It isn’t a topic anyone likes to think about, but someday, your car battery is going to die. If you’re lucky, it won’t happen to you when you’re in some random parking lot a gazillion miles from home.
Fortunately, the car battery isn’t likely to die when you’re driving; the alternator keeps the battery operating. Of course, if something goes wrong with the alternator, you could wind up on the side of the road…
But you don’t need to be caught by surprise. There are clues that will alert you that it’s time to change your battery. If being stuck in random parking lots and unexpected places isn’t your idea of fun, and you’d like to head off trouble at the pass, look for these red flags.
The car seems to be having trouble starting. The engine seems to be having trouble revving up? Maybe it won’t start until you hit the gas. That could mean something is amiss. If that’s happening a lot, even if it somehow isn’t the battery weakening – and it probably is – something is wrong. If that’s the case, we’d recommend bringing in your car, as soon as possible, to Milex Complete Auto Care, in order to head off whatever problem your vehicle has.
The check engine light is coming on a lot. Check engine lights coming on are fairly common and could mean something else is wrong. But that can be a sign of a dying battery.
A warning light, in the shape of a battery, comes on. You’ll be “shocked” to know that this is an excellent sign that you’re having trouble with your battery – or with something related to your battery, like the alternator or perhaps your electrical system. And if the battery light comes on while you’re driving, as opposed to when you start the car, there’s a good chance your alternator is about to go out. You probably should pull over and call a tow truck.
Your battery case looks terrible. If the case is cracked, or there’s a chalky white substance (battery acid) around the battery terminals, or the whole thing looks a bit misshapen (extreme heat can do that), your battery’s end times may be near.
Some of the electrical components aren’t what they once were. If you notice that the windows take longer to open or close when the car is running, or your headlights seem awfully dim, that can be a sign that the battery is having trouble getting enough power throughout the vehicle to do these other tasks.
Your car is backfiring. That may be a sign of a dying battery, especially in older cars. It could be a spark plug problem, though. Regardless, backfiring is not a sign of a healthy car.
It’s been years since you’ve replaced your car battery. Check your owner’s manual to see how long your car battery typically will last. If it says that the battery needs to be replaced every five years, and you’re in year two, obviously, you probably have nothing to worry about (especially if the car is running well, and you haven’t noticed signs of trouble). If you’re in year five, you may want to drive down to your friendly neighborhood Milex Complete Auto Car to get a new battery. If you’re somehow in year six, you’re driving on borrowed time. You may want to make an appointment now and let us know you’re coming. We’ll be on the lookout for you.