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Have you ever been in the stressful situation where your battery died and left you stranded? Even if you did not get a battery light alert, there are telltale signs your car will give you to tell your battery is no longer holding a charge. Below, we lay out six major signs to look for.
The engine is slow to turn over.
Have you ever gotten in your vehicle, went to start the car and the car cranks a few times and sounds reluctant to start? A bad battery could be the reason. Most automotive parts stores will test your battery free of charge. But defective wiring, a worn starter, or even a malfunctioning alternator are also possibilities, so have these checked out if you still have issues after a defective battery is replaced.
The windows roll up and down slowly
Imagine having your windows down, driving down the street, and it begins to heavily rain. Your windows take what seems like years to roll up. A bad battery could be the culprit. If the windows are slow to respond, your battery, or the alternator and charging system are struggling to power them correctly.
Excessive corrosion on the battery is visible
You may have seen a battery with the posts covered in corrosion, that powdery white or blue substance that can negatively affect the battery’s performance and lifespan. The corrosion is caused by chemical reactions between gas and the metals of the battery posts and clamps. You can try cleaning the corrosion with a baking soda and water solution or with specialty sprays available from your auto parts store. Extensive corrosion may require removing the battery cable clamps, but first check a repair information source to see if any additional work may be required in doing so. Some vehicles may actually need to be reprogrammed at an independent repair shop or dealership, so don’t remove the cable clamps until you’re certain this isn’t the case with your vehicle.
Even with corrosion, there may be other problems causing poor electrical system performance.
Headlights dim when idling
Does it seem like your lights dim when idling and then brighten when accelerating? That could be a sign of a weak charging system. It could also be a symptom of a battery not performing to specifications.
Your battery is old
Every battery has a lifespan, which can commonly be as short as three to five years. This can be affected by such factors as temperature (hot climates will shorten a battery’s life) the number of starting cycles (running errands to half a dozen stops on a Saturday is more taxing on the battery than one 60-mile trip), and type of car (a small battery turning over a big engine will not last as long as a big battery turning over a small engine.) We recommend having your battery’s performance checked once in the spring and once in the fall, before cold temperatures hit – to help you avoid any surprises, especially if your battery is a few years old. A performance test can often indicate a weak battery before it becomes critical.
Being stranded because of a bad battery is at the least an inconvenience, so looking for signs before your battery kicks the bucket will keep you ahead of any unforeseen situations that could leave you stranded for hours.
About Spirit West Rapid Refinish
Spirit West Rapid Refinish, established in 2011, was formed to focus on providing quality service for customers who are paying out of pocket for automobile repairs and streamline the workflow volume. We take great pride with teamwork and our commitment to making sure our team receives training on the latest innovative state-of-the-art equipment and collision repair techniques. We are proud to say our team is family and we treat our customers like family too. Whether you are in need of minor collision repair services, bumper repair or vehicle paint, give us a call today to see how we can restore your vehicle to its original factory finish.
Spirit West Motor Carriage, founded in 1977, is a full-service auto body repair shop serving the St. Louis and surrounding Metro area. For nearly four decades, our family-owned business and our experienced staff have been providing quality auto collision repair, mechanical, paintless dent repair (PDR), complete paint refinishing, and wheel and framing alignment services.