You may not think about your car’s battery until it fails to supply enough juice to crank your engine sufficiently one cold morning. Your car asks a great deal of this small rectangular cube: start the motor, power accessories, energize running lights or boost another car’s dead battery. Even given the heavy workload, a car battery can last several years if you take care of it properly. Follow these steps to keep your car battery’s electrons flowing.
Common Signs of a Dying Car Battery
Note how your car starts under normal circumstances when its battery is relatively fresh. This may give you a point of reference for its decline that results from age or other factors. For example, a dying battery will struggle to fire up the car; the engine will crank for several seconds before starting. Other weakened-battery issues symptoms may include the following:
- Dim headlights
- Non-functioning accessories
- Corroded Battery Terminals
- Bulging battery case
The final point is of particular concern if the battery is a lead-acid type. Such a bulging battery can crack and expose you to dangerous hydrogen gas fumes and caustic acids.
Total Battery Failure
Signs of a battery failure indicate you should change the battery, using an auto supply shop’s VIN number search to match one to your car. However, even a good battery can discharge completely if you are not careful. When are car’s interior light stays lit because you have left a door or its trunk ajar, the battery will slowly discharge. The first sign that something is amiss comes when you try to unlock the doors using your key fob and the locks do not respond. When you turn the key to start the car, you may hear only a click; more likely, you will hear nothing but silence.
Top 3 Car Battery Chargers
For peace of mind, you should consider purchasing a car battery charger to get your vehicle started when the battery fails. These standalone units attach to a battery to recharge. Many types of battery chargers are marketed. Three types lead the charge: Simple chargers give a constant flow of DC power at a slow rate so as not to overcharge; pulse chargers provide pulses of intense and varying current, which allows them to be used with any battery type; finally, smart chargers adjust their output flow based on the condition of the battery.
Keeping Your Battery Fresh
Avoid continually draining and recharging your car battery since this process can reduce its lifespan. Other tips for optimizing the life focus on reducing the drain on the battery. Each of these causes the battery to work extra hard: Avoid using accessories without running the engine; reduce the number of cold starts to which you subject it; keep your battery terminals clean; and avoid many short trips. This last caveat is important because longer drives are necessary to keep batteries charged.
Modern batteries require little or no maintenance other than periodic cleaning to do their job behind the scene. By not overlooking battery care, that is, not stressing this vital engine component, you will receive all the number of years of service as the manufacturer guarantees.