Your car battery is a vital component that helps to keep your vehicles running right every day. But they don’t last forever, and it’s important to know how to recognize when they should be replaced, which will ensure your car, truck, or SUV remains safe and comfortable for years to come.
Your Vehicle is Slow To Turn Over
There are many parts and systems involved in getting your vehicle started, but if you notice that your car is taking longer than usual to turn over, chances are high that your battery is the culprit. Pay attention to how your vehicle starts over time to see if you notice a pattern.
The Check Engine Light is On
The check engine light can be frustrating because it’s hard to know which system or part is causing the problem, but batteries are often the common source. If you notice your check engine light is on and these other symptoms are also showing up, that’s a good indication you need a new battery.
Your Car Has Inexplicable Electronic Problems
If you already know your headlights need replacing or that your radio doesn’t play at high volumes, don’t worry. But if you notice that your interior and exterior lights are beginning to dim or if your electronic dashboard is suddenly challenging to read, that’s a clear sign that your battery isn’t sending enough power to the smaller appliances in your car. It’s important to get it checked right away before the electricity stops moving to the larger systems as well.
You Notice Battery Corrosion
Sometimes, when batteries go bad, they can leak battery acid and cause damage to the case and components around them in the engine compartment. Avoid touching the corroded parts with your bare skin and get your battery replaced right away.
The Case is Bulging
Along with corrosion, the battery may begin to swell or present a melted, misshapen appearance. This battery is unsafe and needs to be replaced right away.
It Smells Like Rotten Eggs
The corrosive elements in a battery often smell like rotten eggs when exposed to the air and should be a clear indication that your battery is leaking, damaged, or altered in some way. The smell will be difficult to miss, and if you notice it, you’re going to need to replace the part.
You’ve Had it Too Long
The technology is improving and there are certain brands of batteries that can last upwards of a decade, but the long-standing rule for most cars is that the battery should be replaced between three to five years to keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently. It’s a good idea to mark down the date you purchased the battery somewhere on the case so you’ll have an easy reference of when to replace it next.
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