I wish I had known these tips before I found myself sitting in a parking lot waiting for a tow truck! My battery hasn’t been changed in over 5 years and I couldn’t get my car to turn over, the funny thing is you need to know the signs. I forgot how old my battery was so keep track of that, my van was starting slow but it got very cold here so there was other variables to consider. These tips will help you:
Your car battery provides the necessary electricity zap in order to kickstart your car. This means that without electricity from the battery, you wouldn’t manage to start your car, to begin with. Now, modern cars rely more and more on electronics, which means that the role of your car battery becomes even greater. For this very reason, a malfunction of your car battery is a serious problem. Furthermore, a car battery doesn’t go bad quite often, which means that it’s not something that you will regularly check. Here are some signs that you may need to get a new one.
1. Slow crank
The first, as well as the most obvious, indicator that there’s something wrong with your car battery, is the fact that your car engine is slow to crank. To fix this, you first need to take your car to a mechanic and have it inspected. Other than problems with a battery, this could also be caused by a poor connection in the starting circuit or even a poor connection in the starter. There could also be a charging-system problem. One of the ways to tell if it’s a battery-related problem is the fact that this may only occur early in the morning. This means that the battery is getting drained while the vehicle is parked.
2. Weird smell from the hood
If you start noticing a weird smell coming from the battery area, this is never a good sign. This peculiar smell is somewhat similar to that of rotten eggs and the reason behind this is the mix of water and sulfuric acid in your battery. Once you start noticing this, chances are that your battery is weak and malfunctioning. It’s safer to replace it right away than to torment your electronic accessories (which may also malfunction). Every now and then, it might be worth your while to just pop the hood and see if there are any funny smells coming from this area.
3. Bloated case
The biggest problem with the bloated battery case is that you may not notice it until you actually pop the hood. This is why it’s so important that you take your car for regular auto service. This swelling usually means that the battery is overcharged. The simplest solution for this is to just replace the battery. After all, it’s not swollen for no reason and the damage made is permanent. For those who are interested in why this symptom occurs, to begin with, it’s all about hydrogen gas build up faster than it can dissipate in the battery.
4. Battery leak
Noticing a battery leak is simple enough if you have reason to pay attention to the symptoms. Simply look at the battery and look if there’s any moisture clinging to the casing. The accumulated gunk may prevent your car from starting, which is why you should clean it as soon as possible. Again, the very fact that this appeared here isn’t a good sign. Second, this may have already caused some corrosion, which is why you should definitely consider replacing it.
5. Battery age
While this may not be your general experience, there’s an estimate that car batteries last between 3 and 5 years. After this, the period of deterioration starts, which means that your battery will become less efficient, as well as less reliable. On the battery case, you can find the details regarding the manufacturer. If you’ve bought a used car, there’s no other way for you to know the age of the battery for sure. If the age of your battery exceeds the 5 years mark, and if you can afford it at the moment, it’s probably best to replace your battery.
In the end, your electronics may be a perfect indicator that there’s something wrong with your car battery. Your radio and your lights are the first things you should notice waning. Unfortunately, this goes both ways. What this means is that unless you change your battery soon, the rest of your vehicle may soon suffer the consequences. This will primarily affect your car’s electronics and the rest of the mechanism will closely follow. Don’t let things escalate and make the necessary replacement in time.
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