When it comes to vehicle maintenance, regularly changing oil, replacing air filters, and checking tire pressure helps in ensuring a smooth ride. However, even if you take proper care of your car, there comes a time when the car’s battery eventually dies. Typically, most car batteries have an average lifespan of 4-5 years under normal driving conditions. If your car’s battery isn’t exposed to extreme temperatures and excessive humidity, a new battery may even last as long as six years. The battery’s capability of holding charge determines its lifespan. However, you shouldn’t wait for the battery to die before you think about getting a new one.
Ideally, you need to replace your car’s battery before you find yourself stranded in the middle of the highway. A faulty or dying battery is one of the major causes of vehicle breakdown. In most cases of car breakdown, the cars stop in the middle of the road or simply fail to start because the battery is too old to perform the required task. Now you may ask how to find out you need a new battery if your old battery isn’t dead yet.
How to Know It Is Time to Replace Your Car Battery?
The primary function of a car battery is to start the car. However, with years of use, the battery starts losing its capacity to hold the charge and ultimately dies. So, before that happens, it is best to replace the battery before you find it impossible to start the car on the day of an urgent meeting or way back home. Here are some signs that indicate your battery is getting weak and needs to be replaced.
Engine Cranks but Doesn’t Start
When starts losing its strength, the car engine crank but fail to start. This happens when the battery doesn’t provide the required volts to start the engine. When this problem occurs, you can try to take out the battery and recharge it. You may also try to jump-start your car and keep it running for at least 30 minutes. However, if none of the methods help, it means you need to replace the battery. Also, even if any of the tricks work, possibly the battery won’t hold the charge for a long time and it’s better to get a new car battery.
Engine Starts Slow
Due to age or rough use, the battery components get worn out and fail to perform optimally. So, if your car’s engine is taking a lot of time cranking before it starts, it is possibly because the battery has become incapable of holding the same amount of charge as it used to. When the battery gets old or loses charge, the engine becomes slow to start.
Faint Headlights & Electrical Faults
As mentioned above, the car’s battery is responsible for powering all the electrical components of your ride. So, if you encounter problems such as dim headlights, non-working radio, or a faulty dashboard, then take a look at your battery. An old or worn-out battery lacks the charge needed to power all the electrical components of the vehicle. This could happen when your battery completes its lifespan or you plug in too many things such as a phone charger that strains the battery.
Odd Smell or Corrosion Buildup
You can check the vehicle manual to find out manufacturer recommendations for battery replacement and other maintenance tasks. In addition to this, if you notice anything strange such as a foul odor or too much corrosion around the battery, contact a mechanic. A bad smell is an indication that might be the battery is leaking gas. Avoiding odd smells and corroded components in your car can be risky. So, make sure to get the vehicle checked and replace the battery if necessary.
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