Is it Time to Change Your Car Battery?
Your car battery is one of the essential parts of your vehicle. It plays a significant role in the day-to-day function of your car. When starting your car engine, it is needed to power the electrical components present in your vehicle, such as the radio system, GPS, and lights. It can be highly frustrating when your car battery lets you down when you need it most, and you are forced to call a mechanic. You may be forced to incur unprecedented costs.
It is, therefore, necessary to know the right time to replace your car battery. It would help to check car battery sizes to ensure you order the right one. The life of a battery varies based on three key factors:
- Time – Car batteries age over time despite ideal operating conditions and will generally deteriorate until they no longer provide the necessary power to start your car engine. Your vehicle usage patterns can also lead to battery aging.
- Heat – Although heat makes the chemical reaction that batteries use to produce electricity, it can also deteriorate the battery. Batteries tend to last longer in cooler climates than in hotter climates.
- Vibration – Vibrations lead to the physical breakdown of internal battery parts. Automakers combat this by using special hardware to secure the batteries and minimize the effects of vibrations.
Other factors can also lead to the premature expiry of the battery, which can cause you to replace it earlier than expected. Here are a few signs that it’s now time to replace your car battery:
As the battery deteriorates, it will take longer than usual for your car to start. You may find that the engine requires a lot of cranking before it comes to life. This is because the battery cannot maintain the same amount of charge and is gradually fading away. It would be best to replace the battery as soon as you notice trouble starting your car.
Dim Headlights and Electrical Issues
A decrease in the brightness of your headlights can be an indicator that your car battery is on its last legs. The battery powers all the electronics in your car. If the battery is faulty, it may impact how the electronics work. It may help to have the battery recharged and examined by a certified service provider. However, if the issue is persistent, you should consider replacing the battery altogether. It is crucial to seek professional services to ensure you get the best quality for your money and excellent returns in the long run.
Due to the effects of exposure to the outside elements, it is normal for corrosion to build upon the battery terminals. The build-up can often be easily cleaned to prevent it from filling up the other car parts. Despite this, it should be a source of concern if the battery and the surrounding regions are corroding excessively, as it can indicate that the battery needs to be replaced. It can be a result of a leaking battery.
If you detect a foul odor similar to a burning smell, it can signify that your battery is leaking or even damaged. It would be best to take your can in and have the battery inspected by a professional and have it replaced if needed. It can be hazardous to use such a battery, and it can corrode the other car parts.
Engine Cranking Without Starting
In most scenarios, when the engine of your car cranks but fails to start, the problem is often the car battery. The battery could not be supplying the required volts to get the engine running. It can help to take the battery out and recharge it before putting it back. Another reliable option is to use jumper cables to jump-start your car. It is then advisable to keep the engine running for about an hour. If the vehicle does not usually start after this, you will have to replace the battery. It would also be best to have another storm at hand if the old battery gives out in the middle of nowhere, leaving you stranded.
Batteries do not last forever. The expected battery life ranges from three to four years. However, with proper care and maintenance, your battery can last for longer than that. However, it would be best to remain cautious and avoid risking it. Ensure the battery’s performance is tested regularly. To be sure you are replacing the battery in a timely way, you can consult your manufacturer’s recommended service intervals. If the performance is below the expected standards, it will help to make the step and replace it altogether.
Too Many Jump Starts
It is normal to jump-start your car using jumper cables. It could be a result of a faulty starter or because you have not used the car for a long time. Nevertheless, if your car battery has been jump-started more than three times in a single week, you may have to replace it altogether. The process of jumping your car takes a heavy toll on the car battery and can damage it. You may find yourself in a fix as a damaged battery may require more jump-starting resulting in further damage. It can also lead to damaging other car parts. It is, therefore, best to save yourself the trouble and extra costs by replacing the battery.
Misshapen Battery Case
Exposure to extreme heat and cold can cause a battery case to swell and crack. If the battery is anything but rectangular, there is a high chance it is not working correctly. The battery can also become misshapen as a result of overcharging. It is best to replace the battery as soon as possible.
Knowing when is the right time to replace your car battery is essential and can be critical in the smooth running of your car. Nonetheless, it can still be challenging to know the right time to replace your car battery. It would be best to consult a professional who can check your car battery and give you a more accurate analysis of the state of your car battery. You can also check your automaker’s general recommendations concerning your car battery.