When you think about common car problems, what immediately comes to mind? Oil change, flat tire, maybe a leak in the exhaust system? These are all important to pay attention to, but one of the maintenance processes that many car owners forget about is replacing their battery.
A car battery typically doesn’t need to be replaced until every three or so years, so it’s not as crucial or top-of-mind as other elements to your car, particularly your oil or tires. In the pursuit of prolonging the life of your car, prompt battery replacement plays its part for an efficient car. This means that you need to play your part to keep an eye out for any warning signs that it may be time for you to replace your car’s battery, and the team at Loper’s Performance identifies and explains a few signs in this article.
Check Engine Light On
Your vehicle is usually good at communicating a problem to you with many of its warning lights. The check engine light can mean a number of things, but one problem it can be indicating is that it’s time to replace your battery. Many newer vehicles even have a dashboard feature that can show you your battery’s voltage and life.
What goes along with the check engine light are plenty of other warning signs that you can hear, see, or smell.
The Engine is Slow to Start
If your engine is slower than normal at starting, this can be a clear indication that your battery’s old and slowly not performing well. The battery naturally has components that get worn down, so the battery takes longer to get a charge from the starter, which accounts for the extra seconds it takes for your car to start. Don’t let a problem like this happen too often. Get it inspected as quickly as you can, because it may indicate a different problem if it’s not an old battery.
Lights are Dim or Electrical Issues
As you probably know, your battery powers all of the electronics in your vehicle. You can sometimes notice a dying battery with weaker interior lights or electric power. Your battery dies with more use of these electronics, and if you pay attention you will eventually notice a decline.
A bad smell from your car can point to many things, such as a leak, bad exhaust system, and others. But a rotten egg smell when opening the hood often points to battery damage or shortage. It’s best to get this inspected as quickly as you can.
If you suspect your battery is dying, it’s smart to pop open the hood and inspect it for yourself. White, ashy substances on the metal parts of your battery indicate there’s a corrosion issue, which leads to trouble starting your car or other voltage problems.
Causes for a Car Battery to Die Quickly
A battery will die quicker than its normal life of three years from improper use, meaning either having your car sit for too long or too many short trips. The battery is charged from the energy that driving produces, so a consistent schedule or trip is the best practice for long battery life. Also leaving on headlights or interior lights will cause your battery to die quicker.
Another recommended tip for proper maintenance of your car is to keep records of every operation to your car, including oil changes, tire rotations, etc. If you have proper records of everything, then you can keep track of when to expect the next vehicle operation, such as your next battery replacement in three years. And you can ensure that each component of your car is performing properly with the average replacement time.
About Loper’s Performance Center
If you need a new battery or any other customer service for your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact us at Loper’s Performance. We’re proud to be the largest speed shop in Arizona since 1969.