Signs Your Car Battery Is Dying

Jumper cable clamp connected to a dead car battery.

Over time and between the heat and vibrations it experiences, your car’s battery will wear down and eventually die. Without your battery, your vehicle isn’t going anywhere.

There are multiple factors that determine how long your car’s battery lasts. Depending on where you live, your battery might last an average of four years—less in a warmer climate and maybe up to five years in a colder climate like Minnesota.

Your driving habits also influence your battery life. If you take lots of short trips, your car’s battery may not have enough time to fully charge, resulting in faster wear. Leaving your car undriven for long periods of time will drain your battery faster, as will having multiple accessories—like a radio, GPS, and phone charger—connected to your car at once.

While many people wait until it dies fully, it’s better to replace your car’s battery before it comes to that point. To do that, it’s helpful not only to know the age of your battery but to be aware of the common signs of a dying battery.

Check Engine Light is Illuminated

Your check engine light can mean many different things, which is why it’s good to know the age of your battery. If you don’t know, check under the hood on the battery’s case. There may be a sticker or plastic label with the battery’s age listed.

If your battery is around 3-5 years old, this could be the reason for the check engine light. If you can’t locate your battery’s age, you can get it tested or search for different signs of battery death.

Slow Engine Turn Over

Your engine may still start if your battery is dying, but it will be slow to do so, stuttering or taking a few cranks. This could be a problem with your alternator or starter, though a dying battery is usually the culprit.

Charging your car’s battery may give you enough time to get a replacement, though there’s no telling how long the charge will last.

Electrical Problems

As the battery loses juice, your car will experience electrical issues. Your headlights and interior lights may be dim, flickering, or completely dead. Other features that use battery power, like your radio, power windows, or windshield wipers may also fail as your battery reaches the end of its life.

Battery Corrosion

If you can smell rotten eggs or something sulfurous from beneath your vehicle’s hood, it’s likely leaking battery acid—another sign your battery needs replacement. At this point, your battery needs to be replaced immediately, as the leaking acid can damage other parts of your car.

While you’re under the hood, you can also check for visual signs of leaking battery acid: blue-green, powdery substance hardened on the terminals. This weakens the connection between the terminals and connecting points, costing your vehicle it’s charging ability.

At Mimbach Fleet, we’ve got the automotive supplies you need to get your vehicle back up and running. Whether you need a car battery charger, battery booster, or a new battery entirely, we’ve got you covered. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll handle the order for you. Stop in today!  

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