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Can A Car Radio Drain Your Battery? (Updated 2023)

Can A Car Radio Drain Your Battery

You’re driving, and you have the radio on…

But you’re thinking how people can be so confusing.

One moment they make you happy…

Next, they drain the life out of you.

And it made you think…

Does this also apply to car radios?

Because you don’t want your radio to drain your car’s battery.

So, could it?

Continue reading to find out: 

  • A 3-step guide to dealing with a drained battery. 
  • 5 helpful tips to listen to the radio without draining the battery.
  • 3 reasons why your car radio is draining your battery (and what to do when it does).
  • And this is just the beginning… 

Can a car radio drain your battery?

A car radio can drain your battery due to high usage when the engine is off. An upgraded car radio can also drain it. Also, the car radio can drain your battery overnight. This happens if it’s not connected or has a faulty connection to the ignition.

How long does it take for a radio to drain a car battery?

A radio takes around 15 minutes to 1.5 hours to drain the car’s battery. This depends on the radio and the sound system’s power usage, and the volume at which you listen to the radio. The battery’s type, capacity, age, and health also determine how long it takes for a car radio to drain the battery.   

How to listen to the radio without draining the car battery?

You can power your engine on to listen to the radio without draining the car battery. Plus, you can turn off car accessories such as AC and lights. Then, you could lower the volume. If draining issues persist, you can opt for a second battery or a portable speaker. 

#1: Power on your engine

If you listen to the radio while your engine is off…

Then it might be the one that’s causing your car battery draining problems. 

Why? It’s because the radio uses electrical energy from the battery when the engine is off. 

So, you should definitely consider turning your engine on. 

In that case, listening to the radio won’t drain your car’s battery. 

Fun fact: A car’s engine produces a lot of energy. And if you turn on the engine, some of it will be stored in the car’s battery. The car component which makes that happen is the alternator.

“But I want to conserve gas.”

I understand. 

But don’t worry… I still got you. 

Just keep on reading because the following tips might be able to help you. 

#2: Turn off car accessories

Car accessories such as the lights and AC also use the battery when the engine isn’t on. 

This means that they would compete with your radio for energy. 

The more accessories you turn on, the faster you drain the battery. 

It’s like having a family of 6 sharing the same 16-inch pizza…

You’d realize that it’s only a matter of time before all the food is gone. 

So, if you want to listen to the radio and not worry about having a dead battery…

You should turn off car accessories that you don’t need. 

You might be interested: Why won’t Alexa play my radio station?

#3: Lower the volume 

Lower Car Volume

Lowering the radio’s volume can also extend your playing time. 

You might be interested in why it’s possible, so I have a question for you. 

In which case would you be more tired? 

Speaking softly for 5 straight minutes?

Or shouting loudly for 5 straight minutes? 

Shouting loudly, right? 

That’s the same principle for this tip. 

If you blast your audio, the radio will use more of the battery’s energy. 

Whereas, if you tune it down just a little…

You’ll be going to be playing it for a significantly longer time. 

“But I want to play my music loudly?”

Keep on reading because you’re in for a treat (or two). 

#4: Install a second battery 

A second battery is like having a reliable partner in life… 

If you’re down, then they’re there to help you out. 

The extra battery supplies energy to protect the main battery from draining. 

This means you can listen to the radio without worrying about battery drain. 

“But how do I do that?”

You’re going to need an isolator.

An isolator acts as a switch. If the engine is running, it’ll use the main battery. 

But if the engine isn’t running, it’ll resort to the backup battery.

Pretty convenient, right? 

In this way, you won’t drain the battery by using the radio. 

Are you interested? 

Then you should check this video so you can install your second battery right away: 

Warning: Connecting wires and other parts can be challenging. This may pose health risks to you and your car. I recommend that you do it with the help of a professional. 

#5: Use a portable speaker 

If installing a secondary is too much bother. 

And you just want to blast your favorite music in the car… 

Then this tip is 100% for you. 

If you have a portable speaker, you won’t need to use the car radio. 

And because of that… You also won’t risk draining your battery.

Plus, you get to party hard inside the car. 

And if you’re looking for great portable speakers…

Here’s what I strongly recommend: 

Read next: Best linkable Bluetooth speakers that pair together.

What should I do if my car battery drains?

You should jump-start your car if the battery drains. You can do this with help from another car, a jump start kit, or manual pushing. You should also charge your battery full. Then, take it for a long drive. You can also troubleshoot any problems. It’s best to do that with the help of a car technician. 

How to deal with a drained battery?

Deal with your drained battery by jump-starting it. Next, drive your car around for at least 15 minutes. Then check whether your battery has charged. If not, you should go to a local shop for a complete car check-up. They’ll check your battery, alternator, and wiring connections for any problems.