Your car battery powers a whole variety of different systems within your vehicle, from the radio and air conditioner all the way to the power windows and even the engine's ignition system. This means that a battery that is no longer able to hold a charge or distribute electricity properly can cause a massive amount of different issues for the operation of your vehicle. Being able to identify when you need to talk to a mechanic about replacing your current car battery can help you avoid these issues later on.
The first symptom that you will likely notice if your battery begins to fail is that your car's headlights become dimmer. This is a gradual process that can take place over several weeks or even months, however, which may mean that you don't notice the difference right away. However, struggling to see the lines on the road while driving either means that your lights need to be replaced—a simple fix—or that your battery does, which is also basic, though a little more expensive. This needs to be addressed immediately, as poor lighting is a serious safety concern.
Corrosion and Swelling
You can also check the condition of your car battery without actually starting your engine at all. Pop open the hood and take a look at the battery itself. Older batteries that have begun to physically break down may experience corrosion on their terminals, located on the very top of the battery and connected to the engine. Corrosion can reduce how well the battery can transport power to other systems in your vehicle, even if the rest of the battery is fine. On the other hand, batteries that have cracked or overheated can swell up significantly in their casing, and they may also be leaking battery acid, which can damage nearby components, into your vehicle. In either case, replacing your current battery is the best path forward.
Finally, the last sign that you are well overdue for a new battery is if you find yourself constantly having to jump your current battery to start the engine, or if it takes several tries for the engine to turn over. Most likely your battery is simply old and worn out and cannot properly hold a charge any longer, especially if your vehicle is able to continue running once it starts, which means that the alternator is in good condition. Replace the battery as soon as possible to prevent yourself from becoming stranded somewhere in the near future.
Contact businesses that provide replacement car parts like Pick-A-Part Jalopy Jungle for more information.