On average, your car battery should last anywhere between 2 and 7 years. The exact lifespan depends on how often you drive your vehicle, what battery you have, and how well you perform maintenance.
But no matter what you do, there comes a time when you have to replace the old with the new. But when is that time, exactly?
To help you out, here are 7 signs you may need a new car battery.
1. It Takes a While to Start Your Car
As your battery runs lower and lower on power, it’ll take longer to start your car. When you turn the key in the ignition, your engine might sound a bit sluggish, and it’ll take extra time to fully get going.
This is because your battery needs a longer period of time to create a charge for the starter. In turn, it’ll take a few more seconds for your engine to turn over.
This is a huge sign that you need a new car battery, as it’ll happen right before the old one dies out. Make sure to swap it out ASAP, and to dispose of it properly as well.
2. Your Car’s Electronics Are Losing Charge
Are your headlights not as bright as they were before? Or are the lights on your dashboard and/or radio looking dimmer?
Then this is a sign that your car battery is dying.
Your car battery doesn’t just charge the engine, but all the electronics inside as well. If it’s dying and doesn’t have as much capacity as before, then it’ll compromise how well everything else operates.
If this is happening, try to use as little electricity as possible in the car before you can get the battery replaced. This means don’t use the radio and don’t plug your phone in to charge.
3. The “Check Engine” Light Is On
This doesn’t always mean you need a new car battery. This light is intended to warn you about something potentially wrong with your engine, after all.
However, you shouldn’t dismiss the idea that your battery’s running out if you see this light turn on.
For instance, if this is coupled with low coolant lights turning on, then you might think your car’s system indicator lights are acting strange. If this is the case, then a dying battery is most likely the culprit.
Check your engine and coolant level. If both are fine, then you’ll know for sure that a low-powered car battery is causing the system indicator lights to malfunction. This should be quickly fixed once you test and replace it.
4. The Battery Fluid Level Is Low
Pop open the hood of your vehicle and take a closer look at the battery. Usually, there’s a see-through part where you can take a look at the fluid levels inside. If you have a battery that’s not sealed (not very commonly found these days), you can also take off the red and black caps on top.
In the car battery, there are lead plates, which serve as the energy conductor. The battery fluid level needs to be above these plates in order for your battery to function correctly.
If you find that the fluid level is low, then you need to test both the battery and the charging system.
5. There’s a Bad Smell
Have you noticed a bad smell coming from the front of the car that smells like rotten eggs? Then you most likely have a battery leak.
Leaks can happen when corrosion occurs at the battery posts. It’ll look white and ashy. You can try cleaning off the posts carefully to see if that helps; usually, a buildup of corrosion can prevent your car from even starting.
Otherwise, if it’s really bad, you’ll need to have a professional take a look at it and replace the battery for you if needed.
6. The Battery Case Looks Bloated or Misshapen
In normal conditions, your car’s battery case should remain in pretty much the same shape as you go through the years. But if it’s been exposed to extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), then it might go through some changes.
For example, when you pop open your car’s hood, you might notice the battery looks swollen. Or it might not even look completely rectangular anymore.
Either way, this means your battery’s gone bad and isn’t functioning the way it should. In this case, it’s definitely time to replace it.
7. Your Battery Is Old
As we’ve said earlier, car batteries have a lifespan of anywhere between 2 to 7 years. If you’ve been driving around on the same car battery for over 5 years, then chances are, you’ll need to replace it.
While it may seem to work perfectly fine, you’ll want to at least check the charge every once in a while to ensure you can get around without trouble. It’s always best to replace your vehicle’s battery around the 5-year mark, as it’ll prevent you from being stranded with a dead battery in an inconvenient place or time.
Purchase a New Car Battery If You’re Experiencing These Signs
If your vehicle is showing any of the above signs, then perhaps it’s time for you to get a new car battery.
Or, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can always consider a new Tesla S. This is an SUV electric car, which means it doesn’t use any gas at all. However, Tesla battery prices aren’t low at all, so if you’re on a budget, then you might be better off just replacing the battery in your current car.
Does your car need a new battery? Then take a look at our maintenance-free automotive battery now.