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Are there always warning signs before your battery dies? I just had my car in to an autobody shop for three days to fix a relatively small scratch/dent from a hit and run. Prior to taking it there I was not having any problems with the battery. When I picked up the car, the battery was dead. They boosted me but 4 hours later the battery was dead again. They put it on a charger but then told me later it would not hold a charge. That it must have been ready to die and it was only coincidence that it happened while in their care. Basically my problem, not theirs. The were kind enough to put in an old battery they had lying around the shop but said I would have to replace it soon (before the cold weather comes). Thanks for listening, I would really love to hear your reply. Velra6y

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Velray, Thank you for writing into AskPatty!! To address your concern, about the battery, you may have a "dead cell" causing it not to "hold" a charge. This may have been a preexisting condition brewing before you had it repaired. I recommend that you have your local auto parts store check the "health" of your current battery...(this can be done for free)!! Hope this helps! A. J. Valle

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service Velray, Just to add to the previous answers, our shops have interstate battery testers that provide a hard copy receipt showing the strength of your battery. See if your local shop can do this test for free. It’s a quick 5 minute check and you get a receipt that you can use as a reminder of when your battery was checked last time. I would do this battery check every time you do a oil service. It's quick and should be no charge and will hopefully prevent you getting stranded with a dead battery! Best of luck to you!

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Velray, Usually you get some kind of sign that the battery is dying before it goes. It may crank slow before it starts, you may notice your headlights dim when you start the vehicle or that electrical components run slow or not at all with the key on but the vehicle not running. This sounds a little suspicious to me. If they didn't close a door all the way for three days, it could cause the battery to fail. It's hard to tell. Your only recourse would be to prove when you bought your battery. Batteries can last up to 4 or 5 years if you take care of them. If yours was only a couple years old they should at least offer to help you with the cost. The fact that you had no symptoms before it went into the body shop makes me wonder. Lori Johnson

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