How Do You Fix a Shorted Car Battery? Answered!

The car’s battery is vital; it can not start without it. The battery supplies the start with the required amperes so the engine can turn over and the vehicle run. It also provides the electronics in the car with electricity to work even if the vehicle is turned off.

When the car’s battery is shorted, you will face many problems, the vehicle will struggle to start up, and you will need to jump it. In addition, electronics in the car won’t work when you turn off the vehicle, and many other problems come with a shorted battery.

How Do You Fix a Shorted Car Battery? 

A shorted car battery might still have the chance to be fixed; first, you will need to disconnect the battery. After disconnecting the battery, you will need to recharge it; if the battery can hold a charge, it will help it start working again. However, there is a high chance that the battery doesn’t charge.

If there is any visible damage in the battery or the battery refuses to charge, the battery will not be fixed. However, as any damage done to the battery is often irreversible, shorted batteries have little chance of being cured. In this case, you will be forced to buy a new battery.

Another way you can take the battery to a mechanic, but this works only if you have noticed the problem early. So, if your battery is shorted, it’s better to act quickly to have a chance to repair it. Also, it’s better to assess the problem before fixing it, as shorted batteries can take up to 200$ to be fixed.

Most of the time, shorted car batteries can not be fixed, and you will need to notice the problem early to fix them. You can test your car battery by buying a battery tester from any local hardware store; this way, you will know if your battery is having any troubles and gives the required time to fix them.

How To Tell if Your Car Battery Is Shorted?

Any car battery is an energy storage device of lead-acid type; it consists of six separate cells, from the battery’s positive terminal to the negative terminal. Each cell in the battery has a capacity of two volts, which means that if you have a fully charged battery, the voltage would be around 12 volts.

If you charge your battery overnight and measure its voltage, if the voltage is 10.5 volts or less, it can be a vital sign that your battery is shorted or has gone bad. To ensure that your battery has a problem or is shorted, you will need to charge entirely and do the following steps:

Step 1

Disconnect your battery and remove it from the vehicle; place it next to the charger you are using. Connect the positive (+) cable of the charger to the positive terminal of the battery. Connect the negative (-) cable of the charger to the negative terminal of the battery. Turn on the charger after setting it to an overnight complete charge.

Step 2

In this step, you will need to act quickly to ensure that the battery doesn’t discharge; first, unplug the charger of the battery. Then, promptly remove the charger’s cables from the battery’s terminals if you leave the charger’s cables for an extended period connected to the battery while the charge is disconnected.

The battery will discharge through the charger; it will act as a feeding source to the charger. Therefore, the reading will have an error, and you will not be able to tell if the battery is terrible.

Step 3

Bring a multimeter to test the battery with it, turn the multimeter on and choose the settings of 20 volts DC. The car battery produces a direct current (DC); therefore, you must ensure you select the proper settings in the multimeter; otherwise, it won’t read. Next, touch the red-colored probe to the battery’s positive (+) terminal.

Touch the black-colored probe to the negative (-) terminal of the battery, and wait for a few seconds until the multimeter reads the correct amount. Your car battery is healthy if the reading on the multimeter’s digital screen is 12 volts or more. If the reading is less than 10.5 volts or less, the car battery has a bad cell, or two cells are shorted together.


Signs That You Have a Shorted Car Battery

Car batteries are a vital component, and the car can not work without them; batteries tend to fail without any warnings. However, some signs can appear on your vehicle that tell you that your battery is having a problem; usually, when a cell inside the battery fails, it gives rise to some symptoms.

Slow Cranking

If you experience a slow cranking when starting the vehicle and you hear that the engine is struggling to turn over, this can indicate that you have a bad battery. When a battery is shorted, this doesn’t allow the battery to hold the amount of direct current voltage required.

When you try to start the vehicle, the starter begins drawing a specific amount of amperes; if the battery is shorted, this decreases the number of amperes reaching the starter. Therefore, the starter has trouble starting the car, and you hear the slow cranking sound in your engine.

The Vehicle Won’t Start

When the vehicle is running, it doesn’t need as many amperes as it needs when it’s starting; therefore, you will experience the bad results of a shorted battery only at ignition. If you jump the vehicle, it will operate adequately; however, when you turn off the engine and let the car rests for a while, the problem happens again.

The shorted cell in the battery will start draining the charge of the battery, so when you try to operate the vehicle again, it won’t start. You will need to jump the car again to make it run.

Voltage Reading

If you charge your battery a complete charge overnight, the reading of the battery should be 12 volts or more. However, if you use a multimeter and test the battery and the reading is 10.5 volts or less, you have a shorted battery, or one cell of the battery cells failed. The shorted cell is responsible for the missing amount of charge.

Vehicle’s Electronics

The battery is used to supply electricity to the electronics in the vehicle when it’s turned off. If you find that none of the electronics in your car is working once you turn off the vehicle, this can indicate that your battery is shorted. This is because the shorted cell starts to drain any charge in the battery when the car stops.

So, if you find that the electronics in your car stop working once you turn off the engine, you need to check your battery because this can be a sign of a problem.

What Causes Shorted Car Battery? How to Prevent it?

A car battery consists of six cells from the positive terminal to the negative terminal; separators separate the cells. When the battery overheats, one of the separators can melt down, causing the battery to be shorted. Separators can also be damaged due to external factors like inadequate cell packaging.

Bad manufacturing can also be a reason for shorted batteries; if the plates touch each other, that can cause a short circuit. In addition, the connection resulting from the plates touching each other will result in a high thermal effect on the battery damaging the rest parts. 

Shorted batteries are usually irreversible and have a slight chance of being fixed; therefore, if you notice that your battery is shorted, you will need to contact the manufacturer to replace it if the problem is due to manufacturing sloppiness. Disconnecting the battery from the charger is a recommended step to protect the charger in case the battery is shorted.

You can not prevent short battery problems from happening altogether but keeping proper and regular maintenance can minimize the occurrence of these problems. In addition, the temperature is a significant factor in preventing short circuits, so you should always check the temperature of your battery.


To summarize, car shorted batteries are often irreversible and have a minor chance of being fixed; if you notice the problem early, it increases your chances of restoring the battery. You can try disconnecting the battery from the vehicle and charging it to see if it holds the charge.

If the battery refuses to hold the charge, you will need to replace the battery because the problem now is irreversible and can’t be fixed. If you choose to visit a mechanic, you need to assess the situation before fixing it, as fixing a shorted battery can cost up to 200 dollars. 

Batteries can fail without any warnings, but you usually notice signs indicating your battery has a problem. These problems can be slow cranking when starting the car, the vehicle refusing to start unless you jump it, or the vehicle’s electronics stopping working once you turn off the car.

Proper and regular maintenance can decrease the occurrence of shorted batteries, in addition to consistently checking the battery’s temperature and avoiding letting it overheat.

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