose a quality product here. It should fit the manufacturer’s recommendations and be the right size and type for your vehicle. As noted, auto insurance typically does not pay for battery replacement. It is a type of routine maintenance task you are responsible for handling.  

Once You Buy Car Battery Know How to Minimize Risks

Once you have a new battery or your car is running, consider a few tips to help you avoid leaving the lights on. For example, create a routine for yourself that you follow every time you get out of the car. Before you pull the keys out of the ignition, look around, turn off electronics, turn off the lights, and make sure no interior lights are on. After you exit the car, turn around and look at the car. Did the lights turn off? If not, double check them. Get in the habit of unplugging anything in your car before you leave it, too, including cell phone chargers, electronics, and navigation tools.

You left car lights on, and the battery died. While this may be a problem in this moment, it happens to everyone at some point. With the help of your local mechanic and a few new habits, you can avoid having this happen to you again.