Let’s just call it what it is, someday, your car battery is going to die. Many batteries will not make it through this winter because batteries are stressed in temperature extremes and with the weather turning cold battery issues will start to occur. If your battery does fail and you’re lucky, it won’t happen to you when you’re in some random parking lot miles from home or worse. The truth is the factory battery that your vehicle came with is made to last long enough to sell the car. Which can mean only 6 months to 1 year.
Fortunately, the car battery isn’t likely to die when you’re driving; the alternator keeps the vehicle functioning and operating. Of course, if something goes wrong with the alternator, you could wind up on the side of the road. But let’s stay on subject.
Don’t be caught by surprise with a battery failure. These are things to look for that will alert you when it’s time to change your battery. If being stuck in random parking lots and unexpected places isn’t your idea of fun, then head off issues before they become trouble and look for these red flags.
The car seems to be having trouble starting. When starting your vehicle, the starter seems to turn slowly or sounds like grinding. It can also take longer for the engine to start. Maybe it won’t start until you press on the gas. Those all indicate that something is amiss. If these things are happening a lot, even if it somehow isn’t a weak battery, and it probably is, something else is wrong. If that’s the case, bring your car to Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary as soon as possible to head off whatever problem your vehicle has.
The check engine light is coming on a lot. Check engine lights or battery light comes on and goes off could indicate a battery issue or that something else is going on. But these lights frequently are a sign of a dying battery. If not the battery, then an electrical issue.
A warning light, in the shape of a battery, comes on. This is an excellent sign that you’re having trouble with your battery, or with something related to your battery, like the alternator or perhaps your electrical system. If the battery light comes on while you’re driving, as opposed to when you start the car, there’s a good chance your alternator is starting to fail. Alternators often work intermittently when they get to the end of their useful life. Sometime working properly, other times not working at all. When they are not working at all, the electrical supply for your vehicle comes solely from the battery. As you can imagine, batteries can only supply power to operate your vehicle for a short period of time. When the battery dies so does the engine. If you see a battery light when you are driving, you find the nearly auto repair or parts store. If that is not available then find a safe place to pull over and call a tow service.
Your battery case looks terrible. If the case is cracked, or there’s a chalky white substance (battery acid) around the battery terminals, or the sides are swelling out, your battery’s end times are near.
Electrically operated components aren’t operating as they normally would. If you notice that the windows take longer to open or close, or your headlights seem awfully dim, that can be a sign that electrical system is having trouble getting enough power throughout the vehicle to do these other tasks. The battery is at the heart of the electrical system and should be check as soon as possible.
You can’t remember ever changing the battery. When batteries are working properly they become invisible to our daily routine. As we have said earlier, the battery that came with your car, when it was new is not designed to last very long. If your battery is original to the vehicle and is over year old, come by Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary to get it tested with our Battery Health Condition test. Aftermarket batteries can last from a couple of years to six years. If it says that the battery needs to be replaced every five years, and you’re in year two, you probably have nothing to worry about (especially if the car is running well, and you haven’t noticed signs of trouble). If you’re in year five, you may want to have it tested or stop by and we will test it for you for free. If you’re somehow in year six, you’re driving on borrowed time. You may want to make an appointment now and let us know you’re coming. We’ll be on the lookout for you.