What Causes A Dead Cell In A Car Battery?

Car batteries are designed to power lights, and several other accessories whenever the engine is off. There are six cells in most of the car batteries. If a single cell in a battery will die, the battery will not be out of service but its service will certainly decrease. Now, the curious mind surely wants to know, what causes a dead cell in a car battery?

There are some common reasons for a car battery to die repeatedly including persistent electrical drains, corroded or loose battery connections, continually demanding more power than the battery capacity, charging difficulties, and even thrilling weather.

What Happens If A Battery Has A Dead Cell?

Most of the 12-volt car battery is contained six cells that chemically produce amperage and voltage to start your car. Let me give you a proper example.

When you want to buy a battery for your car, you must have calculated how much current do you need. When one or more of the battery cells miss the mark, the battery is not capable of producing the needed current to start the engine. Beside this you will also notice different electrical equipment malfunctions.

So, it is very important to detect a dying battery before it entirely shut off and, also detect if there is any dead cell in the battery or not.

What General Sign To Look For To Check Battery Health?

When you assume, your battery is fully charged and you could not get the expected backup. It might be a cause of a dead cell. Your dashboard lights and battery device are a sign that a cell has died in your car battery or battery need to be charged.

A good quality battery is essential for a car. It is used to power almost all accessories. But, each battery has a limited capacity of voltage that is measured by Amp. Whenever the engine is shut off and any accessories are running, the batteries will certainly go off due to limited capacity.

What Causes A Dead Cell In A Car Battery?

There are several reasons for a dead cell in a car battery.

    • Corroded or loose battery connections.

    • The battery is in weak or poor condition.

    • Extremely hot or cold temperatures.

    • Other parasitic drains in the electrical system.

    • Charging system problems.

Voltage and Battery Health

Here, a table will clear the concept of how a dead battery cell will affect your battery health or draining voltage. ( We used a 12 volts battery)

12V Battery VoltageVolts Per CellState of Charge

What Are The Symptoms Of A Dead Cell In A Car Battery?

When your car battery has a dead cell in it. It will not deal with all of your car accessories. So many symptoms will appear. Some of those symptoms of a dead cell in a car battery will be shown below:


When a car is running, all of its accessories will not depend on the battery. Most of them are running by automobile fuel. But when you start the engine all of its parts require a high amount of current.

After that when you turn off the car and let it stay for some time, the dead cell will drain your battery’s charge. And when you want to restart the engine again you will hear several clicks. Which means the battery is dead.


The instant sign of a crummy battery cell is the slow cranking of the starter. If a battery cell is damaged, cranking will be slower than normal.

The sound of the cranking engine will not the same as before. You will directly recognize that there is a dead cell in the battery.


Your car’s electrical components will not function properly if your battery has a problem.


If you have a 12 volts battery connected to your car engine. You have to charge it fully and then again check the available current using a voltmeter.
If your reading is below 10.5 volts, then it is obvious that there is a dead cell in your car battery.

The dead cell will always prevent the battery from holding a full charge. Thus, it is a good idea to regularly measure your battery’s voltage.

How Do You Fix A Dead Cell In A Battery?

There are so many ways to fix a dead cell in a battery. Following is a step-by-step guide that will help you:

  • First of all, you have to locate the dead cell in a battery.
  • Once you have located that, remove it from the battery casing.
  • Wash the cell chamber with a solution of baking soda and water to clean any dirt on it.
  • Place a separator between negative and positive terminal plates.
  • Weld the terminals of the cell.
  • After that, recharge the battery for at least 12 hours. That’s all you have to do.

Bottom Line

Battery cell failure is one of the most common types of battery failure. There are so many reasons for a dead cell in a car battery. We have briefly discussed the query “what causes a dead cell in a car battery?”.

Dim headlight, by turning the ignition on and hearing a clicking sound is also a sign of a dead cell. There is always be an alternator, charging the battery while the automobile is running. So, a proper charging system will always be recommended for your car to prevent dead battery cells in your car.

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