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Toyota Corolla Battery Drain/Keeps Dying/Not Charging

Cars nowadays are pretty much computers on wheels; some even can play video games (Teslas), and as you probably know, to make all of the electronic functions happen, such as the display, radio, and lights, the battery needs to be functional. You can’t even start a car if the battery dies, which is the real elephant in the room. Toyota Corollas may be one of the most reliable cars, but even they can have problems, such as a faulty battery.

A common cause for a Toyota Corolla’s battery draining or dying is a parasitic draw, where an electrical component continues to use power after the engine is off. To diagnose this, use a multimeter to check for current draw with the car turned off. If you find a significant draw, systematically remove fuses and check each circuit to identify the faulty component. Once identified, repair or replace the component to resolve the battery drain issue.

Another reason for battery drain can be an old or faulty battery. Batteries typically last 3-5 years, and an aged battery may not hold charge effectively. Check the battery’s age and test its charge. If the battery is old or tests show it’s not holding a charge, replacing the battery will likely solve the problem.

Car battery jump start

The alternator, responsible for charging the battery while the car is running, could also be the culprit. A failing alternator won’t charge the battery adequately, leading to repeated draining. Test the alternator with a voltmeter; the voltage should typically be between 13.5 and 14.5 volts when the engine is running. If the reading is lower, the alternator may need to be repaired or replaced.

Furthermore, if you find that your car is dead in the morning, it’s entirely possible that the cabin lights were left on; it’s such a common mistake. In this case, you can ask a neighbor to jump the battery. We will be covering all things battery-related in a Toyota Corolla, so read on if you want to learn more. 

How Do Car Batteries Not Die Under Normal Circumstances?

Car battery image with positive and negative terminals

Just a bit of trivia because this question gets asked so frequently. We normally don’t even consider that car batteries don’t need to be charged unless we talk about electric cars. Simply put, cars have an alternator that acts as a generator to keep the battery powered pretty much indefinitely. So no, it’s not normal for your car’s battery to suddenly drain and die; without further ado, let’s get to troubleshooting. 

Toyota Corolla Battery Drain

Testing voltage on car battery

If your battery is constantly draining, several factors could be at play here. 

Above, we stated how a car charges its battery and a bad alternator failing to keep the battery topped off is a very common reason for why drainage occurs. 

Alternators can fail for a number of reasons, and a common one is worn-out tensiors if the car is older. A replacement to solve this issue will cost at least $400.

Toyota Corolla Battery Keeps Dying

Red clamp jump start car battery

Another reason why battery drainage can occur is due to parasitic drain, which is a term for components such as the clock powered at all times. Some battery drain will occur because of this, but it shouldn’t be enough to kill the battery.

Excessive parasitic drain can be caused by poor installation, faulty wiring, or defective fuses.

Toyota Corolla Battery Not Charging

Black and white jump start clamp on car battery

If the car battery isn’t charging while driving around, this means that the “generator,” aka the alternator, isn’t doing its job, which will quickly lead to a dead battery. Alternators either fail due to wear and tear, or it could come down to fault/loose wiring. In the best-case scenario, the wires may be able to be locked in place, saving you an expensive replacement bill of $400 or more. 

Toyota Corolla Battery Life Expectancy

Multimeter testing car battery

You might be very shocked to hear this because batteries usually last longer than this statistic, but Toyota Corolla batteries are expected to last 3 – 5 years.

But don’t freak out if your car is already five years old. Usually, car batteries will last much longer than that and often will last the car’s lifetime. Corolla is one of the most reliable cars, but replacing the battery after five years is the safe choice if you want to keep up on maintenance.

Toyota Corolla batteries cost over $500 in most cases.

Toyota Corolla Battery Indicator Problem

Car battery light on in dashboard

Paying attention to your car’s indicators and gauges is responsible and can save you expensive mechanic bills in the future. If you see the battery indicator light up, the car is trying to tell you that it isn’t being charged, and as we noted above, the alternator is responsible for this. If you see this light, take the car to the shop for an evaluation, the alternator might either need to be replaced or fixed. 

