How to Most Easily Identify the Symptoms of a Bad Car Battery
In most cases, the symptoms of a bad car battery can be observed well before your battery goes dead, or even before it stops working properly for the first time. While this doesn’t always happen, and while sometimes the actual culprit might be your alternator or some other essential component of your car, keeping good track of your battery and making sure you check for signs of problems every now and then is an essential vehicle maintenance precaution. Sometimes it might even help you to prolong your car battery’s life and avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere on an empty road. Which battery is right for your vehcile.
Old Car Batteries and Slower Engine Crank
If you ask an expert, they can tell you that the most typical symptoms of bad a car battery include old age, little reserve cranking power and a slow engine crank. Sometimes, the two go together, but that’s not always a rule. First of all, check your label. The top of the battery casing has a label with punch-outs for the month and year when the battery was purchased. If your car battery was manufactured more than 4 years ago, it might be high time to start looking for a replacement – even if the battery seems to be running fine for now. On the other hand, if your battery causes the car to take longer to start than before, and if you hear a long whirring sound before starting up your engine, then that basically reflects a slow engine crank, and it’s a sure sign that your battery is in bad shape even if it’s relatively new.
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Is Your Battery Dead?
Are there any symptoms of a bad car battery that show up before your battery fails entirely? Sadly, that’s not the case. Sometimes, batteries die completely for no apparent reason, and not even a heavy-duty jumper or a portable car battery charger will help. If one cell of the battery fails, usually due to a factory defect, that’s the end of that battery. If you can observe that there’s no voltage, that none of the typical jump starting methods work, and that the vehicle’s charging system is in good shape, chances are your battery is really at the end of its service life.
Other Symptoms of a Bad Battery
Corrosion present on your old battery and its terminals is often a sign that the battery isn’t in good shape anymore. Also, your battery might fail to start the engine when the temperature goes down, or it might fail to start entirely, regardless of the conditions. In this case, a jump start will usually be a good temporary fix, but you might have to look into a replacement pretty soon. If any of these symptoms of a bad car battery occur – or if your battery is old or causes the engine to crank too slowly, as mentioned earlier – it’s a good idea to take a few precautions. These can include anything from buying a portable car battery jumper or charger, to purchasing your replacement battery early and even replacing it before the old one leaves you on the road. Popular battery accessories: AutoCraft Booster Cables 12'.
Is Your Battery Not the Problem? What About the Alternator?
Your car battery might not always be the culprit. In some cases, a bad alternator can cause the car to behave in a similar fashion as when the battery is dead or dying. To check your alternator, try starting it up (or jump starting), and run it for a while, then disconnect the positive connection between the alternator and the battery. With an alternator that’s charging properly, the battery isn’t even necessary while the vehicle’s running – the alternator is supplying power to all the vehicle’s systems and putting a charge back into the battery again. If your car stops, that’s a dead-certain sign that the problem is with the alternator, at which point it becomes useless to check for any of the typical symptoms of a bad car battery.