Battery Not Charging: 7 Troubleshooting Tips

A car battery not charging can be very frustrating, and most people’s first instinct will most likely be to replace it.

However, it would be best to understand why it is not charging, as replacement may be expensive and not an ideal solution.

Therefore, this article will discuss some troubleshooting tips you should try when your car battery stops charging.

The battery is not charging; check the headlights.

If your car battery is not charging, you need to check if the problem is with the battery or something else.

Therefore, you must try turning on the headlights and checking how they work.

If they turn on and shine with appropriate brightness as they always do, then the problem is not with the battery; it is more than likely an issue with something else in your car, such as a faulty starter or a wiring issue.

On the other hand, if the headlights are dimmer (do not shine as they always do) or do not turn on at all, then the problem is most likely to be with the car battery.

The battery is not charging; consider the condition and age of the battery.

Your car battery may not charge because it is old with cracking and corrosion on the battery.

If your car battery is over five years old, the problem of not charging is likely with the battery itself.

For instance, reliability is a common issue with old batteries, as they can lose around 80% of their charge within a couple of weeks.

Therefore, we recommend replacing your car battery with a new one if you have used it for at least five years.

Additionally, a newer battery can have corroded connections if you fail to start the car for weeks or months, which can cause the battery to stop charging.

The battery is not charging; check for the connection.

Loose and corroded car battery connections can make contacts virtually impossible, which will cause your battery to fail.

Therefore, you must check your car battery, paying close attention to the connectors, cables, and terminals.

For instance, the first thing you need to do is to ensure the battery cables are connected securely.

Any loose cable or wire will indicate a possible cause of your battery not charging.

You should also check for corrosion on connectors and terminals, which generally appear as blue, green, or white blooms.

For instance, any corrosion can stop the starter from drawing power from the battery.

If you find any corrosion, clean it using the following;

  • A mixture of water and baking soda.
  • Wire brush and sandpaper.

However, unlike older vehicles, checking for corroded connectors and terminals in newer cars can be challenging because batteries are in tight areas, such as the engine bay.

While checking for corroded connectors, we recommend wearing goggles and rubber gloves.

The battery is not charging; check for blown fuses.

A blown fuse can cause your car not to start by preventing the battery from charging.

For instance, fuses can get worn out with age, and attempting to start a cold engine can cause fuses to blow.

Therefore, we recommend checking if the starter motor and alternator fuse are blown.

Consider a third-party device draining charge.

Third-party devices, such as radios, Bluetooth kits, security systems, etc., can drain your car battery.

It can be challenging to establish if the reason for the battery not charging is something unknown draining the charge.

Therefore, we recommend contacting a reputable and experienced professional for testing. 

Charging your car battery

Charging your car battery

The battery is not charging; use a voltmeter.

You can use a voltmeter to measure how much voltage your battery has.

Before you begin testing the voltage of your car battery, you need to turn off the ignition key.

Next, you need to do the following;

  • Attach the voltmeter’s positive (red) test lead to the battery’s positive terminal.
  • Connect the voltmeter’s negative (black) test lead to the battery’s negative terminal.

After that, the voltmeter will give you a more accurate reading of the battery’s voltage.

For instance, when your battery is fully charged, it will read anything between 12.65V and 12.77V.

Anything less than the battery’s full charge shows that you need to continue looking for reasons the battery is not charging, as it is not an issue with the battery itself.

Checking the car battery with a voltmeter

Checking the car battery with a voltmeter

The battery not charging; is it a problem with the alternator?

An issue with the alternator can also cause your battery not to charge because if the alternator is not supplying a charge to the battery, the electrical system components, such as ignition, lights, etc., will end up operating on battery power alone, which drains a good car battery quickly.


If your car battery is not charging, hundreds of things could be causing the problem.

Fortunately, you can overcome this problem by diagnosing it, which helps you figure out how to fix it.

We hope this guide has helped you know how to troubleshoot a battery not charging issue.

However, experts at Cloom will be happy to help if you still have questions about cable assemblies.