The battery is one of the most critical parts of the car. Not only does it helps to start the engine, but it also powers all the electronics in the car. Without a functional battery, the electronics in your car won’t work. Your car will not start, and nothing will play on the radio.
How does a car battery work?
Starting the car battery is as easy as pressing a button or turning a key. When you do that, a circuit is closed, and the battery starts up. A chemical reaction begins in the battery that causes electricity to flow in the circuit. This flowing electricity gets the starter motor running and fires up the engine. If the battery is dead, you can see that the lights of the car will flicker, but the engine will not have enough power to start. Therefore, the car battery essentially powers the system that gets the engine running. Without it, your vehicle would not start.
How long does a car battery last?
The lifespan of the car battery depends on a lot of things. The quality of the battery is one of the most significant factors. However, there are other factors beyond that, such as the weather conditions it has been exposed to, the charge and discharge cycles that it has gone through, and so on. A battery is dead once it stops recharging. For a battery to last long, avoid extreme temperatures and humidity. Under ideal conditions, a battery should last six years.
How often is a battery change needed?
A battery change every four years is recommended. However, your battery may last longer if it operates under better conditions. It can wear out quickly if the conditions are unfavorable. In a cold country, battery life is also generally shorter. Driving in winter conditions has a negative impact on battery life. So after the three-year mark, chances are you will begin to see signs of battery degradation. The battery can affect other parts of the car too, so, it’s crucial that you catch a battery going bad before it causes further damage to your vehicle. Sometimes, batteries just fail without giving any signs. That is why, after three or four years, you need to be careful with your battery. Check with a mechanic, and he or she will assess the condition of your battery and tell you if you need a replacement or not.
Indications That You Need To Replace Your Car Battery
There are times that a battery can fail without any warning. However, as most as batteries age, they give you a few signs before they fail completely. The first sign is the “check engine light” coming on. This happens when the battery cannot generate enough power and the alternator malfunctions. Closely watch how your vehicle starts – listen to the starting sounds and feel the vibration as the car starts. Keep an eye on any noticeable changes so that you don’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead car battery.
Slow starting engine
Over time, the battery’s inner compartments begin to wear out, and the battery becomes less effective. It takes longer to charge the starter, and you will have to wait for a bit before the engine kicks into action. A slow start is the most significant indicator of a dying battery.
Dim lights and electrical problems
The battery is responsible for powering all the electronics in your car. This includes your radio, your USB charger, your dashboard computer, and everything else. If the car’s electronics start shutting down at random or are malfunctioning, then your battery may be dying. The more electronics you power, the faster the battery will die.
The check engine light is on
In most vehicles, the check engine light can mean a lot of things. However, it can also indicate a dying battery. When the battery does not operate at full capacity, the check engine light may be on. If you notice it flickering, check your vehicle manual and then head to a car mechanic to see if it’s your battery that needs replacement.
Bad odor in the car
As the battery starts aging, the parts of the battery will also slowly wear out. This can cause short circuits, leaks, and a host of other problems. Often as the acid in the battery leaks, you will get a bad smell when you are in your car. Replace your battery as soon as possible to avoid any other problems.
Check under the hood to see if the battery connectors have corroded or not. Corrosion is a common issue and can prevent your vehicle from starting. Excessive corrosion can signal a dying or a damaged battery.
Distorted battery case
The climate can have a massive impact on battery life. Often, exposure to extreme cold and heat can cause the battery to swell and crack. You can see that from the outside. A swollen battery needs immediate replacement.
An old battery
When was the last time you changed your battery? Has it been over three years? Three to five years are the standard lifespan of most batteries.
What causes car batteries to die prematurely?
The car battery gets charged when you drive. When the car is idle for days, the battery may slowly drain out and discharge completely. Also, the climate and the number of electronics you have in your car may have a part. Keeping your car idle for days can damage the battery prematurely. Also, do not forget to turn the headlights off!
How much does a battery replacement cost?
The car battery cost depends on the type of vehicle you have. Generally, the cost is somewhere between $80 and $150. However, premium batteries can have a much higher cost and can go hit upwards of $200. A mechanic usually charges around $70 for the installation.
How much charging does a new battery need?
Right out of the box, a battery stays charged requires no prior charging. A fully sealed 14-volt car battery purchased from a trusted business can be used right out of the box. If you think your car battery is just in need of a solid charge, we’ve got a set of expert reviews on the best car battery charger for all vehicles.