Nothing is more aggravating than not being able to start your car when you need it most. Often, the culprit is a dead battery, but there are some signs to know when and how often you should get anew car batteryto make sure you dont get stranded with a car that wont start.
Typical Battery Life
Many car batteries can last for at least five years, especially if you drive in ideal conditions and you take care to maintain the battery as much as you are able. However, on average, a car battery will start losing charge and wearing down after about three years. With every charge, your battery becomes a little less efficient and holds a little less charge. Eventually, it becomes challenging for the battery to provide enough power for the car to start.
After approximately four years, you shouldnt rely on your battery to start every time. Even if youve had no problems in the first few years, your battery is not as efficient as it once was, and just like your phone battery, when the charge level hits a certain point, it starts to drain even faster. Its always a good idea to get your battery checked when you get your oil changed to ensure its still holding an adequate charge.
While you probably shouldnt let your battery go for five years, just because you never know if its truly reliable or not, there are some maintenance tasks you can perform to ensure your battery lasts as long as possible. Clean the top of your battery and the cables regularly with a water and baking soda mixture and a non-metallic brush to prevent corrosion. Use a post cleaner to clean the terminals and remove any debris or corrosion.
Visually inspect the batterys case to make sure it is still in a rectangular prism shape. If its bulging or caved in anywhere, you need to replace it. This is an indication that something has shorted inside the battery that could cause damage to other vehicle components or even make the car unsafe to drive. Have your batterys fluid levels checked when you get an oil change to make sure the level is appropriate for continued use.
How to Tell If You Need a New Battery
If your car hesitates when starting up instead of turning over right away, it could mean that your battery is no longer providing sufficient charge to start your car. While your car will eventually start, the hesitation indicates that your battery is working harder than it should. Additionally, if you notice your headlights or interior lights flickering, thats a sign that the power is not distributing properly and that theres not enough charge to power your electronics and your car.
In most cars, if the battery is going bad, youll get a warning light on your dashboard. Typically, this is the Service Engine Soon light, but some makes and models might have an actual battery light. This is the most obvious indication that you need to replace your cars battery.
Regular inspection and cleaning can extend the life of your battery, but even then, you should probably replace it after about three years.Come by Crain Buick GMC in Conway, AR todayand well install a new battery for you.
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