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5 Signs It’s Time For A New Car Battery

One of the most common problems automobile owners face as the cooler weather of fall approaches the harsh conditions of winter is a failing car battery.

For some of us, especially those who live in colder climes, even the fear of being stuck somewhere with no ability to start your vehicle can be quite worrisome, and this is even more of a concern for caretakers of the very young or elderly, as body temperatures can drop quickly and lead to serious health considerations. We’ve comprised a list of some of the most common signs your car battery may need to be replaced, so you can take the initiative to prevent the problem (or at least be prepared).

Clue #1 – Age

If your car’s battery is more than four years old, it’s likely time to consider replacing it. While there is no “magic number” when it come to the average life expectancy of a vehicle battery, it’s common to begin experiencing problems in this general time frame. The quality of the battery itself, your personal driving habits, temperature, and humidity all play a factor in the actual time you may have before your battery fails.

Clue #2 – Slow Crank

If you notice a slow cranking sound when attempting to start your vehicle, consider it a warning sign that your car’s battery is very nearly dead. The sound is an indicator that your battery is struggling to provide enough power to start your vehicle.

Clue #3 – Not Enough Juice

Another common warning sign that often goes overlooked is inability of the battery to provide enough power for all your needs. If turning on your interior lights or stereo causes your headlights to dim, or other similar combinations, the battery is likely weakened and won’t last much longer.

Clue #4 – Rotten Egg Smell

If your battery has been damaged by freezing temperatures, overcharging, or other causes, it may begin to leak gasses. These gasses come from the sulfuric acid inside the battery, and left unchecked, the acid can corrode other engine parts and become a very costly repair. Have your battery checked as soon as possible!

Clue #5 – Warning Lights

Some vehicles come equipped with a warning system built in to notify you when your battery’s life is nearing it’s end, via the dashboard warning lights. If you see a lit up symbol of a battery on your dashboard, it’s time to have your battery checked. Dirty or loose battery connections can also cause the warning light to display, though, so don’t rush to replace it if you aren’t sure – check with your mechanic first.

If your vehicle won’t start as expected, and instead all you hear is a clicking sound when turning the ignition, it’s a clear sign your battery is probably already dead. In this case, you’ll need to get a jump start from another vehicle, and it’s recommended to drive directly to somewhere to replace the battery. As a final note, always remember to carry essential emergency items such as jumper cables, road flares, and a warm blanket, in your vehicle in case you do have a breakdown.

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