For all of the stress we put on our batteries, they seem to be the last place we look when we realize that our vehicles aren’t running their best. An old or faulty battery can cause undue stress on other components in your vehicle as well, making it a relatively easy and inexpensive fix to address. So how do you know if your battery is failing? Here are six things to look for.
Five Signs Your Battery is Dying
Let’s get the most obvious of these out of the way quickly. Batteries have a lifespan of two to six years for the most part, and even the most fastidious caretaker will have to replace them eventually. After year three, it’s a good idea to test batteries yearly.
A new battery will allow your vehicle to turn over with the simple turn of a key, but an old one does the opposite. It will be slow to respond, possibly will sputter as it starts, and may hesitate before it seems like it’s idling consistently.
Read More: Why is Your Check Engine Light On?
It’s Low on Battery Fluid
Have you ever noticed the transparent piece of plastic on the side of most batteries? It shows the relative level of battery fluid. When the fluid goes lower than the level of the energy conductor inside, the battery won’t conduct power as well, and often results in the battery or “Check Engine” light coming on.
The Battery Case is Warped
When a battery gets old, it sometimes emits excess heat. This excess heat can cause the case holding the battery to become warped and bloated. If you notice a case that is out of whack, it means the battery it’s holding is as well.
The Battery is Leaking
Batteries will leak, and when they do, corrosion will accumulate on the posts outside of the battery. It doesn’t always mean that the battery is getting old, but it happens more frequently with old batteries than newer ones.