Signs Car Battery Is Going Bad

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Poor Performance In Cold Weather

5 Symptoms Of A Bad Car Battery

In general, car batteries do not perform well in the cold. Drivers that live in regions that see snow or other cold weather conditions must be especially mindful of their car battery health during the winter. If it gets cold enough, your battery can actually freeze. Its chemical reactions will start to slow down. Maximum current is demanded from the car battery in cold weather due to slow-moving engine oil. This will quickly drain the life out of a battery as it requires much more power to start the engine. During the winter, if you begin to notice poor performance from your vehicle when starting, your battery may be weakening. According to Jeff Barron of Interstate Batteries Lab, If its going to get cold, you want to get it checked. Drive it to a shop and get it checked, just like you want to check your anti-freeze. Newer batteries can manage colder weather more efficiently, so it is a good rule of thumb to have your battery replaced by a mechanic ahead of the cold weather season.

Car Won’t Start After Sitting Overnight

Don’t ignore the warning signs when your battery starts to go bad.

This one seems obvious, but often rears its head after you’ve run through every possible explanation for battery woes and just can’t figure it out. It could be a wiring issue or a problem with the battery itself, but the problem is probably the simplest: you left a light on.

Youve turned your overhead light on to find change youve dropped, maybe to see which key is your cars, or even to light the pages of a book youre readingit doesnt matter who or why, it can happen to anyone. You may forget the light is on overnight, or you may not notice its been on for a week. It can drain your cars battery and leave you without an operating vehicle during the most inconvenient times.

If your car battery lasts an overnight interior light being on, your battery may not need replacing, just remember to turn off your lights. If you left that same small light on, but your car is dead over one night? Your battery is either dead or getting weak. If its only weak, you may be able to recharge it, but if not, Sturtevant Auto offer used replacement battery parts for your financial convenience.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Car Battery

The typical cost of a car battery is somewhere between $50 and $120, according to

While this range covers the cost of the part itself, the bill is not finalized as there are additional labor costs that could be very significant.

In the automotive world, repair costs are divided into labor and parts costs. Parts costs are usually the same everywhere you get your car repaired. However, labor cost differs from the service location.

For instance, if you get your car repaired at a small repair shop, you will significantly lower the price than a dealership.

On the other hand, many people prefer to get their cars repaired at a dealership, especially luxury cars. This is because they trust that the dealership mechanics are experienced enough to repair the vehicle without causing other problems.

Lastly, when the repair is not very complicated, many people get it done on their own using available DIYs on the internet.

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Battery Or Alternator: Whats Causing The Problem

Starting and running an engine, in its simplest form, is a 3-step process. First, the battery delivers a jolt of electricity to the starter. This starts the engine running, which puts the alternator into action. Finally, the alternator completes this cycle by charging the battery.

Using the process of elimination, find the culprit by bypassing the batterys role and jump-starting your car. If the engine starts but dies immediately, your alternator probably isnt keeping your battery charged. If a jump starts and keeps your car running, but the car cant start again off of its own power, a dead battery is probably your answer.

Beware These 6 Signs Your Car Battery Is About To Die

Common Car Battery Issues That Cause Starting Problems

You just woke up. Youre running late. And right when you need it mostyour car wont turn on. You keep turning the key, but your engine isnt starting. Its raining buckets outside and thunder pours on the drama. You could have had an aggressive orchestral track playing to accompany your frustration, but your radio is just as responsive as the rest of your car. Its happened, today is that day: your car battery is dead.

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What Is A Car Battery

A car battery is a rechargeable battery that is maintained by the alternator and used to start a vehicle. It provides an electric current to the electric-powered starting motor, which then starts the chemically powered internal combustion engine. It also acts as a surge protector for the cars computers and provides power for elements like the windshield wipers, stereo, and lights when the engine is off.

The three main components of a vehicle starting system are as follows:

Your Check Engine Light Turns On Or Begins To Flash

There are several reasons why your check engine light may flash or stay on constantly, such as a spark plug issue or a failing catalytic converter. But a dying car battery can also trigger your check engine light when it no longer produces ample voltage to keep your cars computer functioning properly.

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Vehicle Engine Has Slow Crank Wont Start

One of the most common symptoms of a dying battery is a slow engine crank. When you hear the engine of your car cranking slowly take your car for a checkup as soon as possible. You see, your engine draws amperage from the battery during every start up, and if your battery is close to dying, you may find your car with a slow crank.

