Your car’s battery is like the heart of a vehicle; without it, your car no longer has the power to start, move, or do anything at all. So, it’s important for drivers to understand at least a little bit about their car’s battery, including the most likely tell-tale signs that the battery has failed or is on the verge of failing.
Older batteries, loose battery cables, or batteries with faults can cause a lot of issues for a vehicle, and it’s not always obvious that the battery is the main culprit. Sometimes, it can seem like your car has a complex fault. Knowing how to identify a problematic battery can save you a lot of time and money as a driver.
Here are some of the biggest signs that your car’s battery is going to need replacing.
#1. The Engine Cranks but Won’t Start
If your engine is cranking or turning over when you turn the key in the ignition but will not start, then your battery is going to be the most likely culprit. In some cases, it could be an issue with another engine component such as the starter motor. However, it’s important to rule out the battery first since it’s usually at the root of the problem around 95% of the time in most cars. Bear in mind that even if you use an ammeter to measure battery power, it could be giving a reading that seems good but is actually a few volts less than what your car’s engine needs to efficiently start and run.
#2. No Sign of Life
One of the biggest signs that there is a major problem with your vehicle’s battery is when it shows no signs of life whatsoever. If you turn the key in the ignition and there is not even a crank, then it’s a fairly strong indication that your car battery has a fault. Your battery is used to power all the accessories and lights in your car, so if your headlights won’t switch on and your car seems to be totally unresponsive no matter what you do, then it’s a sure sign that your battery will need to be looked at ASAP. Bear in mind that if this happens, it could mean that something has drained the battery. For example, have you forgotten to switch off your headlights after switching off the engine? If this isn’t the case, however, it indicates a problem with the battery and it’s probably best to start looking at new car batteries – if you’re in need of a supplier, Hardwarexpress offer a great range of reliable options.
#3. Intermittent Starting
Is it always a ‘hit and miss’ type of game when it comes to starting your car? Do you find that whilst it’s starting up fine one day, the next day it could be totally dead? If this is the case for you, then it’s a sure sign that something is wrong with your car battery and you should have it checked as soon as possible. In general, intermittent starting tends to be caused by one of two issues. Firstly, it could be something as simple as battery terminals that are loose or broken in some way, or secondly, you could have a parasitic draw, meaning that something isn’t switching off properly in your car and is draining battery power when it’s not in use.
#4. Frequent Jump Starting
If you find that you’re having to jump start your car more and more often when you want to drive it, then it’s probably time to start thinking about having your car’s battery replaced. No matter what reason you have had to jump start your battery if you’ve had to do it more than around 2-3 times in the same week, then it’s a sign that you should start thinking about investing in a new battery. Bear in mind that even if you’ve had to jump start more than three times due to a driver error such as leaving your headlights on or running out of fuel, it’s important to bear in mind that even a new, fully functioning battery can quickly turn into a dud if it is jump-started too often.
#5. Difficulty Starting
Whilst a car that won’t start is a sure sign that the battery is having problems, it’s also important to bear in mind that difficulty starting up your engine could mean that the battery is failing and needs to be repaired or replaced. If you have found that you are regularly putting a lot of extra energy into getting the car going before the engine finally starts up, your battery could be giving you some warning signs that it’s about to fail soon. However, bear in mind that colder weather can make it more difficult to start your car in general, so this may only be cause for alarm in warmer temperatures.
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