Imagine yourself on a road in the middle of nowhere. You hop in your car, put the key in the ignition and…it just won’t start.
After trying a couple of times, you may feel a small wave of panic. Then the questions will start rolling through your mind… When was the last time I checked on my vehicle? Did my battery just die?
The thing is, car battery problems are pretty common. Every driver has had this problem happen to them at least once or twice.
Most of us don’t check on our car battery very often. Partly because it doesn’t give us any trouble and partly because it’s tucked away out of sight.
What common car battery problems should you look out for and how do you know when it’s time to swap it for a new one? Here are a few common car battery problems you should never ignore.
Corrosion, broken internal connections, short circuit. These are the major factors that take a toll on your car’s battery life. Your car battery’s life expectancy should go beyond three years and regular maintenance and checkup should be done regularly after. But because of the wear and tear, and the number of years it’s served, your car battery may start to act up as it ages.That’s just part of its natural life cycle. Any time you feel your car’s battery is no longer reliable and efficient enough, take it as a cue that it’s time to change it.
One of the most common reasons why a car won’t start is the corrosion of its battery terminals. This reduces their conductivity which prevents electric current from reaching the starter.
Leaks are the most common cause of battery corrosion. Periodic cleaning with water and a wire brush is recommended to keep your battery in top shape.
Swelling, Bloating Battery Case
The most visible sign of a car battery that needs changing is a bloated battery case. This is often caused by overcharging. When this happens, hydrogen gas builds up pressure and heat expands inside the battery causing the plastic case to warp.
Any battery that looks visibly unwell must be replaced. Be sure to take it to the shop for your own safety and to prevent any damage to your vehicle.
Low Battery Fluid Level
How can you tell when your car battery fluid levels are low? Often containing water and sulfuric acid which is a mixture known as electrolyte, your car’s battery fluid levels can be monitored through the small vent holes with removable covers on top. Inside you’ll find a series of lead plates submerged in the electrolyte solution inside the car battery. Once the fluid level in one or more battery cells falls below the top of the lead plates, it means that the battery already has low fluid levels.
Water normally depletes as the power is consumed by the engine while the sulfuric acid levels are maintained. Filling it up with water when the electrolyte levels run low helps keep your battery in good condition.
Slow Engine Crank
Does it take you a couple of cranks before you can get your engine to start? Your car battery could be the cause of the issue.
Slow engine crank normally occurs when there’s a defect in the charging system, a problem with the starter, and unsurprisingly all too often, when someone leaves the lights on.
Keeping jumper cables in your car can be helpful in such cases. Once your car is jump started, the alternator will recharge the battery as long as the vehicle is running.
Here at The Auto Warehouse, we specialize in cars of every kind. Your satisfaction and peace of mind are our top priority. We hope you found these tips helpful. If you’re in the Chicago area and looking for another car, give us a call at 224-836-4767! We stand behind our reputation by including a guarantee on all the cars we sell. We’ll be here to answer any of your questions to help you find the next car you’ll love.