Your car battery is a crucial component of your vehicle, providing the power necessary to start the engine and run its various electrical systems. Over time, however, even the most reliable batteries will begin to degrade, which can cause a variety of issues for your car. In this blog post, we will explore how to tell if a car battery is failing, including common signs and symptoms to watch out for, as well as some preventative measures you can take to extend the life of your battery.
There are several common signs that may indicate that your car battery is failing, including:
Slow engine crank
If you’ve noticed that your car is struggling to start, or if the engine is cranking slowly when you turn the key, it may be a sign that your battery is on its way out. This is because the battery provides the initial power to the starter motor, which turns the engine over. If the battery is weak or failing, it may not be able to provide enough power to turn the engine over quickly, resulting in a slow or sluggish crank.
Dimming headlights or interior lights
Another sign of a failing car battery is if you notice that your headlights or interior lights are dimmer than usual. This may be due to a lack of power being supplied to the lights, which can occur if the battery is not providing enough voltage to the electrical system. This is a clear indicator that your battery is no longer able to function at its full capacity.
Warning light on dashboard
Most modern vehicles are equipped with a warning light on the dashboard that will illuminate when the battery is not charging correctly. This light can take many different forms, but it is usually shaped like a battery or features the word “BATT” or “ALT.” If you see this warning light illuminated on your dashboard, it’s a good indication that your battery is not charging correctly and may need to be replaced.
Swollen battery case
In some cases, a failing battery may begin to swell or bulge, which can be a dangerous situation. This is typically caused by a build-up of gases inside the battery, which can occur if the battery is overcharging or if it has been damaged in some way. If you notice that your battery case appears to be swollen or distorted in any way, it’s important to have it checked by a professional immediately.
Preventative measures to extend the life of your car battery
While there’s no way to prevent your car battery from eventually failing, there are several steps you can take to extend its lifespan and minimize the risk of unexpected battery failure. These include:
One of the best ways to extend the life of your car battery is to perform regular maintenance on it. This includes keeping the battery terminals clean and free of corrosion, ensuring that the battery is securely fastened in its tray, and checking the battery’s fluid level (if it is a non-sealed battery).
Your car battery is essential for powering your vehicle’s electrical systems and starting the engine. However, car batteries have a limited lifespan, and it’s frustrating when they die unexpectedly, leaving you stranded. The good news is that there are steps you can take to extend the life of your car battery and minimize the risk of unexpected failure. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some preventative measures you can take to extend the life of your car battery.
Keep your battery clean
One of the most effective ways to extend the life of your car battery is by keeping it clean. Dirt, grime, and debris can accumulate on the battery’s surface and create a conductive path between the positive and negative terminals, leading to a discharge of the battery. Over time, this can cause corrosion and damage to the battery, reducing its lifespan.
To keep your battery clean, you should periodically remove it from the vehicle and clean it using a wire brush and a mixture of baking soda and water. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when working with batteries, as they contain corrosive chemicals. After cleaning, rinse the battery with water and dry it thoroughly before reinstalling it in the vehicle.
Use a battery charger
Using a battery charger is an effective way to extend the life of your car battery. When your battery is not in use, it can slowly lose its charge, which can lead to sulfation and damage to the battery’s plates. By using a battery charger, you can keep the battery charged and prevent sulfation from occurring.
There are several types of battery chargers available, including trickle chargers and float chargers. Trickle chargers slowly charge the battery over a long period, while float chargers maintain the battery’s charge at a specific level. It’s essential to use the right type of charger for your battery to avoid overcharging or undercharging the battery, which can damage it.
Limit short trips
Short trips can be hard on your car battery because the battery doesn’t have enough time to fully recharge. If you only drive your car for short distances, the battery may become discharged and not have enough power to start the engine the next time you try to use it. To prevent this from happening, try to limit short trips as much as possible.
If you have to make short trips, you can help extend your battery’s life by turning off all electrical accessories, such as the radio and air conditioning, while you’re driving. This reduces the load on the battery and helps it recharge more quickly.
Park in a garage
Exposure to extreme temperatures can be hard on your car battery, causing it to discharge more quickly and reducing its lifespan. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, it’s a good idea to park your car in a garage or under a carport to protect the battery from the elements.
In addition to protecting your battery, parking in a garage or under a carport can also protect your vehicle’s paint and interior from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause fading and cracking.