FIVE SIGNS THAT YOUR CAR BATTERY IS FAILING
The battery is an essential part of the car’s electrical system. Its main role is to start the engine and supply power to various accessories and components. It is pretty important that a car’s battery be in good working order – nobody wants to be stuck on the side of the road, not be able get to work, all because of a dead battery.
Here are 5 warning signs that your battery is starting to fail
1. Trouble starting the car
The battery’s principal function is to jolt the starter motor into life (this motor, in turn, works to get the engine fired up). A battery in good condition can do this task quickly and without much fuss. Turning the key should start the engine almost instantly, a clear warning sign that the battery is on the way out is when the engine cranks slowly and the process takes longer to complete. You may not even get any cranking at all and instead hear a clicking sound. If that is the case, then the battery is all but dead and you’ll need a jump start or a new one.
2. Power loss
The battery supplies power to a car’s electrical components and accessories when the engine is not running, and a failing battery won’t be able to supply that energy. So, if the headlights are dimmer than usual, the infotainment system won’t work, the power seats won’t move at the push of the button, the battery could be the culprit.
3. Battery corrosion
Power from the battery flows through leads connected to its terminals. These contact points can be damaged over time with corrosive material building up around them. This corrosion affects the performance of the battery by interrupting the transmission of electrical current to the car’s electrical system. It is an indication that the battery is in poor condition and may need replacing. If you’re checking the terminals, you may as well take a few extra seconds to examine the body of the battery too. If the case is swollen or cracked, then a new battery is a must.
A battery should last from five to seven years. It’s possible that they will last longer, but if you’ve had the car five years or more without changing the battery it might be time to think of doing so, or at least get it examined by a professional.
5. Battery warning light
One of the many dashboard warning lights that briefly illuminates when a car starts is one shaped like a battery. It makes sense then, that should this light up at any other time, a new battery is in order. This is not necessarily so. This warning light is actually a sign that there is an issue with the system that is charging the battery. While the battery may indeed have a problem, it is just as likely that the trouble lies with another component such as the alternator (which charges the battery and supplies power to the car’s electrical system when the engine is running), or even the drive belt (which powers the alternator). Either way, the battery warning light does mean that a trip to a mechanic or auto electrician is required.
The car battery, while a relatively inexpensive component, is a part of a vehicle’s extensive electrical system and is critical to performance and safety. While a failing battery will often be the reason cars struggle to start, do not start at all, or suffer a loss of power, it is important to recognise that other components in that electrical system – and ones that are considerably more expensive to repair – could be at fault. Diagnosis and repair of any problems should be dealt with quickly.
Come in store and take advantage of our free battery and alternator health check. Call us 07 3736 0297