Most car batteries are built to be reliable, strong and to work under various conditions as in winter, summer, or when it is raining. Car batteries rarely give any strong indication of giving out, you just wake up one day and the car won’t start. The lifespan of most car batteries is 4 years; some may fall slightly short of this time, while others may over pass it.
When a car battery’s life reaches around this time, it is advisable to start thinking of getting a new one before it stops working. Inspecting your car battery regularly especially during routine maintenance check-ups, can help you to identify the first signs of trouble. As with every power source, wear and tear eventually set in and this may cause your car’s engine power or electrical system to stop responding in a timely manner. A faulty battery can start your car, but if your headlights start appearing dimmer every time, something is most probably wrong with your battery.
Here are some of the warning signs you need to look out for to be able to tell if it is time to get a new car battery.
Signs Of A Failing Car Battery
- Old Age
After 4-5 years, most batteries come to the end of their service life. This depends on how well the battery has been maintained and what it has been used for during that period. It is not always easy to remember the exact date you bought a battery but you can always check the manufacturers date which appears on every battery casing, to give you an idea of how long you have had the battery.
- Dashboard Warning Light
This is similar to the check engine’ light and every car i fitted with a battery warning sign. When it lights up, it can signal two possibilities, either your electrical system has problem your car battery. A good mechanic would be able to tell you exact where the problem lies.
- Car Electrical Functions
Apart from engine power, a car battery also provides the juice to run other vehicle components such as dashboard lights, radio, power windows, headlights, windshield wipers, power seats among others. If you find that any of them are not responding as well as they used to, then you may have a problem with your battery.
- Swelling Of The Battery Case
This usually happens when a car remains inactive for a long period of time, and in the process the car battery is exposed to extreme temperatures.
This results in chemical processes inside the battery to react and the result is a swollen battery case. When this happens,
the battery technically “dead” and the only option is to replace it.
- Slow Engine Crank
Turning your car engine so that it may start is sole responsibility of the car battery. From there, the alternator takes over and runs the enginewhile charging the car battery.
If you turn your ignition and feel your engine turning slower than usual, it may be an indication that your battery’s time is running out.
- A Pungent Smell
lf in the course of your routine battery check-up you come across a smell that is similar to rotten eggs emanating from your car battery, it means that your battery is leaking sulfuric acid.
I also means that you need a replacement as soon as possible as sulfuric acid can eat away other parts your car and cause a lot of damage
How To Avoid Being Caught Off-Guard
Regular battery check-ups and maintenance can go a long way to ensure you get the most out of your car battery. In case a dead battery situasion catches you unaware, there are ways to restarting a dead battery.
This may include using jumpers and connecting your batte to another car’s battery. Staying for long periods of time without using your car is a sure way of reducing your battery’s life. Take long drives as often as you to can to enable your battery adequately charge and inspect it regularly to see if there are any sign of wear.
To be on safe side, you do not have to wait for your battery to go dead on you in order to replace it. You can choose to buy a new one after every 2-3 years. Prevention is always better than cure.