A car battery is critical to its operation.
Your car battery gives your vehicle the jolt of electricity it needs to power every other electrical component of your vehicle, from the powered massage seats to the iPhone charger.
It is in fact a rechargeable battery that is maintained by the alternator and used to start a vehicle. It provides a strong electric current to the electric-powered starting motor, that in turn starts the chemically powered internal combustion engine.
It also is something of a surge protector for the car’s computers and provides power for things such as lights, stereo, and windshield wipers.
But being a battery, it’s not meant to last forever. Sooner or later it will run down.
These are the top five signs that your car battery is ready to be replaced.
Trouble starting the engine.
A clear sign your battery might be wearing out (or is a dud) is that you are having a lot of trouble starting your vehicle. Keep in mind that over the long haul, components of a car battery wear out and become less effective.
At that point, it takes the battery to receive a charge from the alternator. You will be sitting there waiting a few more seconds for the engine to turn over.
Please note: You don’t want to wait for your battery to altogether die before replacing it, as you could easily become stranded somewhere you don’t want to be. If you hear a click sound when you try to turn over the engine that means your battery is probably dead.
Head to your local mechanic and schedule a service appointment as soon as you notice this kind of difficulty starting your engine.
Problems with the dashboard or interior/exterior lights
Watch that check engine light. If you see warning lights on your dashboard lit up do not be foolish and ignore them. It often means there is a problem with the battery or one of the vehicle’s computers.
It could also indicate that the alternator is no longer returning charge to the battery. And it can mean the battery is weakening.
Call a mechanic pronto.
Other signs to watch for:
- Dim headlights.
- Dim interior lights.
- Flickering of any kind of light in or on your car.
Any kind of electrical malfunction
Powered locks and windows on the fritz? It could be your battery.
A car battery powers all of the electrical components in your car – including powered seats and your phone charger – so if the battery is weakening these parts will stop working properly.
If you notice that all your car’s electrical components are struggling it may be time to get a new battery.
Be sure to have your local auto repair shop check out your car right away.
Been noticing a strange aroma inside your vehicle?
That can be a sign of a battery about to give up the ghost.
It might smell like rotten eggs or leaking gas. That’s because batteries contain sulfuric acid that can leak out if the battery becomes damaged. This is called outgassing – and this sulfuric acid can be very dangerous and damage or corrode other parts of your car.
So get a new battery very soon so it doesn’t destroy other parts of your car.
It gets worse in cold weather
If you are constantly putting extra energy into starting your car when the weather gets cold and snowy, your battery may be a big part of the problem. However, keep in mind that if it’s really cold where you live it can be somewhat normal for your car to have trouble starting in freezing temperatures. That’s because gas is difficult to vaporize and oil is thicker when it’s cold.
But, if your car doesn’t go back to a reliable start when the weather gets warmer you will want to look into a new battery.