A car battery is one of those core components that we tend to take for granted. It not only provides power to start the engine, but it also provides a stable voltage to keep it running smoothly (not to mention powering your radio, headlights and other necessary bits and pieces).
And while it may seem like it’s performing these duties just fine, it could be that your car battery is on its last legs. This is because it’s one of those uncomplaining components that can still do what we need it to even when it’s not in optimum condition.
However, a sick car battery does give signals that it’s about to give out. You just need to know what they are. Recognising them means you can have your car battery attended to before it completely packs up or have it replaced so you don’t find yourself stranded on the way home from work in the pouring rain, waiting for Roadside Assistance or a tow truck.
Signs of a failing car battery
The battery warning light is on
This one is basic but worth noting nonetheless. Cars have ways of warning drivers when things aren’t quite right, and one of them is the dashboard warning lights. If there’s something wrong with a car battery or another component affecting the battery, the car battery warning light will illuminate.
As we said, this may not indicate a problem within the actual battery; it could be that the alternator is playing up, or even the drive belt. Either way, something is stopping the car battery from performing in peak condition. Ignore this light at your peril.
Difficulty starting the engine
As we mentioned, a car battery is responsible for providing the power needed to start the engine. It does this by generating electricity and sending it to the starter motor, which in turn cranks the combustion engine.
A healthy battery will fire the engine into life quickly. If it’s turning over or cranking slowly, it means the battery is running out of life and either needs a heath check or replacement.
An engine that doesn’t start at all can be caused by several issues. However, if you turn the key and all you hear is a repetitive ticking or clicking noise, then the cause is most definitely a dead battery. It may only need a charge, but if it’s near the end of its life, it’s better to have it replaced.
Electricity is delivered from a car battery via leads attached to its terminals. Corrosive substances can accumulate around these terminals, hampering the flow of electricity and damaging the battery.
This type of corrosion is easily noticeable. If you see it, you’re looking at a car battery in poor condition and in need of replacement.
A car battery will typically last around five to eight years. At around this time, it’s less able to withstand the rigours of harsh weather, be it cold or hot.
If you’ve had your car for around five years and haven’t had the battery replaced, it’s worth getting it checked out. As we’ve said, a car battery can be deteriorating while still performing its role – until suddenly it dies at a most inconvenient time.
Get a car battery health check at BM Tech
At BM Tech, our trained technicians deal with car batteries all the time and know just what to look for. If you’re not sure how old your battery is or if you’ve picked up on any of the warning signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to get in touch.