Have you ever gone to start your car and heard a slight delay or unfamiliar noise while turning your key in the ignition? This is one of several exterior signs that pertain directly to the condition of your car battery. You might also see your check engine light come on, smell a scent of rotten eggs, or see the function of other electrical components in your vehicle, like your radio or power windows, become weakened. All of which are signs that point directly to issues occurring with your car battery.
What is a car battery?
Just like any other product that runs on batteries, this is the part of your vehicle that will start the car and will provide direct power to the engine to make it ‘go’. It is considered the ‘heart’ of your vehicle. Every once in awhile, our car battery will require a quick boost or jump of energy, especially after we accidently leave our headlights on overnight. Similar to other parts of your vehicle, a car battery will wear down over the years and needs to be checked on a regular basis. The average lifespan can range between one to five years, depending on the level of use and maintenance over time.
Pro-Tip: Keep a written log in your car of when you purchased the battery, any issues you might have run into over its lifespan and specific dates those issues occurred. This will be helpful information for your mechanic to know when the vehicle is being serviced.
When taking a quick glance into the condition of your car battery, there are several interior warning signs that will alert you as to whether or not you need to look further into replacing this important part of your car. Some warning signs that you will find on your car battery include corrosion, frayed cables, cracks in the case or cover, loosened bolts, water damage, and excessive dirt pile-up.
To lessen the chance of these interior warning signs from occurring, here are seven tips to help extend the life of your battery:
- Keep the terminals clean and corrosion free
- Check the interior lights before exiting your vehicle
- Unplug phone chargers after each use
- Service the engine on a regular basis
- Reduce vibration by keeping the battery secure
- Invest in a battery insulation kit to protect from extreme temperatures
- Read the owner’s manual and learn more about your specific battery
If you are unsure what these warning signs actually look like, call and schedule an appointment with us before the symptoms worsen. Our trustworthy auto mechanics will be able to explain the issue and even which battery types would work best with your specific make and model.