Replacing the battery in your car is not necessarily very expensive or very difficult; however, you do not want to spend any money unless it is absolutely necessary. For that reason, so many people allow their batteries to run down until they are stuck in a bad situation. Then you have to stand around in a strange parking lot trying to find some stranger who will give you a jump. If you are trying to go to work in the morning, you probably do not even have that option. If you drive a standard, you might be able to roll-start your car, but that is not a guarantee. Your best bet is to not let your battery get so bad that you are stranded with a car that will not start. Pay attention to these warning signs and you will know when to replace your battery.
Sign #1 – Slow Cranking
Slow cranking is pretty self-explanatory. This is when you turn the key in the ignition and your car cranks, but it does so very sluggishly. If your battery is on its last legs, the crank might even be so slow that you think it will not start. This is a good sign you need a new battery.
Sign #2 – Low Fluid
Batteries typically feature a translucent plastic section that allows you to see the fluid level in the battery. If the battery fluid is lower than the lead plates, you will need to get the battery tested.
Sign #3 – Check Engine Light
Depending on your car, a check engine light might even come on if you are dealing with a dying battery. If your check engine light comes on, you will have to head to a mechanic or an auto parts store for someone to read the code for you. If you catch the problem early enough, you can even order a new one online. Buying your car battery online allows you to compare options and select the one that is right for you.
Sign #4 – Bloated Case
If your battery case is starting to swell and distend, you have got excessive heat. That extra heat is causing the case to morph and warp, which shortens the life of the battery and poses some hazardous risks. You should definitely replace a swelling battery as quickly as possible. If the battery is faulty, then your problem is solved; however, if it happens again, you have some kind of other problem that is causing excessive heat under the bonnet.
Sign #5 – Age
Batteries can last for a while, but they are typically only rated to last about three years. Certain brands last longer, and they are typically marketed as such. Whatever the case may be, you should start having your battery checked every year after three.
Sign #6 – Leaky Connections
Excessive heat, old age, and other factors can cause some of the connections on your battery to become loose. That could cause fluid to leak out and corrode the terminals. This is not the worst problem to have, but if the corrosion gets bad enough, it could ruin the connections. You will have to clean off the terminal before you can start your car. Once this happens, it is about time to get a new one.