Cars will not start without a working battery. Weak performance by electrical components can warn drivers of a battery on the verge of failure.
A battery with very little power remaining may cause electrically-powered components in a car to behave sluggishly. Headlights or dashboard indicator lights, for instance, may appear unusually dim, while the car's windshield wipers may move more slowly than normal, according to Samarins.
A car with a completely discharged battery lacks the power to activate the starter. The driver will turn the ignition key only to hear a clicking sound, although this symptom could also indicate a faulty starter.
A battery that has simply been drained from common errors such as leaving headlights or dome lights on will usually respond to recharging. A battery that will not recharge has probably reached the end of its useful life and requires replacement, especially if it has already provided three or more years of service, according to Samarins.
Checking the battery with a device called a multimeter can determine whether the battery has died or has just been drained; 2 Car Pros recommends testing both the battery and the alternator.