Keeping your car’s battery in good condition is an integral part of routine vehicle maintenance. Although it’s often overlooked, your car’s battery is responsible for most of the heavy lifting in getting your car started, as well as charging other important parts, such as the alternator. New batteries can last up to five years on average, but sometimes slightly less depending on your car’s make and model. Thankfully, our friends at Birchwood Credit put together this helpful list of seven signs that you might need a new car battery.
A Slow Starting Engine
The more you drive, the more the components inside your battery will tend to wear out. This causes the battery to take longer in sending a charge to the starter and will cause your engine to turn over a few seconds longer than normal.
Dim Lights and Electrical Issues
The battery is responsible for powering all of your electronics including your lights, radio, and dashboard. Lights and electronics will tend to dim or lose power when your battery is in need of changing.
The Check Engine Light is On
Check engine lights can mean a variety of things. The light can also be triggered when your battery is nearing the end of its life. Be sure to check your manual to stay informed on what each warning light means.
A Bad Smell
A damaged battery can cause the engine to leak gas. If you raise the hood and smell rotten eggs, the battery may, in fact, be the culprit.
If you notice a flaky white substance on your battery’s connectors, that’s a sign of corrosion. Corroded terminals will lead to voltage issues and can prevent your car from starting.
A Misshapen Battery Case
Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause a battery to crack and swell. This can cause a leak and lead to other issues mentioned above. Batteries should only be rectangular in shape.
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An Old Battery
If it’s been over five years since you’ve last changed your battery, it may be on its last leg. It’s a good idea to have your battery checked at least once every three years.