How Long Before Car Battery Dies With Radio On

How Long Before Car Battery Dies With Radio On? [Explained]

Listening to the radio is a common habit for car owners. Have you ever faced such a situation where listening to the radio drained your car battery? If you are wondering how long before car battery dies with radio on, here is the answer.

The radio system of the car gets power from the battery. When it plays, it consumes power from the battery. The car battery charge won’t last for more than 4 hours if the radio is on. When the engine is off, the battery loses charge more quickly.

The duration also depends on how much charge was left on the car battery and its condition as well. You may get an extended runtime by turning off the additional electrical components.

How Long Will it Take For a Car Radio to Drain the Battery: Check Now

If you have a new car with a good battery, it will take around 4 to 6 hours for the radio to drain the battery completely. When the radio plays, it draws power from the battery.

The battery will drain earlier if there is additional setup with the sound system, such as an amplifier or subwoofers. 

When you are playing the radio with the engine off, the battery will lose its charge quicker than ever. Also, there is no way to get the batteries to recharge without the engine power. This is why the tiny power of a radio drains the battery after a couple of hours.

Only listening to the radio will not drain the battery quickly. Modern cars have so many additional electrical components that drain the battery way earlier than expected.

If your car battery drains entirely within hours of use, there may be a problem with the alternator or the battery. That kind of drain on the battery isn’t typical. Get a professional car mechanic to find out what’s wrong.

3 Steps To Prevent Battery Drain While Radio On: Effective Tips

A car battery should go under proper maintenance if you want to get a good backup from it. Here are a few tips to keep the battery charged when not in use. 

1. Battery Maintainer

A battery should be perfectly charged to make the best use of it. To avoid under and overcharging, a battery maintainer will be the best solution so far.

Battery solutions are designed to turn the charger off when the battery is fully charged. This also automatically resumes the charging once the battery needs a charge. 

2. Disable Unnecessary Components

Don’t keep any unnecessary electrical components playing while listening to the radio. This will save the battery and give you longer than usual. For example, you may turn off the headlights if they are not needed.

3. Regular Drive

If you want to make sure the battery stays in stable health, you should get a regular drive with the car. This will also take care of the other electrical components of the car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Car Battery Be Dead If The Radio Still Works?

If your car is not starting and the radio works fine, that doesn’t mean the battery is not dead. The battery may have enough power left to play the radio, but it won’t be sufficient to power or start the car.

So, a dying battery can still power the electrical components of a car but won’t be able to start the car.  A car’s radio generally requires a fraction of an amp to run, whereas the car’s starter motor requires a huge current drain of amperes.

Does Car Radio Drain The Battery?

Well, a Car radio usually drains the battery when the engine is not on. The radio gets the required power from the engine. A car radio also drains the battery if it’s not installed correctly. Installing the radio with a mistake or oversight in the wiring will drain the battery.

If you use an aftermarket radio connected directly through the power source, there will be a battery drain even when the car is turned off. Problems with the ignition switch also cause battery drain. This leaves the power of accessories on even if they are turned off.

Will You Lose Radio By Disconnecting The Car Battery?

The radio system of a car is installed once it’s manufactured. The radio system will reset if you disconnect or replace the car battery. You will now be required to install the radio system again.

There is no need to worry about this as all cars have the same radio settings. You won’t lose or damage the radio, you just need to install the radio system again in your vehicle.

Can A Car Radio Work Without An Amplifier?

An amplifier is required to drive any speaker. The car radio won’t work without an amplifier, as it’s one of the main parts of the audio device. An automobile radio comprises a radio tuner, a preamp section, and an amplifier.

An amplifier strengthens the signal of a weak signal and delivers distortion-free audio or sound. The car radio and speaker both need an amplifier, and they won’t run without it. 

How Do You Fix A Car Radio After The Battery Dies?

The radio will not work once the car’s battery has been fixed or repaired. This is because it now needs a new installation. To fix the radio, you need to install the radio again with the car radio code.

You will find the car radio code on the car’s user manual. If the car is purchased used, you may ask the previous owner for the code to fix the radio again.

Final Thoughts

Car owners sometimes doubt the car battery as they don’t know how long before car battery dies with radio on. If you have a completely new battery with a full charge, you won’t get a runtime for more than 6 hours when the radio is on.

To ensure your battery lasts the charge long, ensure proper maintenance of the battery.


How to Change a Car Battery. (2022, November 13). Retrieved February 22, 2023, from

Martin, S. (n.d.). Can leaving a car radio on drain the battery? Jerry. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from

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