4 Signs You Need To Replace Your Vehicle's Battery
The battery in your vehicle powers all of the auxiliary systems, as well as provides the spark that allows your engine to start up. However, car batteries do not last forever, as their constant operation and the stress of driving can cause a number of mechanical issues. Understanding the four most common and serious indications that your battery is no longer in proper working condition can help you figure out when you should have it replaced before it can cause further problems for your car.
If you think that your battery may be in bad shape, the first thing that you can do to check on it is a simple visual inspection. Look under the hood and closely note any sort of damage or irregular appearance that your battery may be suffering from. Corrosion, which can sometimes be green, can appear on the terminals of your battery, which are located on the top of the unit. Further, batteries may swell within their casing, creating a lumpy appearance, and can leak battery acid or become cracked as a result. All of these are fairly serious indications that you should talk to a mechanic about replacing your battery.
Longer Ignition Times
Another common symptom that you may experience that can sometimes be attributed to battery damage or age is a longer ignition time. Turning the key in the ignition should cause the engine to turnover within a second or two. Longer times, with constant cranking, until the engine is able to turn over, can point to a battery that is suffering from a low charge for whatever reason. Sometimes, this is because of another mechanical problem in your vehicle, such as burned out spark plugs or a damaged alternator, so the best course of action is to get a mechanic to inspect your battery and the entire ignition system to determine the cause and the best way to address it.
Another sign of a damaged or cracked car battery is a strong and overpowering bad smell. Battery acid smells quite similar to rotten eggs and natural gas, and smelling it while driving or looking under the hood indicates that your battery is in quite a poor condition and should be replaced immediately. Avoid working on the battery or the vehicle yourself, as battery acid is highly corrosive and dangerous and can injure you if you end up touching it.
Finally, the last sign that your battery is on its last legs is if you find that your car's electrical systems are not performing to their peak level. Dimmed lights are the most common and easiest to notice sign of electrical issues, but your radio may also lose its signal, your car windows may become sluggish, and your air conditioner may become less effective, to name just a few other symptoms.
Talk with an auto repair service if you think you need a new battery for your vehicle.