If you hear your car making this sound, dont ignore it. You dont want to put yourself in a situation where you cant drive when you need to. If youve already found yourself in this position though, Sturtevant Auto can take any stress away with our used battery parts available for a lower cost than new, expensive batteries.

A Open Circuit Battery Voltage Test

How to Diagnose a Bad Battery in Your Vehicle

This is a simple procedure to help you understand the state of charge of your car’s battery. However, this test doesn’t tell you whether your battery is in good shape internally, but it’s a good test to start your diagnostics.

You’ll need a digital multimeter for this test.

  • If you have just driven your vehicle or charged your battery, you need to remove the surface charge from the battery as described in step two otherwise, go to step 3. This surface charge quickly dissipates when you operate an electrical circuit. Eliminating the surface charge leaves you with the actual charge in your battery.
  • To remove the surface charge, just turn on the high beams for one minute. Turn off the headlights and wait for a couple of minutes before continuing with the next steps.
  • Make sure all electrical circuits or off shut the doors and loosen the under-hood light bulb, if necessary, to turn it off. The engine should be off as well.
  • Set your meter to DC Volts and select auto-range, if available, or select a low setting like 20 Volts in the DC volts scale.
  • Connect your DMM’s red lead to the positive post on your battery, and your DMM’s black lead to the negative post on your battery.
  • Compare your voltmeter’s reading with the following table. If necessary, slow charge your battery or have it checked at your local auto parts store.
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    Signs Of A Weak Or Bad Car Battery

    If your car battery is in its early stages of failing, youll notice dimmer lights:

    Youll also notice a weakened operation of other electrical components:

    • Display cluster

    A bad battery may also cause other specific problems:

    • When you turn the key, there is a clicking noise under the hood, or the engine cranks slowly.
    • The car starts only when pressing the gas pedal.
    • The engine stalls because fuel injectors aren’t getting the electricity they need.
    • The throttle is unresponsive because electrical actuation is not working right.
    • The airbag and engine oil lights go on due to incorrect voltage.
    • The battery may leak battery acid. Youll see this commonly at the terminals of the battery. The leak may cause a smell of sulfur rotten eggs, if you will.

    Issues With Electrical Components

    In addition to starting and powering the engine, the car battery also needs to produce enough juice to run all the various electronic components in your vehicle. In most modern cars, there are many electronic accessories including radio, windshield wipers, dashboard lights, power windows, power seats, headlights and more. All of these components require electricity supplied from your vehicle’s battery.

    If any of your vehicle’s electronic components start to function poorly, first check for power loss due to dirty battery terminals. If the battery terminals clean, it might be time for a battery replacement. Pay special attention to when you use more than one component at a time. For example, if you switch on the radio while using the headlights and the headlights go dim, the battery might not be up to snuff anymore.

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    Warning Signs You May Have A Bad Car Battery

    Around the world, there are an estimated 1.4 billion or more vehicles on the road.

    If youre one of the 18% of humanity that owns or operates a vehicle on a regular basis, there are some maintenance signs you need to be aware of. This includes the signs of a bad car battery, which is a disaster just waiting to happen.

    Car batteries go bad for a number of reasons, and they can go bad at any time with little warning. Some dont hold the charge they should straight from the factory. Others go bad over time, being used wears down their ability to hold a charge or be recharged by the alternator of your vehicle.

    There are warning signs that you should be aware of. Paying attention to the warning signs could give you a chance to fix the problem before you are left stranded. A failing car battery will be obvious once you know what to look for.

    Using A Multimeter To Test A Car Battery

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  • Turn the headlights and radio on for at least 3 minutes to get rid of any surface charge the battery may have.
  • During those 3 minutes, youll set the multimeter to 15-20 volts.
  • Turn off the electrical components of your car.
  • Now, carefully connect the multimeter to the positive and negative battery terminals.
  • If you dont have a voltage of around 12.6 volts, you may have a battery that needs to be replaced. At this point, start the car. You want to see a revised voltage over 10. If your voltage drops below 5 when the car is running, the battery is definitely bad and replacing it will solve your issues.

    Tip: You can also test your alternator using a multimeter. The alternator should be putting out between 13 and 14 volts.

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    Difficulty Starting The Ignition/turning Over The Engine

    One of the most clear-cut signs that your battery might be faulty or wearing out is if you are having trouble getting your car to start. Over time, the components inside a car battery wear out and become less effective. When this happens, it takes the battery longer and longer to receive a charge from the alternator. This means waiting a few more seconds for the engine to turn over. You dont want to wait for your battery to completely die before replacing it, as you could easily become stranded with a non-starting engine. If you are noticing a slow start or weak start, it is likely your battery is dying. If you are hearing a clicking sound when you try to turn the engine over, your battery is probably already dead. Be sure to take your car to your local mechanic as soon as you notice difficulty starting your engine.

