When Is It Time To Replace Your Car Battery?

The battery is possibly one of the most important features of your vehicle. It makes everything happen. Without one your car wouldn’t start, you couldn’t operate any lights, and there would be no radio. As a crucial component of your vehicle, it is a good idea to know when you to replace the battery. It is also good to see warning signs that your battery is going bad.

While a vehicle not starting can often be confused with the starter, a battery problem presents itself differently. Some red flags will give you a good indication that it is time to replace your car battery and they can include the following. How To Clarify Which You Have: A Starter or Battery Problem?

Slow Engine Starts

If you turn the key to your vehicle and it doesn’t start right up or takes longer than usual, this could be a significant indicator you need a battery replacement.

Low Battery Fluid

Checking the battery fluid is one way to see if your car’s battery is on the way out. Some cells have a see-through part of the casing that will allow you to check the fluid level. If the fluid drops below the lead plates, it is time for a new one. Ryan GMW can perform a battery fluid check to see if this is indeed the issue and recommend a battery replacement.

Leaking Battery

Almost everyone has seen this universal sign on a battery. When a cell leaks it creates corrosion. A white buildup presents this, that is typically on the positive and negative posts. There is a good chance you aren’t getting the best connection to the battery corrosion being present. While you can clean the terminals and get a little more life out of the battery, it is also a sign you will probably need a replacement shortly.

Swollen Battery Case

With excessive heat in the engine bay and outside, this can cause a battery to become swollen. The battery will not have it’s same square or rectangle shape. It could have a bulge or bulges on the sides or top of the battery. A bloating battery case will ultimately mean the battery’s life is shortened.

The Age Test

Batteries don’t last forever. While batteries do last a very long time, it is encouraged to have them inspected after three years. After this amount of time, it is a good idea to check it annually. It will ensure it’s operating correctly and free of corrosion. If your car has a ten-year-old battery in it, and you have any of the other symptoms of a failing battery, then it is probably time to replace.

Is It A Starter Or Battery Problem?

You are having a problem starting your car; it is slow cranking, or when you turn the key to start it the lights dim, or you hear absolutely nothing or you hear a clicking.

These things can indicate either a starter or battery problem. However, these symptoms can also indicate other problems.

If you are unsure which it is, you can bring your vehicle to an Auburn BMW Repair shop that can help you by testing your battery and starter.

Signs Your Battery Is Getting Weak

Your battery can become weak over time. Here are a few signs that your battery is becoming weak;

  • Your car cranks slower
  • You hear clicking when you turn your key or press the start button
  • The car started yesterday but won’t start or was extremely slow starting the next day
  • Battery terminals are corroded
  • The battery case looks bloated
  • Your battery is older than 3 years old

If you notice any of those problems, a BMW Repair Rocklin shop can help you.

How To Maintain Your Battery?

There are some things you can do to help maintain your battery and keep it working well.

  • Check the battery post/connections for corrosion and clean it off. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a cup of warm water, stir it up. Pour the mixture over the terminals and use a wire brush to remove the corrosion.
  • Make sure the connections are tight.
  • Check the fluid inside the battery if your battery has lids to do that.
  • Visually inspect the outside for leaks which can cause corrosion, bulging of the battery, or other signs that your battery does not look right.

Signs Your Starter Is Going Bad

As with other parts on your vehicle over time your starter will wear out; what are the signs that your start is going bad?

  • When you start your car, you hear any of the following sounds; buzzing, whirring, grinding, or clicking
  • Your lights dim when you start your car

If You Think Your Starter Is Going Bad, Here Are Some Things You Can Do

If you are having trouble starting your car and think it may be your starter;

  • Make sure all the connections are tight; that includes bolts that mount it.
  • Make sure the wires are not frayed or showing through the coating.

Understanding The Ignition System Of Your Vehicle

There are several parts to your ignition system;

  • The battery provides electrical power to the other components
  • The electrical current is sent through the alternator
  • The starter when the key is turned brings the electrical current from the battery through the alternator to start the vehicle.

Getting Help For Your Starter Or Battery

If you have been experiencing issues when starting your car and are unsure of what it is or how to fix it; bring your vehicle into BMW Repair and we will test the battery and starter for you.