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car battery

7 Signs it’s time for a new car battery

A slow starting engine

Over time, the components inside your car battery will wear out and become less effective. You know that sound when you turn the key in the ignition and hear a click or two? Those sounds come from your starter. With a weak battery, your vehicle may not have enough power to charge the starter and put your engine into gear.

However, sometimes trouble starting your car can occur due to the starter itself rather than the battery. If you’re not sure, stop in for a quick battery test.

Dim lights and electrical issues

If the battery is losing its charge it will have a harder time doing its usual tasks such as powering the radio, the dashboard computer, and lights. The more things you plug into your car while driving — like your phone charger — the faster your battery will die.

The check engine light is on

Your check engine light could mean any number of things, all of which you’ll want to get fixed. If a failing battery happens to be the reason the check engine light is on, we’ll know in a matter of seconds when we test your car battery.

A bad smell

Have you ever opened the hood of the car and smelled rotten eggs? That’s an absolutely sure sign that you need a new battery, right away. Damage to the battery or an internal short can cause the battery to leak gas.

Corroded connectors on your car battery

Connectors need to remain clean in order to transfer energy effectively. If you notice a white, ashy substance on the metal parts of your car battery, you’ve got a corrosion issue. Corroded terminals — the positive and negative metal connections on the top of the battery — can lead to voltage issues and trouble starting your vehicle.

A misshapen car battery case

Exposure to extreme heat and cold can actually cause a battery case to swell and crack. If your battery is anything but rectangular, chances are it isn’t working properly.

An old battery

When was the last time your battery was replaced? In ideal conditions, car batteries typically last 3-5 years. Climate, electronic demands, and driving habits all affect the lifespan of your battery. It’s a good idea to get your battery performance tested regularly once it gets close to the 3-year mark. If you’re not sure how old your car battery is, look through your maintenance records or check for a date code on the battery. Not sure how to read the code? Give us a call or schedule an appointment to have us take a look— we’re here to help.

Looking for more car care information? Check out our other posts here.