We’ve all be in a situation where we try to start our car, but the battery is dead, and we’re stuck or stranded. Many times, we miss the warning signs that our car battery needs to be replaced. In this article, we’ll walk you through six of the most common signs of a dying battery so you’re never stranded and in need of a jump!
The Engine Is Slow to Turn Over
If you’ve been driving for any amount of time, you’re probably familiar with the gut-wrenching sound of an engine that won’t turn over. If you crank the keys and find that your car takes a few seconds for the engine to get going, you likely need a new battery.
Your battery is one of many necessary components that makes your engine run. A car battery provides energy to the starter and ignition system in your vehicle. The starter then turns a flywheel which starts your engine. As you can see, there’s a lot that happens in the short amount of time between when you turn your key and when your engine starts.
But if your engine takes a few seconds to turn over, your battery has probably come to the end of its life. Drive to your automotive store as soon as you notice your engine behaving this way so you can replace your battery before you need to jump your car off.
The Dashboard Lights Flicker
Your battery is responsible for getting your engine started, but it also supplies power to your car’s other electrical components, including the dashboard. Your dashboard provides vital information for you as you drive your vehicle, so when there’s an issue, you want to check it out as soon as possible.
If you notice flickering lights on your dashboard, it has nothing to do with the dashboard itself, but likely signals a dying battery. When you notice the flickering lights, purchase a battery as soon as you can. If you wait too long, your battery will be dead, and you’ll need a ride to the auto store.
Bear in mind that dimmed dashboard lights can signal an aging battery, but your lights can be dim for other reasons as well. Many cars have light dimmers, and if you accidentally bump it, you can dim your dashboard lights without even realizing it. Issues with your alternator can also cause dimmed dashboard lights. If your lights are dim and a new battery didn’t fix the problem, it might be a manual error or alternator trouble.
The Windows Roll Slowly
Everything might seem normal when you turn your keys. Your engine starts just fine; dashboard lights are bright. But try rolling down your windows when the engine is off. Does it take forever? This is one of those subtle signs that your battery might be on its way out.
Dying batteries aren’t the only cause for slow-rolling windows. You might have a faulty window motor, broken track guides, or a worn window regulator. If your windows are slow to roll up or down and your car is exhibiting other signs in our list, you likely need to replace your battery.
The Headlights Go Dim When Idling
If your battery is losing power, you’ll find that all your vehicle’s electrical components will feel the effects. When you’re idling in your car, you might notice your headlights go dim. Then, upon acceleration, they brighten right back up. This is a tell-tale sign that your car battery needs to be replaced.
Once you notice your headlights are behaving this way, do yourself a favor and replace the battery. Taking swift action prevents you from ending up stranded and in need of a jump.
If your headlights are dim when you’re accelerating or braking, your battery might not be the issue. Your alternator might need repairs, or you might simply need a new alternator belt. It’s best to bring your car in for a professional inspection so you can address the problem and make the necessary repairs.
Corrosion is Present
When you open your car’s hood, your battery should be clean. Light build-up is normal, but you shouldn’t see excessive corrosion covering your battery. There are multiple reasons why you might find signs of corrosion on your battery: leaking battery fluid, escaping gases, and, of course, an old battery.
Regardless of the cause of corrosion, you want to address it immediately. In most cases, the granular build-up you’ll find signals that your battery needs to be replaced, especially if the battery is more than five years old.
Your Battery is Old
The final sign that your car battery needs to be replaced has to do with its age. Car batteries last roughly three years. Some last longer, closer to the five-year mark, and depending on weather conditions and driving practices, your battery could die sooner.
When your battery approaches three years of age, bring it to your local automotive store to have it tested. They will usually test your battery free of charge. This test gives you an idea of how much life it has left. And if the test reveals that your battery needs to be replaced, you’re in luck: you’re already at the store.
You never want to be in a position where your car battery needs replacing, and you neglected to do so. Putting off replacing your car battery is not only inconvenient, but it’s also frustrating because many times, there are warning signs that your battery is coming to the end of its life.By looking out for signs that your car battery needs to be replaced, you’ll never find yourself in a position where your battery’s dead! Look out for signals of a weak battery, and install a new one as soon as you can.
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