    The Dashboard Lights Flicker

    Your battery is responsible for getting your engine started, but it also supplies power to your cars other electrical components, including the dashboard. Your dashboard provides vital information for you as you drive your vehicle, so when theres an issue, you want to check it out as soon as possible.

    If you notice flickering lights on your dashboard, it has nothing to do with the dashboard itself, but likely signals a dying battery. When you notice the flickering lights, purchase a battery as soon as you can. If you wait too long, your battery will be dead, and youll need a ride to the auto store.

    Bear in mind that dimmed dashboard lights can signal an aging battery, but your lights can be dim for other reasons as well. Many cars have light dimmers, and if you accidentally bump it, you can dim your dashboard lights without even realizing it. Issues with your alternator can also cause dimmed dashboard lights. If your lights are dim and a new battery didnt fix the problem, it might be a manual error or alternator trouble.

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    Starts Fine Today Wont Start Tomorrow

    Sometimes it may take an even shorter interval for the car to refuse to start. It can start fine just this moment but refuse to start the next time around. This is one telltale indication that your car battery is failing, as it just wont hold a proper charge anymore. Typically speaking, a car battery in fine condition should manage to start even after sitting idle for over one week, and a quality one can start a car even one month later without being charged.

    However, a bad battery can bleed charge so quickly that it will not provide enough juice to start a vehicle after an hour or two. Of course, this can also reveal as an issue in the form of corroded cables or a problematic charging system, but you should definitely get the battery checked by a mechanic

    Headlights Are Not As Bright

    6 Signs of a Dying Car Battery

    Your car headlights can give you an indication of the strength of your battery.

    If you are having trouble starting your vehicle, turn the headlights on with the engine off. If they have a weak glow, your battery may be undercharged.

    Of course, if you are doing this outside under bright daylight, you’ll hardly see how shiny your headlights are. If necessary, do the Open Circuit Battery Voltage Test described in the previous section.

    However, if you don’t have a DMM on hand, you can operate your wipers or power windows for the same purpose. If any of these accessories work sluggishly or not at all, you may have a weak, undercharged, or dying battery.

    Diagnostics suggested:

    • Troubleshoot the charging system .
    • Check for faulty connections in the charging system circuit.

    Any of these problems, as well as an aged battery, can interfere with proper battery charging, or prevent the battery from delivering full power to the starter motor.

    Most auto parts stores will test your battery for free.

    In the Resources section at the end of this post, you’ll find more help on voltage drop tests for the charging circuit and engine grounds, as well as an alternator diagnostic procedure, if necessary.

    If…accessories works sluggishly or not at all, you may have a weak, undercharged, or dying battery.

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    Corrosion On The Battery

    As a battery ages and is used it will begin to develop corrosion, which is a white or green layer that sits on top of your battery or the terminals on top of it. The thicker the corrosion, the bigger the chance that the battery is going to die soon. This is a telltale sign that a lead acid battery isnt functioning the way it was intended.

    Corrosion happens due to a release of hydrogen which then has a chemical reaction with the metal terminals. Corrosion is also caused by the electrolyte in the battery drawing electrons out of the metal around it. Due to the danger, not only should you make sure your battery is still working, but make sure to clean it as well.

    There are maintenance-free automotive batteries that can help prevent corrosion from becoming an issue. While a bad battery will continue to cause corrosion which could damage other parts, a maintenance-free batter is set up with layers of protection against corrosion.

    Sos Warning Signs Your Battery May Be Dying

    Its a dark, cold winter morning. You have a busy day ahead of you and are already running five minutes behind schedule. Coffee cup in hand, you hurry towards your car, open the door and slide into the driver’s seat. You insert the key into the ignition, twist and.absolutely nothing happens. Weve all been there. Its easy to take for granted how important something like your car battery is until it stops working. Learn more about the driving habits that could be weakening your car battery and avoid the frantic stress of a vehicle that won’t start by watching for key warning signs that could mean your trusty battery is on it’s way out.

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    Your Battery Looks Fat

    Believe it or not, you can often tell if your battery has issues based on how it looks. This is because a swollen battery is a good indicator that your alternators voltage regulator is faulty and caused the battery to overcharge. At this point, your only option is to replace the battery and repair the alternator. You will need a trip to your auto repair shop to get your car running again.

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