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By mistake, I left the headlights on overnight for my Honda Civic 2008. 24 hours later when I tried to start it, the car would not start and nothing would come on including the internal lights and the dashboard LEDs.

Later AAA guy came and jump started the car and I drove it around for around 30 minutes. Today when I tried to start the car, it did not start up. Though the internal lights and dashboard LEDs are lit up.

How do I know if the battery has to be replaced? Or that it just needs another jump start and a good warm-up?

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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Depends where you drove, it might simply be an issue with the battery needing more of a charge than your trip could give it. That said, regular car batteries don't take too kindly to deep discharging and if it was fairly old and nearing the end of its life already, it might have just pushed it over the edge.

I'd put the battery on a decent charger until the charger reports that the battery is fully charged and see if it works again. Alternatively, take it to a battery place or a mechanic and get the battery tested. The latter should tell you without much of a doubt if you need to replace it or not.

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The battery was 3.5 years old. –  Vivek Aseeja Mar 19 '12 at 15:12
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That alone isn't really an indicator of its health - some batteries last a lot longer than that depending on the climate and if it's been deep cycled before. Also, lots of short trips tend to reduce the lifespan of a battery whereas lots of long trips tend to increase it. –  Timo Geusch Mar 19 '12 at 15:35
    
Its never been deep cycled before. –  Vivek Aseeja Mar 19 '12 at 15:42
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In that case you might still have a battery that's OK if it gets charged properly and holds a charge. –  Timo Geusch Mar 19 '12 at 23:47
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If a car makes a ticking sound (that's not usual to the owner), it drags when you start it (this is an indication that the battery needs to be replaced) and lastly, it doesn't start at all. The best way to check if the battery is dead or not is to have a look at the alternator. It might not be in working condition, and that means it's not your battery; it's your alternator. Check your car's battery on a regular basis, my friend.

Kerstin Shed

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It may not have had time to completely charge, you may have something drawing the battery down, or it could just be a bad battery.

An easy way as dardub suggests is to take it to an auto parts store most of them test you battery and charging system for free at least around here.

If you are more inclined to check it yourself see my answer here

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If you take it to an auto parts store they can test it for you for free.

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