Today’s cars, trucks, and SUVs rely on many electrical components for driveability, comfort and safety. These components strain the electrical system and battery. So, how do you know when you need to replace your car battery before it dies?
Your Car Battery Powers Many Car Parts
Can you name all of the electrical parts of your car? Likely not. In fact, the average auto repair mechanic might even struggle to name all of these battery-operated parts.
Some of the electrical parts on your vehicle include:
- Electrical seats
- Power windows
- Power locks
- Sun Roof
- Outlets for cell phones
- Seat heaters
- Computers and DVD players
- Navigation systems
- Stereo systems
- Transmission computers
- Stability control
- Anti-lock brakes
- Traction control
- Security systems
All of these systems, controls and components run off of the car battery. They run the battery down, while extreme weather can also deplete it’s energy resources.
In reality, you will need to replace your car battery at some point, if you keep your car for several years or more. Normal use, corrosion or a leak can cause the battery to not hold a charge anymore. With so much relying on your vehicle’s electric power, how do you known when you need to replace your car battery?
Key Signs You Need to Replace Your Car Battery
The best time to replace your car battery is before it dies, leaving your car stranded. Below are some key signs you need to replace your car battery as soon as possible:
Check Engine Light Is On
When the check engine light illuminates, it is signalling that your car has a problem. Although the light can turn on because of any number of issues, it can mean you need to replace your car battery. Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for diagnostics and battery testing.
If your battery has white, flaky residue on its metal parts, this usually points to corrosion. When the positive and negative terminals corrode on the top of the battery, this causes voltage problems. As a result, your car struggles to start.
Engine Starts Slowly
A slow-starting engine is a potential sign of a dying battery. When battery parts wear out, they do not operate well. This makes it harder to create a charge for the starter, making engine turnover slower.
Something Smells Rotten Under the Hood
When you pop the hood of your car, do you smell rotten eggs? This odor can indicate a leaking battery. This type of gas leak typically occurs when the battery has a short or suffers damage.
A Misshapen Battery Case
Extreme temperatures – whether hot or cold – can lead to internal changes within the battery case. These changes cause the case to swell, sometimes cracking. If you notice your battery is misshapen, you can bet it is not working as it should.
Dim Lights or Other Electrical Issues
When you need to replace your car battery, it is usually losing its charge. With a weak charge, electrical components of your vehicle do not operate on full power. As a result, you notice changes in how the radio, seat heaters, phone chargers and other electrical parts work. You may also notice your vehicle’s lights do not stay lit or alternate between fully lit and dim.
You need to replace your car battery every three to five years. But bear in mind that many factors can affect how long your battery lasts. These factors include your driving habits, the vehicle’s electronic demands and climate. To keep yourself safe from sudden battery failure and getting stranded, get your battery’s performance tested regularly after it is three years old.
Battery Service at Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem
Cloverdale Auto Service in Winston-Salem, North Carolina provides battery testing and replacement along with a wide range of other auto repair services. If you think you might need to replace your car battery, call us to schedule testing at 336-331-3448.