Car batteries run out for several reasons: some die of old age, while others run out of power due to problems in the vehicle electrical system or lose power when drivers leave lights on, doors open, and the radio on when the car is not moving. Some car battery failures result from driver error while others stem from problems with the cars themselves. Climate affects battery longevity and operation too; batteries in cold, snowy climates might last less than 3 years.
In moderate climates and in the absence of excess use, car batteries last between 3 and 5 years. Cold, harsh winters and driving in hot conditions, however, might cause batteries to wear out in less than 3 years. Extreme temperatures make cars work harder to operate that, in turn, increases pressure on batteries. Driver errors, such as leaving the radio and headlights on when the car is not moving, also affects battery life. Driving short distances, such as making frequent trips lasting less than 20 minutes, reduces battery performance, too, as driving short distances does not give the alternator enough time to fully recharge batteries. Regardless of cause, fading batteries produce several distinct symptoms. Car headlights appear dimmer, air conditioning units blow less air, engines take longer to turn over, and power windows take longer to roll up or roll down.