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Can LED Headlights Drain Car Battery?

Can LED Headlights Drain Car Battery?

Draining the battery is not unusual. It could happen anytime especially when the car is parked a couple of days or more. There are reasons to get drain and sometimes damage. One of the main reasons that a battery gets damaged is due to sulfur crystals that grow on the plates. This is called sulfation and prevents the electrons from flowing through the affected parts. There are more reasons to get a drain as discharging, or draining, describes the process of battery losing voltage, or energy. Important to know that a battery is always discharging anytime and it is not being directly charged.  

What is a Drain Car Battery?

Drain a car battery is discharging, or draining, describes the process of your battery losing voltage, or energy. Importantly a battery is always discharging anytime it is not being directly charged.

Further to know discharging battery can be both an active or an inactive process. While battery is  powered electronics  in boat or motorhome application, this becomes an active process. It is also equally important that inactively discharging battery whenever left unused for any period of time, even without a load connected.

Foremost function of the car battery is supplying power to the vehicle’s ignition. Driving in too many short distances means your alternator doesn’t have enough time to recharge between starting and stopping your vehicle. Gradually, it makes your battery drained  and doesn’t last long as it should.

What is the cause of LED Headlights Drain Battery?

This is not usual, but can happen that after installing new LED Headlight, the car battery might drain quickly. There are some reasons that LED Headlights drain the battery. As per study and review the following cause the headlights drain the battery.

car lights drain battery

Human Error

The most well known cause of total LED battery drainage is that if you forget to turn off your car’s headlights, fail to close your trunk all the way, or even neglect to turn off an overhead driving light, your car battery will keep sending power until it is totally drained of energy. Nowadays it is common for modern car warning systems and automatic shut off lights. If you leave a door slightly open may be enough to cause the internal lights to illuminate and drain the battery. Also there is a cause if your lights are on for a long time, the car’s battery will be drained.

Install Process

After changing new LED headlights you surely confirm that you have turned off your car and the headlight switched off overnight but while you try to start the car, the engine is not turning on. Then it makes sense that installation was not properly done in an accurate process.

Wiring Fault

While installing new LED headlights, there might be a wiring fault. Wiring may have crossed over from the polarities at some connection point. On testing if the wiring is correctly installed, you may remove the fuse from the circuit of your headlight. Then turn on the headlights, they should not turn on since you removed the fuse.

Loose Cables or Corrosion

While your battery is new and experiencing poor performance or requires regular jump starts. Then it may happen that your cable connection is somehow loose. If the electrical wires that connect the battery to your car are not correctly installed and tightened then occasionally shake loose and cause failure to start. Make sure the leads are tightened properly with a wrench. 

Also other cause your LED Headlights drain Car battery for heavy rust or corrosion. If you see significant amounts of blu, fuzzy build up around your battery terminals, which to be clean if off and see if your vehicle starts once your battery is clean.

Parasitic Drain

Parasitic drain is one of the important factors to drain Car battery, when vehicle components continue to draw power from your vehicle’s 12v system, even after the key is removed entirely. 

While a small level of parasitic drain is normal 12v battery will deliver power to the car for saving radio, clock, security alarm, power doors, and power locks are running. Since the electrical system is faulty, and other systems could be running even when the car is turned off causing drain car batteries. Especially if other accessories like sensors and cameras installed on your vehicle – these often do not shut off automatically, and require the user to shut them off manually.

Defective Alternator

The other cause is battery for the alternator. While everything is properly working in the car, the alternator supplies electrical power to primary systems, by converting some engine power into electricity. This power is also used to recharge the 12v battery, ensuring that it has enough power to start the car. 

If an alternator fails to charge your car battery, it will drain over and over again as you start your car – and eventually fail, requiring you to jumpstart your vehicle.

Over prolonged use of Battery

If you have an old battery in your car, it becomes weak day by day and unable to deliver the required power to start your engine. Over prolonged use of the battery, there will be negative impacts like plate corrosion, loss of water, and buckling of lead acid plates, so the ability of the battery charge can not hold and damage the battery forever.  

Are LED Headlights Drain Battery using Resistor?

after market headlights draining battery

In advancement of LED lights technology, It draws so little power from the battery, the in-built computer system of the car assumes that nothing is plugged in. Also LED bulbs have a lower resistance that the flasher unit interprets as a bulb out problem. Once the resistor is installed, it fools the flasher unit by recreating the proper amount of resistance. The turn signal Resistors flash at the correct rate.

When hooking up an LED headlights you are always supposed to use a current limiting resistor to protect the LED from the full voltage. If you hook the LED up directly to the 5 volts without a resistor, the LED will be over driven, it will be very bright for a while and then it will burn out.

Bottom Line

If your car battery keeps draining, the first things to check are your lights. Many newer vehicles have headlights designed to turn off after a certain amount of time. But if your car doesn’t have this feature, your headlights may stay on until you either turn them off or till your car battery is completely drained. However there are a few ways you can keep your car battery in good condition. You may have good quality LED lights available in the marketplace. If you consider them to install in your car and you will be comfortable avoiding drain of your car battery.

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