Signs That Your Car Needs a New Battery

Posted on: 15 January 2018

If your vehicle needs a new battery, never put off having the current one replaced, as a battery failure can mean not being able to start your car, and even having it suddenly fail when you're on the road. This is because many of the parts under the hood are operated by electrical power, not by the power of the engine; a dead or dying battery can then mean an inoperative fuel pump, cooling system, brakes, and the list goes on. To ensure you always have a working and powerful battery under the hood of your vehicle, note a few signs that the current battery may be failing, and this can alert you to when it's time to get a new one.

Battery case

It's good to do a visual inspection of the components under the hood of your car on a regular basis, and this includes the battery case. If it's bloated, cracked, or otherwise damaged in any way, it's probably time to have the battery replaced. Bloated battery cases are usually due to excessive heat, which causes chemical reactions in the battery itself; these reactions cause the case to swell, which also means those chemicals are not powering the battery as they should. Cracked cases also mean leaks of the battery fluids and chemicals; this, too, will mean a loss of power from the battery. If the case looks damaged in any way, have the battery replaced.

Check engine light

The check engine light can come on for a variety of reasons, but this light is connected to sensors that monitor the battery's life, as well as other parts under the hood. When this light comes on, check the battery charge. If it's getting low, it may still start the engine and run those electrical parts, but it can also trip one of these sensors that then engages the check engine light.

Faulty wiring or electrical components

If you've recently had electrical work done on your vehicle, it's good to check the battery's charge. Faulty wiring can drain a battery prematurely, so that it may turn over the engine, but be struggling to provide adequate power to other electrical components. If an electrical part, such as the fuel pump or thermostat, is faulty or failing, this can also drain the battery prematurely. Any time you have electrical work done to a vehicle, or have had an electrical part replaced, you want to check the battery for its charge and replace it as well, if needed.