Once you know the signs of a bad car battery, you will be able to determine the car battery replacement time. The car battery life is determined by the battery usage habits and the atmospheric conditions of the car’s geographic region.
However, the full battery life is an estimate of 3 to 5 years. Most car owners don’t see the signs of a bad car battery until it’s too late. Therefore, they find themselves stuck in situations where the car won’t start.
Before buying a new battery ensure that your battery warranty covers some of the things that may cause it to go bad. Further, ensure that the old battery has reached the expiry age because you could be getting rid of a perfectly good car battery. Lastly, get a technician to help with battery recycling of your current battery.
Symptoms of a bad car battery.
Not all batteries will show obvious signs of their bad battery health or ending battery life. The following are some of the things you can look out for incase you suspect that you have a bad battery.
1. Dim tail and headlights.
The battery voltage is what powers the vehicle’s lights when the engine is off. In order to know the battery health, turn on the headlights while the engine is off and observe the light.
If the headlights appear dim, its because they’re not getting sufficient power from the battery. This could be an electrical system problem or it could be an indication that the battery isn’t okay.
2. Dashboard warning light.
If your battery is faulty, the vehicle’s onboard computer will detect the issue. Then there will be a battery warning light on the dashboard. However, the type of warning that you get depends on the computer’s program.
There are some dashboards that will display a battery shaped warning light. Further investigation will be necessary before concluding that you need another battery.
3. Weak engine cranking.
The car battery is part of the engine starting process because it provides sufficient battery voltage to the spark plug. Therefore, you may notice some car starting problems like the engine takes too long to start.
Incase the car refuses to start, jump starting the car battery is the next option. However, if the car won’t jump start, the battery could be dead beyond restoration.
4. Corroded battery terminals.
If the car battery terminals appear to have an accumulation of corrosion material, this may lead to a bad battery. The corrosion hardens around the battery terminals which interferes with the battery charging system.
Such that charge from the engine’s alternator does not reach the battery in order to recharge it. Therefore, corrosion is one of the reasons why the car battery dies. Because the battery capacity charge will be used up without any recharging.
Corrosion comes about when battery acid leaks through the terminals. Afterwards, the acid combines with elements like air and dust particles which solidify around the terminals. Wash it off with a dry cloth or brush.
5. Disturbing odor.
Proper car maintenance involves ensuring that the battery’s casing is in a good condition. You may start the engine and then you notice a strange smell coming from under the hood.
The battery casing may be compromised in this situation. Hence causing the battery acid to leak. The bad smell is the Sulphuric acid in the battery acid. If this leak continues for long, it will minimize the battery capacity.
6. Bulging battery case.
If the battery case appears like it has taken another shape, this is a sign of a bad battery. The bulging case could result from the effect of extreme temperatures. Eventually, this type of case will crack open and acid will leak from within.
7. Ignition clicks.
If you’re using a key in your ignition this is a symptom of a bad battery. Whereby you turn the key in the ignition and the only effect that you get is a clicking sound.
Car electrical problems could lead to this situation where the battery is completely dead. The solution will be to perform car battery charging using a charger so as to be able to start the engine.