Around the world, there are an estimated 1.4 billion or more vehicles on the road.
If you’re one of the 18% of humanity that owns or operates a vehicle on a regular basis, there are some maintenance signs you need to be aware of. This includes the signs of a bad car battery, which is a disaster just waiting to happen.
Car batteries go bad for a number of reasons, and they can go bad at any time with little warning. Some don’t hold the charge they should straight from the factory. Others go bad over time, being used wears down their ability to hold a charge or be recharged by the alternator of your vehicle.
There are warning signs that you should be aware of. Paying attention to the warning signs could give you a chance to fix the problem before you are left stranded. A failing car battery will be obvious once you know what to look for.
1. Dim Lights
The battery is required to power the lights of your vehicle. If any of the lights on your vehicle, inside or out, start to seem dim, dull, or flickering it could mean that you have a battery problem. For some reason the alternator isn’t able to keep the battery charged, resulting in poor lighting performance.
The last thing that anybody wants is poor lighting on their vehicle, this can lead to accidents and possible legal fees. It can also lead to collisions with wild animals who won’t be able to see your approach and get out of the way. A bad battery can lead to a lot of other problems if it isn’t taken care of.
2. Corrosion On The Battery
As a battery ages and is used it will begin to develop corrosion, which is a white or green layer that sits on top of your battery or the terminals on top of it. The thicker the corrosion, the bigger the chance that the battery is going to die soon. This is a telltale sign that a lead acid battery isn’t functioning the way it was intended.
Corrosion happens due to a release of hydrogen which then has a chemical reaction with the metal terminals. Corrosion is also caused by the electrolyte in the battery drawing electrons out of the metal around it. Due to the danger, not only should you make sure your battery is still working, but make sure to clean it as well.
There are maintenance-free automotive batteries that can help prevent corrosion from becoming an issue. While a bad battery will continue to cause corrosion which could damage other parts, a maintenance-free batter is set up with layers of protection against corrosion.
3. Slow or Weak Start
If everything in your vehicle is working fine, starting it should be a smooth and quick operation. However, as batteries become weak the charge sent to the starter in your vehicle also weakens. This means that you may experience a slow start, with the engine struggling to turn over and get the alternator running.
Every standard vehicle requires a battery to start because the generator or alternator doesn’t work until the engine is going. If you have ever turned on a vehicle in extreme cold, you’ll have felt what a slow or weak start feels like. It is as if the vehicle is right on the edge of starting, but takes time or simply doesn’t start.
4. Car Doesn’t Start
If your vehicle doesn’t start there’s a good chance that the car battery is to blame. The starter requires a stable and present charge in order to get the mechanical reaction underway. Without this charge the starter won’t engage, the engine won’t start, and you may hear nothing or only a little buzz or clacking sound.
It is almost a guarantee that this will happen at the worst possible moment. If you’re lucky there will be other warning signs that come first, like the dim headlights but that isn’t always the case. Most of the time when people think they have a problem with their start it is a battery, and you can check this with a voltmeter, which should read 12.6 volts.
5. Car Warning Systems
Some vehicles are equipped with a battery light, which is set to go off if the charge of the battery becomes too low. Other vehicles do not have a specific light, but instead, the check engine light will come on. This can lead to some confusion because a check engine light can mean a lot of various things.
Some vehicles may even have warnings or noises that are released when the battery goes low. A car information centre can also give off this warning. Pay attention to what your vehicle is trying to tell you, and you can avoid a lot of problems by having a new car battery ready to go.
Getting a New Battery
There are a lot of options when you live in Africa, Asia, the Americas or the Middle East when it comes to new automotive batteries. Getting a new car battery has never been easier, and there are a lot of resources to look at online. Find the best battery for the money that you can, and driving will be a much less stressful situation.
If your battery does die, you can have your vehicle started using jumper cables or towed. If this happens, don’t shut off the vehicle for some time. You will want to keep it running for as long as possible after getting it started so the alternator can give the battery at least some charge.
Fix Your Bad Car Battery Today
A bad car battery can ruin your day, cost you money, and slow down your life. It doesn’t have to, there are plenty of options out there for you to try. If you’re in Africa, Asia, the Americas or the Middle East, contact us. We would love to answer any questions you have and help you find the right battery for you.