You have an important meeting and your car is like an angel for you which will take you to the office in no time. Not today, though. You have tried to move the car but, no luck. It seems the battery is dead. The battery of a car is synonymous to the heart of a human being. If it stops working, then the car is of no use. It would be good if you give more attention to the battery and its cables so that the next time this happens, you get a clue beforehand. Discussed below are 5 signs that let you know if you need to replace your car battery.
1. Problem Every Alternate Day
Some days, it happens that the car starts smoothly while some other days it just would not budge like it is stubborn. This could mean either that the power is being drained by some factor like a misplaced wire or the terminals of the battery are broken, corroded or loose. In such cases, check the cables yourself to see if anything is wrong. In case you suspect a problem, try to secure the wires tightly on the battery posts. In normal cases, it should not move a bit even if you try to play with it. If the cables tend to fall apart, replace them immediately. You don’t want to take chance here. If battery drain is the culprit, you can directly go to a mechanic because it needs an experienced hand. He will help you check what exactly caused the drain using an ammeter and voltmeter. Usually, the excess power draw is caused by radio, lights, alarm etc.
2. Dim Lights and Not Starting
Dim or no lights at all and no power to start are all signs of a lifeless car. With these signs, it is easy to guess that the problem is with the car battery. The power for the headlights and all the other accessories in the car comes from the battery. So, check out the battery first. You cannot neglect the fact that the problem could also be with the alternator as well. Here, it is clear that the lights are not getting enough power to glow brightly. The reason could be the low charge of your battery. The charge can be restored using a battery charger. Connect the charger to the respective posts of the battery and leave it overnight so that it shows a full charge in the morning. In case you cannot start the car but, the lights are on, then it could be a starting trouble and you may very well check the engine of the car.
3. Engine Cranks But Doesn’t Start
This is a common problem affecting the car battery. It is possible that the issue is with the starter. But in most cases, the fault is with the battery. When the engine cranks but, does not show any sign of starting, you can use an ammeter to check the current. The problem can pop up if it is less of a few volts. In that case, the engine cannot perform to its optimum. This is the time you can use jumper cables to get it started again. When the engine finally starts, let it run for about half an hour to permit the alternator to charge the battery. Now that the car is started, don’t leave it at that. The battery so charged may work fine for a couple of days but, will fail eventually. So, replace it as soon as possible before you get stranded in some undesirable place.
4. A Couple of Jump Starts In a Week
Your battery could be a new one. But if you have jump started it a couple of times in a week, then it is time to think about changing it again. The reason for the jump start could be anything from an old battery to the bad alternator to leaving the headlights on for too long. But, a jump start affects the battery life in more ways than you can imagine. The process is almost like a shock treatment that brings back life to the battery. A jump box or jumper cables, whatever was used, makes it weak. Suppose if you don’t change the battery thinking that it is just a few jump starts, you will regret later. Because you didn’t replace the battery, the alternator and everything else that was working fine goes wrong in course of time. And you may have to change everything in one go. So, better go for a battery change when the time is right.
5. Cold Cranking
If you own a car, you might have most probably heard about cold cranking amps. These amps give the sufficient power to the engine to start the car for the first time in a day. Sometimes, it so happens that you try turning the key a number of times and it takes a lot of cranks before the engine comes to life. When this occurs a few times in the same week, you could consider a battery change. When the climate is cold, you often experience cold cranking. But with warmth outside, it is a sign of weak battery. This is the time to check your car battery and bring home a new one if needed. You could also make sure that the battery is ideal for your car. Before you buy one, seek advice from an expert to lower the chances of buying a wrong fit for your favorite vehicle.
While using a car, you should always be alert for any signal that your vehicle gives. It is also a good idea to give it a regular check to make sure everything is working fine. Experts say that it is best to replace your car battery every 2-3 years so that it performs efficiently. You may also limit the number of accessories in the car as they draw a lot of energy from the battery.
Wanda Greaves writes for BatteryChargersExpert.com – a great website dedicated to help people to find, use and do anything with their batteries, chargers or related electricity devices.