Fortunately, there are warning signs you can check for when it comes to taking care of the battery:
Your Latest Service
When your mechanic performs a check on your car, one of the things they look at is the battery life. They can test this and let you know whether they think your battery is in good condition, or on its way out. They can also usually give you an idea of timing.
Your Engine Whirrs When You Turn It On
If your engine starts to make a whirring sound when you turn it on, before the car actually starts, it could be that your battery is dying. It’ll likely start with just one or two extra whirrs as you start the car, then the older the battery gets, the whirrs will increase. Eventually, that’s the only sound you’ll get and the car won’t actually turn on at all.
Your Car Won’t Start
If your car is cranking, but not starting; or if your car makes no sound at all when you turn over the key, your battery is likely flat. Particularly if you’ve experienced the whirring mentioned above for a while. Although a car not starting isn’t always the battery, it’s the first (and cheapest) thing you should check. Test the lights as well and any other accessories linked to the battery.
Your Battery Is Old, Cracked, Leaking
Car batteries typically last for 3-5 years, so if you know you’ve had yours longer, it could be time for an upgrade. While you can keep using it as long as it works, it is possible that by doing that, you might end up stuck (in a parking lot, a dark street, or at home) when it does stop. Also, if you notice your battery is looking a little bit swollen, or if the case for the battery is cracked or there is a fluid leak – it’s time to replace it!
Smells And Corrosion
A healthy car battery doesn’t smell – so if you find yourself holding your nose because your car smells like rotten eggs, it’s possible the battery is leaking sulfurous chemicals. Obviously, you don’t want this – the acid can corrode other parts of the engine as well. So, if you smell something off, check the battery. If your battery has been leaking or it’s a bit old, you might find that it’s looking a bit rusty in spots – another sure sign that you need to replace it.
When it comes to your car battery, you want to keep on top of any problems that might come up. If you don’t, you risk the battery not working at a time when you need it most. Have your mechanic check the battery every time you get it serviced, or pop in and visit if you’re a little unsure. Better safe than sorry.