How to Tell When It Is Time to Replace Your Car Battery
July 16th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Most drivers know that they need to change their oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. But for some reason, many people don’t know when it’s time to replace their car battery, even though it’s the lifeblood of their car.
Your car battery stays charged by reusing energy obtained from driving. That is why, if your vehicle sits in the garage for long periods of time, your battery could die.
The truth is, many drivers tend not to think about their car battery until it stops working. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
But that mindset can be risky. No one wants to be stranded in the middle of nowhere because they failed to replace their battery.
How to know if car battery is bad
So, how do you know when it’s time to make a change?
How to know if car battery is bad is part art and part science. But you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see the warning signs that your battery’s life is coming to an end.
Here are six indicators that your battery may be dying:
1. Trouble starting
As your battery wears out, it takes longer for the car to start and for the engine to turn over. A slow start usually indicates that your battery is on its last legs.
2. Lights and radio
If your battery is near the end of its life, you will notice problems with your radio and your interior and exterior lights. That’s because your car battery is what gives them power.
3. Check engine light is on
The problem with the “check engine light” is that it can mean different things. It could indicate that your battery is running out of juice, or it could signal a problem with your alternator, or suggest that it’s time to take your car in for a tune up.
Consult your owner’s manual for more info and if you’re still not sure, take your car to the nearest auto mechanic shop and let highly trained technicians test your battery for you.
4. A bad odor
If you detect an odor, like a burning smell, it could mean that your battery has a leak or is damaged. In that case, you should take your car in immediately to have your battery inspected.
Open your hood and take a look at your battery terminal. If you see a white substance accumulating around the battery terminal, it probably means you have a corrosion problem. This requires immediate attention since corroded terminals can reduce voltage and make it difficult to start your car.
6. Old age
If your battery is three to five years old, that means it has entered old age and may need to be replaced. If you live in a cold climate, your battery is going to have a shorter lifespan.
How to check if car battery is good
Do you know how to check if car battery is good? Here are some things to consider:
- Pay attention to how your car responds when you start the ignition. If it starts without difficulty, that’s a good sign.
- If the dashboard lights are dim, it could mean that your battery is not good. Check to make sure your lights, radio, and automatic windows are turned off; then start the car again.
- Jumpstart your car. If it works, but then you are unable to start your engine again after driving for a while, then you probably have a dead battery and should replace it immediately.
- Highly-trained mechanics know how to check if car battery is good. Take your car to the nearest auto repair shop and let them perform a battery performance test for you.
How often should you replace car battery?
If you’re mostly driving in ideal conditions with moderate temperatures and little humidity, your battery might last for up to five or six years.
At the three year mark, you should be looking for signs of old age. You want to catch the problem early before it has a chance to damage your engine.
So, how often should you replace car battery? After three to five years – that’s a reasonable estimate. But the better answer is, once you begin seeing evidence that the battery charge is weakening.
Remember, it’s not a matter of if but when. Your car battery will need to be replaced eventually. If you live in a warmer climate and treat your car well, your battery might last for three years or even five.
But these are just estimates. After your battery’s third birthday, the best approach is to be on the outlook for any of the indicators that we listed above.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto El Mirage, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing all customers in El Mirage, Arizona and Maricopa County neighborhood.
Fix Auto USA
We are the premier independent body shop network delivering world-class customer service and high-quality collision repairs across the U.S.
Learn About Us