Popular Mechanics Archives

7 Signs Your Car Battery Is About To Die and Should Be Replaced (or reconditioned)

With no battery, your car simply isn’t functional.  One of the most inconvenient things in life is when your car battery suddenly dies unexpectedly!

But the good news is… there are a number of ways to know if your vehicle battery is on the verge of dying and has to be replaced.   In this guide we’ll go over 7 signs your car battery is about to die and has to be replaced or reconditioned.

Before we begin talking these 7 critical signs, it’s important to note that when experiencing issues with your car battery, be sure to check the battery connections and wires first because occasionally a faulty connection can seem to be a bigger problem.

1) Slow Cranking – When turning the key, if your vehicle turns over for longer than normal or takes some time to”grab,” it often is because the battery charge is low.  While the starter can be the culprit, the majority of the time the battery is to blame.  If this is happening regularly, it’s a good sign your car battery is going bad and it may be time to replace your battery or recondition it.

2) Check Engine Light/Battery Warning Light – The check engine light is always a great indication of something off with your vehicle.  The battery power being weak will trip the check engine light.  Additionally, newer cars have a battery light, similar to the check engine light. This will only light up if there is an issue with the battery.

3) Age – A car battery life span, in ideal conditions, is about five years.  

4) Electrical Component Issues –  One sure indication your battery is starting to fade is if electrical components are struggling to function (such as lights, windshield wipers, power locks, and windows).

5) Swollen Battery Case – If you look under the hood and your battery case looks swollen, bloated, or malformed; it’s a indication that temperature has influenced the chemical components of the battery, shortening the lifespan.

6) Smell –  If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs under your hood, then this is often a symptom of leaking battery acid. This can damage other engine parts if not addressed quickly.  If you notice this, you may either bring your battery into a shop and have them look at it or you may use our reconditioning measures and do it yourself.

7) Multiple Jump starts Needed – if you’re having to jump your battery to get your vehicle started over three times each week, it is time to replace the battery or recondition it.  Excessive jumping can also damage other systems, so it is ideal to get the battery replaced or correct the battery yourself.

If your car battery is showing any of these 7 signs, know that your battery needs to be replaced or repaired before your car no longer runs.