FREE Battery Diagnostic Test
If you are experiencing any of these potential battery warning signs, we encourage you to stop in for a FREE Battery Diagnostic test. We'll test your battery and electrical system and provide you with a printout of the results with details about the battery test.
Top Warning Signs You Need a New Car Battery
We all rely on our vehicles to get us where we need to go on a daily basis. One of the things we take for granted is the battery. We simply expect our cars to start when we turn the key. While hopefully your vehicle starts on the first try – there are some warning signs that can indicate your car battery is nearing its end.
Slow or no engine crank
When you turn your key in the ignition, the battery alone starts the engine. If the battery is running out of power, you may notice that the engine cranks more slowly than usual. If the engine does not crank at all, the vehicle will generally just make a clicking sound. This could be an indication that the available power is too low to crank the engine or you have a dead battery. In either of these situations, you should have your battery tested immediately and replaced if needed.
Check engine/battery light is on
If the battery symbol on your dashboard is lit up, it could mean a couple of different things. It may indicate that your battery has low power. It might mean that your battery cannot receive a charge from the alternator because it has a bad cell which causes the voltage to drop. It could also indicate a faulty alternator or perhaps faulty wiring. If the check battery light comes on, the best course of action is to have your vehicle's battery and electrical system inspected by a certified professional to determine the root of the problem.
If you've had your vehicle for over three years with the same battery, it might be time for a replacement battery. As with many car components, the actual life of the battery will vary depending on a number of circumstances including driving habits, usage, mileage, other electrical components, weather conditions, etc. If you're not sure how old the battery is, we encourage you to stop any of our stores. We can run a free battery diagnostic to determine the condition of your battery.
The battery in your car is used to power all of the electrical components including inside lights, power windows, power seats, radio, wipers, dashboard, headlights, blinkers, etc. If you notice the lights are not as bright as they should be or if any of the electronic components function abnormally, it may be time for a new battery. The best way to troubleshoot this type of issue is to bring your vehicle in and let us run a free diagnostic to determine the cause of the problem.
Low battery fluid level
Most car batteries have a part of the casing that is clear so you can keep an eye on the fluid levels in your battery cells. Otherwise, you may need to pry off the cell caps to check. If the fluid level is low (below the lead plates), this could be a warning sign of an issue with the battery or charging system. You should have your battery tested.
Over time you may notice a buildup of debris around the battery terminal connectors. Corroded battery terminals can lead to problems starting your car. At minimum, you should properly clean the corroded car battery terminals with water and baking soda. You should also examine the battery for any cracks that may be leaking acid. If you are unsure about this process or would like to test your battery, we encourage you to stop by for a free battery test.
Batteries can sometimes emit a foul smelling gas if they have been frozen or overcharged. It may smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. If you notice this type of odor from your vehicle, have your battery inspected as soon as possible. The sulfuric acid can cause corrosion or damage to other parts of your engine.
When should I replace my car battery?
On average, car batteries last for about three years with normal care and maintenance. If you've had your vehicle for over three years with the same battery, it might be time for a replacement battery. As with many car components, the actual life of the battery will vary depending on a number of circumstances including driving habits, usage, mileage, other electrical components, weather conditions, etc. If you're not sure how old the battery is, we encourage you to stop any of our stores. We can run a free battery diagnostic to determine the condition of your battery.
What factors affect the life of my car battery?
In addition to general vehicle usage and driving, there are a number of factors which can impact the life of your battery. Is the battery going through full charge cycles? In other words, is the vehicle being driven long enough to replenish the power it took to start the engine? Is the vehicle frequently subjected to extreme hot or cold temperatures? Is the battery connected to a reliable charging system (alternator)? Are there too many accessories draining the battery (phones, GPS, music devices, etc)? If the vehicle sits idle for an extended period of time, it may have trouble starting. Is there excess corrosion build up on your battery terminals? All of these can contribute to shortening the life of your battery.
My car battery needed a jump. Does it need to be replaced?
Jump starting your car battery doesn't necessarily mean that it is dead. For example, if you left the car lights on, it may temporarily drain the battery power. In many cases – either having your battery charged up or after a long drive will restore the battery. If your batter is a few years old, it may need to be replaced after a jump start or two. If you are unsure about the useful life left in your battery, we encourage you to stop in for a free diagnostic test.
How often should I check my car battery?
In general, car batteries are low maintenance. You may want to periodically check the cable ends and terminals for corrosion. If you see a buildup of debris around the connectors, you should clean those surfaces to maintain a good contact. Excess corrosion can reduce the current following from your battery, making it harder to start your vehicle. Some causes of corrosion are loose terminal connections and cracks from the battery casing or battery cap. These cracks allow gas to leak from the inside of the battery. You will find corrosion where these gases contact the lead battery posts and terminal connectors. You should also check the fluid levels in the cells to ensure they are at the proper levels. Other than these visual inspections, you can always bring your vehicle in to our shop to have a complementary battery diagnostic performed. This will help determine the useful life remaining in the battery.
My car battery light is on, but it's not the battery. What could it be?
It might mean that your battery cannot receive a charge from the alternator because it has a bad cell which causes the voltage to drop. It could also indicate a faulty alternator or perhaps faulty wiring. If the check battery light comes on, the best course of action is to have your vehicle's battery and electrical system inspected by a certified professional to determine the root of the problem.