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?

8 Answers 8


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.

  • The battery was 3.5 years old.
    – vivekian2
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 15:12
  • 2
    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. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 15:35
  • Its never been deep cycled before.
    – vivekian2
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 15:42
  • 1
    In that case you might still have a battery that's OK if it gets charged properly and holds a charge. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 23:47

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


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


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


Battery has been dead.

  1. Car self has click sound or tick tick.
  2. Jump start works.
  3. Push starts works.
  4. Spark plugs good or cleaned gap is good.
  5. Ignition coil is good.
  6. Alternator is good as engine is not going to stop.
  7. Lights/fan is ok with alternator current generation.
  8. Battery has been dead if is needs frequent jumps and push with in a day.
  9. Life time is two years if you have record or written on your battery the purchase date/last changed.
  10. Voltage is less than 12.4 (dead battery has 6.0 some time).

Good luck

  • thanks for contributing to the site! Have a great day, hope to see you around. Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 21:30

1- You have to charge your battery full. 30min is not enough. This will take 12+ hours. See: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_the_lead_acid_battery

2- Go to get your battery checked with a car battery tester right after charge.

3- If your battery passes the test with flying colors but after few days, it won't start the car, this means you have something which drains it. I guess they can also check the parasitic drain from the battery using a clamp mater at repair shop at the same time when they test the battery.


If the car in starting makes a ticking sound and doesn't start at all.. Try turning on the headlights,indiactors and see if the work.. Most likely if the headlights don't work.. Find a mechanic who would help you jump-start the car.. Once jump-start works.. Keep the engine in for another half and hour.. That's above should do it..

I had the same problem.. And jump-start worked perfectly fine with me.


Battery is that part of a car without which car doesn't have the power to start, move or do anything else. So, it is necessary to understand a little about the battery and to know the most common signs which indicates that battery is already dead or about to die. Some warning signs are in the following. 1) One day it starts fine but the next day it won't. 2) Cold cranking is tough enough to handle. 3) You have already jumped it a lot. 4) If your car won't crank or start or provide no light then it indicates that the battery is already die. 5) If the battery is nearly or more than 4 years old then it is almost in dead condition. So, whenever you are going to change your car battery, it is better to send your car to a trusted service center for any kind of maintenance whether it is related to battery or engine or anything else.

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