When it comes to car batteries, the sooner you know the warning signs, the better. If not, you could be left without a car, break down on the motorway, and be left with a hefty bill that we could all do without. If your car battery dies, your car will not work. Do not confuse your battery needing to be replaced with your car just needing a jump start! If your battery is dead, a warning light will come on in your car. If you are unsure, ask a friend or neighbour. If you do need to jumpstart your car, you will need jumper cables. To ensure you know your more about the car’s battery, read on for the most obvious signs it is close to needing to be replaced and what to do next.
Your Engine Almost Starts
If when you turn your key your engine sounds like it is going to start but doesn’t, this mostly points to your battery. There may be another problem, but more than likely the reason for it will be your battery. If this happens, do not worry. You are most likely not stuck and can jump start your car. Once it has been jump-started, leave the engine on and let the battery charge for around 30 minutes. If the reason is not your car battery, jump-starting it will not work and this will be an obvious sign. Just because your engine has started working again, this does not mean your battery is fine. It will need replacing, so find a new battery as soon as possible to prevent yourself getting stranded. Buying car batteries from a trusted source retailer as Hardwarexpress who can ship on the same working day is always best.
Your Battery Is Leaking
The most obvious sign of a battery leaking is the smell of sulfuric acid. When you lift your engine, you may notice a rotten egg-like smell; this is due to your battery leaking. You may notice gunk on the battery, or the + and – signs seem to have faded. This gunk may need to be removed before you can start your car if this is the problem. If your car still works but you notice this gunk, clean it and keep an eye on it. If the battery loses too much of the electrolytes inside, it will eventually stop working.
Your Check Engine Light Keeps Coming On
Cars are very clever machines; they have a way of telling us things before we know. When the engine light comes on, you may assume the worst and it can be hard to figure out what it is trying to point us to. If your check engine light comes on, this could well be because your battery power is weak. Sometimes, your low coolant light may come on too. If your coolant is not low, then it is telling you there’s a problem with your battery. The AA recommends checking your engine coolant and cooling fan every few weeks, as this could stop problems early on.
If Your Battery Is Old
An average car battery should be replaced every two and a half to three years. If your car battery is this old or exceeding this age, although it may not be showing any of the above signs it could break down or run out at any moment. You should not wait for your battery to die before replacing it. This could cause other complications and may leave you in a difficult situation without a car. You can have your battery inspected at a garage. If your battery is more than three years old but you feel you do not want to replace it, get it checked to see if there are any underlying problems.
What Can Affect Battery Life?
There are some things that can affect your battery life, some of which we cannot change. Driving on many short trips means your battery can never fully recuperate between, shortening its lifespan. This is bad news for people who work in community jobs who usually drive short distances. Always remember to check your battery regularly for anything mentioned above if this applies to you. The actual battery you buy can have an effect on its average lifespan. This is why it is always recommended that you buy a battery from a trusted brand. If somebody is selling a cheap battery; there is probably a reason for it. The weather can also affect a battery’s life. Any extreme temperatures can take its toll on that battery.
If you believe there is something wrong with your battery and have spotted any of the following signs mentioned above, take it to a mechanic and they will be more than happy to check it out for you. Remember: always switch off the lights before exiting your vehicle, as this will drain your battery!