When to Replace Your Battery

If your battery dies, it’s obvious that you’ll need a new one. However, there are some other early indicators you can look for to avoid getting stranded with a dead battery. If your car battery is older than three or four years, you can expect problems. It’s also important to pay attention to your driving habits. Short trips and long periods of inactivity will decrease the battery life. Finally, take a look at the battery itself: Are their stains? Is their corrosion? Do you smell anything sulfuric? If so, this probably means you have a leak or an overheated battery.

In addition to these three tips, Christian Brothers Automotive has five signs you should be aware of when it comes to battery replacement:

  1. Your engine cranks, but won’t start
    If you attempt starting the vehicle and the engine cranks when you turn the key but won’t turn on, it is likely because the battery is dead. The current-measuring device might say the battery is working, but it can still be a few volts short.
  2. The car works fine one day and doesn’t the next
    Continual problems with starting your car means the battery terminals are loose, broken or calcified, or that your power is being drained by a wire that is touching something it shouldn’t. Start by checking your battery cables and ensuring that they fit firmly and securely on the battery posts.
  3. You jump it frequently
    If you’re jumping your vehicle more than three times a week, it’s time to replace it. New batteries can die if you jump the car too often because they “shock” the battery. It’s safer and cheaper to replace it.
  4. Slow engine cranking
    If you attempt to start the vehicle and the cranking of the engine is extremely slow, this is a sign of a dying battery. Trying to start the car several times before succeeding is also indicative of a battery that is on its way out.
  5. Low battery fluid level
    All car batteries have a part of their casing that is translucent so you can check on the battery fluid. When your battery fluid is below the energy conductor, you need to have the battery and charging system tested.
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