The battery is literally the device that keeps the vehicle powered up apart from the engine. It also provides the electrical spark needed for the engine to start. Thus, it is what brings heart of any vehicle, to life. Not only is it important for starting the engine, it also powers all of the electrical components during the drive. Without a properly-functioning battery, you could be going nowhere with nothing playing on the radio.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on the health of your battery. There are a few warning signs which are good indications that the battery's life is coming to an end. Paying attention to little details such as, if your 'check engine' light is on, or how your vehicle reacts when it starts, is important. Here are seven signs one should look out for:
1. IF YOUR ENGINE STARTS SLOW
Over time, the battery components tend to wear out, therefore, becoming less effective. When this happens, the battery takes a longer time to create a charge for the starter and you may have to wait a few extra seconds for the engine to start. A slow start is usually the last breath before the battery goes out.
2. ELECTRICAL ISSUES OR DIM LIGHTS
The battery is responsible for powering all of the electronics in your vehicle, from the lights to the radio to the dashboard. If the battery starts losing its power it will not be able to run these things properly. The more things plugged into the car while driving, for example, a phone charger, the faster is the possibility of the battery dying.
3. THE 'CHECK ENGINE' LIGHT COMING ON
In most vehicles, the check engine light can mean anything, it might start flashing when the battery of your vehicle is running out of juice. Check the owner's manual and get the battery tested by a mechanic to see if its working at full capacity. If not, it's time to replace it.
4. BAD SMELL IN THE CAR
If a damage has been caused to the battery or there has been an internal short, it can cause the battery to leak gas. The smell is usually like rotten eggs coming from the hood, due to a leaking battery. Taking it for servicing and getting it check out as soon as possible would be a good idea.
5. CORRROSION ISSUE
If you notice a white, ashy substance on the metal parts of the battery, it means you have a corrosion issue. Corroded terminals such as the positive and negative metal connections on the battery, can lead to voltage issues which causes a trouble to get your vehicle started.
6. AN OUT OF SHAPE BATTERY CASE
Climate plays an important role to determine the lifespan of a vehicle's battery. Extreme heat and cold can cause a battery case to swell and crack. If a battery is anything but rectangular, chances are it won't work properly.
7. AN OLD BATTERY
When was the last time your battery was replaced? In ideal conditions, car batteries typically last 3-5 years. Climate, electronic demands and driving habits all play a role in the lifespan of your battery. It's a good idea to keep an eye out and get your battery performance tested regularly once it gets close to the 3-year mark.