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Car battery drained and dead - would a jumpstart work? Does it need to be replaced?

The battery was replaced last November. Unfortunately, the car lights were left on and now the battery is dead. Would a jumpstart work? Could the car be driven safely afterwards? Does it need to be replaced?What's a good brand of car batteries?
2 Cents:

Once the car is started, you can actually drive it without having the battery connected. Did you know that? Just a thought.


Yes it will have to have the person who helps you run their car about 20 minutes to get some charge into your battery...make sure to scratch the contacts and remove any battery acid to get a good connection.

Your battery will probably be fine thereafter however if this happens frequently then the battery will eventually fail.

Sadly I have done this a few times and have learned the routine.... I do know how to hook-up the cables to undo my own messes which helps!!!


Sears Diehard is good but even the Walmart batteries have done well and we get windchills to -20 here and blizzard conditions most of the winter.

Chicago Lady:

Great job, Mindy, you've given him all the essentials!!

One more thing, Dennis, you are asking about a brand. I always get whatever brand my local neighborhood garage is selling because they give you anywhere from a year to three or occasionally even 10 year warranty!!! Get the warranty! (imho)


Great answer. Got my vote. I'm the queen of leaving lights on!


A jumpstart, and leaving it running for a while would probably salvage it. If it is not permanently sealed, check the fluid level also.
Most chain auto parts stores such as PepBoys, AutoZone have free battery testing.

If it comes to a new battery, Consumer Reports gives highest marks to Wal-Mart for price, Cold Cranking Amps, warranty et al.


Apparently we are a matched set when it comes to search and rescue....roflmbo...

Chicago Lady:

lol, my Mom and my sister get theirs at Wal-Mart ...


Great minds MJM & CL!

Literally Speaking ™:

Sometimes a battery can recover from a complete discharge, sometimes it cannot, best to try and have it recharged 1st as opposed to all the suggestions of getting it jumped and letting the car run, because a fully discharged $70 battery can and WILL destroy a $300 alternator, I've seen it happen many times, you can take the advice of a 27 year veteran auto tech or listen to all these gumby's LOL but what ever you do, DO NOT TRY TO RECHARGE THE BATT with your alternator, unless you just like throwing $$$$ into the wind.

I should also add the wiring in your charging system is designed to maintain a full charge on a GOOD battery, NOT to recharge a dead one, ever notice the tiny size of the wire from the battery to the alt? Now check out the size of the CABLES you jump a car with, or the CABLES on a battery charger.

Literally Speaking ™:

Excide, Optima, are 2 very good brands of batteries, also Interstate has a pretty good warranty and most auto repair shops carry them.

QB Kate:

Great answer LS. You might add that jump starting today's computerized cars can damage a module at a cost far higher than a battery. Buy a $40.00 charger, and you have it for life.

Literally Speaking ™:

Yeah John, I've replaced a few fried control modules because of this issue. Average cost parts and labor around $500-$1,000


Great answer again Literally speaking, with complete background knowledge.

J Man:

you can jump start for now but you may need to get a new battery,


No, jumpstart won't work unless the battery is recharge that would be safe for the car to be driven.


a totaly dead battery is a hard job for an alternator to do. Better to have it recharged at a tire company and then re install it. I've found costco has the best deals on good quality batteries. When you buy them they have a minimal factory charge that your alternator won't die to fully charge.

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