If you only you know the signs you needed a new car battery, you wouldn’t experience getting stalled in the mall parking or places where you left the car. Most car owners are left wondering what happened when their vehicle didn’t start. No one will get stalled in the middle of nowhere, had they known their batteries need replacement.
What are the signs that when it is time for a new car battery? Car batteries send several signals or signs that it already needs replacement. Hard starting is one sign. If you experience having difficulty starting up the engine, it is a clear sign that your battery is depleting.
Difficult startup should prompt you to bring your battery for a check. There are several other signs that you need a new car battery. Knowing these signals will help you avoid further problems in the future, like getting stalled nowhere.
Beware These 6 Symptoms Of A Bad Car Battery
1. Hard-Starting Engine
Once your engine experience a hard start, you better have your batteries check first. This sign is usually the first one to get noticed. Old Timers can tell right away that a battery replacement is needed once this sign showed up.
If you are in doubt, you can always have your batteries tested. Trusted battery stores and retails conduct free testing.
2. Engine Light Is On
Though most cars have the battery light indicator that goes on when the battery is getting low, engine light may also lit up when it needs a battery replacement.
It may tell you that something is wrong with your engine, but you need to check the condition of your battery first.
3. Battery Case Swells Or Bloats
Another warning sign that you need to replace a new battery is when you noticed your battery case swelling or bloating. Whether your battery is low-maintenance or maintenance free, bloating gives you the same indication, it needs replacement.
Always check your battery for any changes in form. It will help you to do preventive measures against battery drained and getting stalled in the middle of nowhere.
4. Fluid Level Of Battery Is Low
If you are still using the low-maintenance type of battery, you need to check and replenish the fluids when needed. It will affect the performance of the battery when the electrolyte level is low.
Never allow battery fluids to get low as it will cause overheating of your vehicle. However, maintenance-free batteries don’t have this anymore. So, the only signs you have to look for is the bloating or swelling of the case.
5. Battery Leaks
A leaking battery that gives off a stinky or the rotten egg smell is another sign for battery replacement. You can usually see these leaks around the positive and negative cable post. This corrosion happens when the battery starts failing.
6. Old Age Of Battery
When a battery is between 2 to 3 years old, it is time for a replacement. It is good to have it last for 3 yrs. However, allow a periodical battery check to avoid encountering problems later on.
Seeing all the warning signals that your vehicle needs a new battery will help you prevent future encounters like being stalled somewhere. If any of these warning signs appear, get to your nearest battery store and have it checked.
8 Things That Shorten Your Car Battery Life
There are things that you do that tends to shorten your battery life. Some car owners are not aware that doing these things could shorten the condition of the battery.
The average life expectancy of a car battery ranges from 2-3 years long. You can shorten or lengthen it depending on your usage. Here are some of the things that could reduce battery life.
1. Short Frequent Car Trips
Using your car frequently for short trips shortens its life span. The battery is not getting a complete charge with those short trips. The usual time to get the alternator fully charge your battery is at least 8 hours of driving continuously.
Doing this, you are preventing your car to be fully charged and will cause your battery its shorter life span.
2. Cold Weather
If you live in a place where there is a winter season, your battery will most likely die shortly. Cold weather can significantly contribute to the weakening condition of your car battery.
During the winter time, most car owners keep the car in their garage. However, the rounds of cold weather should not be a reason for keeping your batteries warmer. It will help for easier charging.
Read the related article on why do car battery dies in cold weather.
3. Storing The Car For Long Periods
Cars stored for more extended periods will most likely have a shorter life span. If you will be going out for a long break and will be leaving your car behind, make sure that you disconnect the negative pole of the battery.
Doing this will save you from shortening battery life.
4. Low Electrolyte levels
Low-maintenance batteries have electrolytes which are for charging them. Having low levels of electrolyte will cause your cells to die. To avoid this from happening, make it a habit to check your liquid levels for added prevention periodically.
Knowing the critical points on lengthening the battery life will save you from any further cost and damage on your part.
If I have some of the signs listed above, should I change the battery right away?
Well, these are some of the common questions asked regarding their assault. It will always be wise to have it checked first. There might be other reasons for a failing battery. Once the test has proved that your battery is already weak, then it is time to replace it.
I had just bought a new battery a month ago, now it’s dead, what happened?
Several factors might cause your battery to fail. It is not necessary to buy a new auto battery.
Check and look for the possible cause of what is draining your battery. If there is a problem, try to fix it first, then have your battery recharge after. Leaving the electricals on like lights and radio overnight can cause it to drain.
But what causes your batteries to drain?
In some cases, a car owner has just replaced a new battery for his car, not long after, he finds his car not starting at all. His car battery is all drained up. What did he do to drain his new battery? Keep reading below…
5. Owner’s Fault
Sometimes car owners would leave them with headlights on and the trunk half open. The battery will continue to send power to your car until it is drained. The next thing you know, your car won’t start.
You can quickly jump start your car, and it will run again as nothing happened. But continuously doing these would shorten your battery life.
6. Parasitic Drain
Parasitic drain happens when there is an electrical fault in your car’s wiring or electrical system. Even if you have pulled out your keys and keep everything off, the faulty wiring system may eat up the power of your battery which may cause it to drain.
Check your electrical system regularly to avoid problems in the future.
Even newly installed batteries may drain if you did not properly fit the cables. It will cause corrosion and may cause battery problems later on.
If you see build ups around the battery terminals, it is a sign of corrosion. You need to clean it up immediately to avoid battery problems.
8. Alternator Problems
Some issues may not be coming from the battery itself. If the alternator is at fault, it may not be charging the battery correctly. So, how will you know if it is the battery or the alternator that is failing?
Yes, it will be great knowing the signs that you may want to change a new battery, but if the problem is not the battery, is there a way to know or check?
Alternator Or Battery, Which One Is Really At Fault?
A dead battery can have many different causes. A lousy alternator could also be the cause for a failing battery. There are certain ways in which we could determine if the problem comes from the battery or the alternator.
A bad alternator will cause even the newest battery to break down. It can get you stalled and stranded in the middle of the highway. It is relatively easy to determine whether the problem is coming from the alternator or the battery itself.
Jumpstart your vehicle, then remove the cables after. If the car continues running, then it could be a battery problem. But if it is the alternator problem, the car will die again soon.
It is a hassle to be stalled in the middle of the highway with no one to help you. Whether it is the battery or the alternator problem, it will be better to know the signs for both.
Driving a car is comfortable, maintaining one is more robust. It is not enough that you jump in and drive. Cars are subjected to wear and tear of the parts, be it in the electrical or mechanical component.
Know these 6 signs that you need a new car battery and you can be free from all the hassles of getting stuck somewhere.