Informational Guide

How Long Before Car Battery Dies With Radio On?

Even with the best car audio battery, running your stereo can drain the juice.

Car batteries can die with no warning, especially if you are listening to your favorite tunes. Even with the best car audio battery running your stereo can drain the juice. In this guide, we answer - how long before the car battery dies with the radio on?

We also discuss if you can learn how to turn on a radio after the car battery dies.

Car Stereo System

The car stereo uses a lot of juice to run, especially if you have high-performance speakers, an amp, or a subwoofer connected to it. If the vehicle isn't running, the car stereo will slowly dwindle away any reserve power you have.

Car Alarm

Unless there is a parasitic drain on the battery, the car alarm shouldn’t cause the battery to die. However, when the car alarm is going off, it is using battery power. Without a portable car battery charger, the juice could slowly fade away.

Car Key

Newer car keys work by simply being in proximity of the ignition button. If you leave your key fob in the car when it isn’t in use, the signal is constantly being relayed back and forth, slowly wearing out battery life.


It doesn’t matter if you use the quality car headlights; they will drain the battery if left on. Additionally, the lights inside the car also drain the battery, just not as quickly as the headlights can. You can reduce the power drain by using LED headlights.

Can Car Battery Die Overnight From Radio

How Do Car Stereo Systems Drain a Car Battery?

Not Turning the Engine On

If you are trying to save fuel, you might listen to your music with the engine off. However, this dramatically reduces your battery’s life. How can I keep the car radio on without the battery dying? You should turn the car on when running any accessory. Otherwise, the battery could die in just a few hours, depending on its health.

Very Loud Music

If you are using your subwoofer and amplifiers to crank the tunes up hard, you are putting more pressure on the car battery. Doing this for any amount of time is going to take a toll on the charge, which is why we suggest using a solar charger to keep the battery in optimal condition.

Listening To Music for Hours

If you are waiting for something, you might turn off the vehicle and listen to the radio. Maybe you are playing your favorite podcast or listening to the latest releases, you are going to drain the battery if you play the stereo too long. A healthy battery might last five to six hours with the stereo running.

Your Stereo’s Capacity Is Higher

Any stereo system that requires more voltage is going to drain the battery faster, simply because of the demand. Will a car battery die with the radio on? Yes, but it is going to die much faster if you are using high-voltage equipment to enhance the sound.

How Long Before Car Battery Dies With Radio On

How Do You Prevent a Car Stereo from Draining a Battery?

Can my car’s battery die from the radio and A/C? Yes, but you can prevent that from happening. First, if you are going to listen to the radio, turn on the engine. The car alternator will run, which keeps the battery charged.

Secondly, it’s vital that you take care of the car battery. Clean off any battery corrosion and keep it charged to ensure it is ready to handle the load you put on it.

Why Does Your Car Stereo Stop Working? (Battery Completely Dead)

Do you know how to fix a car radio after the battery dies? We look at a few reasons why the radio might stop working.

  • Radio Has an Anti-Theft “Feature” 
    Many car stereos come with anti-theft features, such as inputting a code to use the radio. When the battery dies, it could activate the code feature that requires you to input the security code for access. If you don’t know this code, you will need to look in your owner’s manual or make a call to your local dealership.
  • Damaged Radio Or Electrical Systems 
    If your battery died, you might have used a jump starter to get it going again. Sometimes, when you do this, damage can be done to the electrical system or radio. There’s very little you can do to prevent this, but thankfully, it isn’t a situation that frequently occurs unless the vehicle is susceptible to electrical system issues.
  • Fuse Problems 
    When you charge a battery, you also risk causing a fuse to go out. Before you automatically assume that the radio is ready for disposal, check the appropriate fuses in the box by the floor of the driver's side. You can easily spot a blown fuse, and these small parts are simple to replace. Plus, it is an inexpensive fix.
How To Fix Car Radio After Battery Dies

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Should you listen to music in a car with the engine off?

No, this practice is damaging the car battery and should be avoided. Instead, you want to start the car engine before you run any accessories, including the car stereo, air conditioning, or headlights.

Does a car battery recharge itself?

The battery cannot charge itself. Instead, you need to either hook it up to an external battery charger or allow the vehicle to run so the alternator can recharge it.

How long should I let my car run after installing a new battery?

A new car battery should be already charged and ready to go. However, to keep it running its best, it’s important to drive your car at highway speeds for a minimum of 15 minutes a week.

How often should I charge my car battery?

The car battery charges from the alternator every time you drive your vehicle. If you don’t drive a lot, you could hook up a trickle charger to ensure the battery remains in good health.


Can a car battery die overnight from the radio? We’ve shown you that it can. Now it’s time for you to protect your car battery and avoid playing the radio while the engine is off.