Toyota Corolla Battery Light Flickering

Car battery light inside car

If the battery indicator is flickering, it’s also trying to warn you that the battery isn’t being charged enough or at all by the alternator.

If your battery light is flickering, it’s likely caused by a faulty alternator. The alternator is responsible for charging and maintaining your car’s battery. When the belt, bearings, or alternative loosen, they’re not able to maintain the property charge level.

You can test the alternator by bringing it to a repair shop, listening for squealing noises near the alternator’s bearings near its belt, and idling the vehicle. When you idle the car, turn on the headlights; If they dim or the battery light flickers, the alternator isn’t doing its job.

But that’s not the only reason these batteries are quite complex, and not only does the unit itself and the alternator need to function for things to work correctly, but the wires that connect everything are also essential. Loose battery connections can also be a factor in your battery light indicator flickering.

Toyota Corolla Battery Light On and Off

Car battery and brake light inside car

The voltage regulator in a Corolla and cars, in general, is what keeps a consistent current of around thirteen or fourteen volts, and it is located between the alternator and the remaining electrical equipment. If this component malfunctions, consistency is thrown out the window, and the voltage drops to low levels. The battery light indicator then lets you know that something isn’t right. 

Overall, the battery light in your Corolla will tell you that something is wrong with the battery, no matter the cause. This is obviously a huge headache, and most people will not pin down exactly the cause of the issue, so taking the car to a trusted shop will save you a lot of time unless you are already very good with cars. 

Toyota Corolla Battery Volts

Multimeter testing car battery

The battery in your Toyota Corolla should be operating at least 13 volts; this is enough to power everything in the car that relies on the battery. If it is less than this, then that is indicative that something isn’t right, whether the battery itself has become faulty or it simply isn’t receiving enough power.

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But how do you know that voltage the battery is operating at? With a voltmeter, which is quite inexpensive and can be used for various purposes. This AstroAI Multimeter is a great choice and can tell you if any of your suspicions on a faulty battery are true or not. A mechanic can possibly charge you a pretty penny for diagnosing this for you, and so it’s a worthy investment! 

Toyota Corolla Cold Cranking Amps

Car battery jump start clamps

What are the cold cranking amps (CCA) that you should be getting in your Corolla? For cars, you should be getting a reading of 350 to 600AA, trucks have a higher rating, but we are focused on the Toyota Corolla for now. 

But how do you measure this? To be technical, you can’t exactly “measure” CCA; rather, you can estimate it. But you can buy a battery tester for this “estimation.” The vast majority of people don’t have one of these testers, it is usually mechanics that have one, but if you would like to buy one, you can certainly purchase one online. 

What Are the Temperature Danger Zones for a Battery?

Woman jump starting car battery in winter

It’s mostly well known that cars struggle to operate to their fullest ability in extreme cold and extreme heat. In most cases, you likely won’t have to worry about your battery becoming compromised due to outside temperature. However, it’s at least worth knowing. 

Extremely hot weather can actually cause the battery fluid inside the battery to evaporate, hot, humid temperatures of 110 ℉ (43.3 ℃) or more is enough to cause this sometimes, but usually, it’s the even hotter temperatures that do it.

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Remember, in the especially hot areas in the US or any other country, cars don’t suddenly start to fail just because it gets really toasty outside. 

As for cold temperatures, reports of battery failure skyrocket in extreme winter weather, part of this reason is that the hot temperatures of the summer weaken the battery, and then the extreme cold of brutal winter months “finishes’ it off. 

Some facts:

  • At temperatures of 32 ℉ (32 ℃), the battery capacity in a car battery reduces by 20 percent.
  • Cold temperatures make engine oil thicker, which makes the battery work harder.
  • Cold temperatures make it harder for the battery to recharge.
  • You are probably blasting the heater, headlights, and windshield wipers which strains the battery even more.

In short, winter is not kind to cars! If you live in an area that gets freezing, maintaining your vehicle is absolutely critical so that it doesn’t fail you during these brutal times. If anything is going to make the 3 – 5 battery life expectancy a fact, it’s the winter months. 

If you want to know what specific car batteries you can buy that can survive the winter months, we’ve linked a video below:

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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on Mar 16, 2021 and last updated on .