In terms of function, not many components are more important to your car than the battery, it’s the whole reason your car is able to turn on and also works to supply additional currents when the engine needs more than what the alternator can supply. With that in mind, it’s easy to imagine why you don’t want your battery to die on you when out on the road, thoughts of your car failing to start while you’re in a crowded parking lot are shudder inducing in and of themselves. To prevent this nightmare scenario from becoming a reality, there are ways to tell if your battery is on the way out, helping you know when it’s time to replace the battery and save yourself the hassle down the line.
Ways to notice battery issue
Slower Engine Starting– When you attempt to turn on your vehicle, if it takes longer than normal to start then it could be a sign of a diminishing battery. There will also usually be a sluggish, cranking sound that accompanies the slower ignition.
Check Engine Light– Your check engine light can mean a million different things and can turn on at even the slightest miscue in your vehicle but it can be an indication of a weak battery, if your car isn’t exhibiting any other signs than this could be an indication that battery needs to be replaced.
Old Age– Your battery can last well over three years but after three years of use, be sure to have your battery inspected at least once a year. There can be instances where you battery suddenly begins to lose power, so just because it’s only 3-4 years old doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be checked just to be certain.
It Won’t Start and Lights Don’t Turn On– This is a pretty obvious indication that the battery is dead because your battery powers all of the accessories to your car along with the lights as well. If your vehicle doesn’t have lights or won’t turn over than it may be a good idea to also have your alternator looked at as well as that can be contributing to the issues with your car as well.
Your Car Goes Back and Forth With Starting– If your vehicle is starting intermittently than it may be a sign that either your battery terminals are loose or broken, corroded or calcified or you have something draining the battery power that shouldn’t be. If your car is temperamental when starting, check your battery cables first, they are the most likely cause and are the easiest thing to check on your own without a mechanic. Your battery cables should fit firmly and securely with no wiggle room, also check to ensure that they aren’t fraying or falling apart and if there are signs of wear, replace the cables as quickly as possible.
You Constantly Have to Jump Start Your Car– If you’ve jumped start your car more than three times in just a single week, then it’s time to replace your battery. Using the jumper cables to start your car is hard on the battery and even a newer battery can feel the effects of multiple jumps in short amount of time. Constant jumping of your battery can eventually lead to issues with your alternator and starter as well, so regardless of how new your battery is or if manufacturers claim the battery is extra long life and can last over five years, don’t count on that being a guarantee.
Don’t neglect to replace the battery
There are tons of things that affect your battery life, everything from the weather and your driving conditions to the accessories that you use that are powered by the battery can reduce the performance and life of your battery. Knowing the signs to look for that your battery is beginning to die will help you be sure that it is replaced and taken care of before something goes wrong. Most batteries have a maximum life of two to three years so keep in mind that you may want to replace the battery in that time frame before any problems begin to show themselves. By following these steps, you’ll be able to avoid any unplanned incidents and can continue driving with confidence.