Can a car run without a battery? Yes, it can. Find out how in this article and how-to video.
Can a Car or Truck Run Without a Battery?
Yes, your car can run without a battery, but it won’t start without one. You would need something to actuate the electrical circuits and start up the engine. The alternator can handle everything from there with the engine running, but as electrical loads increase that drains the system. That will cause more surging and it could damage the electrical system.
This is because the alternator, powered by the serpentine belt, generates energy and transfers power to the battery where it can be stored. When you have a car battery with low voltage, like 11.5 volts in the example featured in this article’s video, the alternator will try to charge up the battery to maximum capacity, around 12.4 to 12.6 volts as long as it isn’t under load. The battery will act as a surge protector and absorb voltage spikes.
Three Reasons Why You Want a Good Battery in Your Car
Quick Start Up
With the car started, the alternator creates voltage, which creates a current leading to the battery to keep it charged. This allows you to start your car quickly.
It Stores Energy
The battery stores energy, allowing you to do tasks like starting the car quickly.
It Acts As a Surge Protector
The third reason why you want to have a good battery in your car is because the battery also acts as a surge protector for the overall electrical system. The alternator can send out different current to the battery to keep it charged. If the battery has a low charge or is worn low, the alternator will try to increase the amperage to increase the battery charge. Then the alternator will let off if the charge increases. If the alternator can’t tell where the battery charge is at, it can send out maximum current in response to reading the battery as dead and needing to pick up the work.
The alternator can push out different currents at different RPMs, or how fast the engine is running. This can cause voltage spikes, which the battery absorbs instead of it going to other electronics. Adding loads drops the battery voltage. As a weak battery increases loads, it fails and electrical components don’t work.
You can watch the current spike with the battery disconnected at 2:35 in this article’s video.