Most car owners would wait until their car battery gives up on them before replacing it. Even if you have not experienced it firsthand, no one wants to be left on the side of the road, stranded due to a dead battery.
Auto electrical solutions provider AAE Auto Electrical says while your vehicle’s battery is a relatively small, inexpensive device, it is essential. It powers everything from the engine to the air conditioner and everything in between.
Say you run a business; your fleet is not going anywhere if the batteries are not working. Thus, it pays to check this equipment regularly and replace it before it completely fails.
But how exactly would you know if the battery is about to give up? Here’s a quick checklist.
1. Know its Age
Most cars run on 12-volt batteries that can last about three to five years. If you notice a few hiccups or problems with the battery after it is past the recommended service period, it might be time to recharge or even replace it.
Wear and tear also affects the battery life. Your driving style and too much exposure of the vehicle to heat can also shorten its life.
2. Look for the Subtle Signs
The engine cranking slowly upon ignition could be a sign the battery is about to die. Another tell-tale sign the battery is running low is if the headlights are dimmer than usual, even on their brightest setting.
In certain cases, the battery can fail without any warning at all. If the vehicle won’t turn over (just clicking or buzzing sounds from the electrical system), check if it was drained because you left a light or some other electrical device on overnight. If so, it might need a simple recharge. If the battery still fails after that, replacement might be next best option.
3. Have the Electrical System Checked Regularly
Do a visual inspection of the engine and its electrical system to check for corrosion and damage in the battery and wires. Remove any chalky, white substance around the battery terminals.
Wear gloves and eye protection when doing battery maintenance, and work in a well-ventilated area. If you’re not sure what to do, it’s best to drive your car to the local auto repair shop.
While most of today’s new batteries perform well, these can live longer with the right maintenance and attention. You may not know exactly when the battery will die out on you, but doing your best to extend its life is the next best thing.