If you think you’re having an awful day, then just think about the person who couldn’t attend the meeting because of a totaled battery. You can suffer the same frustrating experience if you don’t have any prior knowledge of car batteries & how they show signs of replacement. We have broken down this problem into multiple sections which will save your time & money.
Why & How Do Batteries Wear Out?
Every car battery has 6 cells comprising lead plates & hydrochloric acid bath. These components together go through a chemical process where ultimately you get electricity from the cells.
But these are not like disposable batteries, ultimately after starting up your engines the battery can be recharged by alternators. Some causes for the batteries to wear out are:
- If you leave your headlights or electric appliances on.
- After some years of service, due to corrosion at the connection points.
- A bad alternator or a broken fuse can lead to failure to recharge.
- Frosty weather can make the battery lose some steam.
Ultimate Tips for Identifying Battery Wear
Here are some tips you can follow to identify worn-out batteries.
If your engine cranks but the car won’t just start, then this is most likely the scenario of your battery out of juice due to any electric appliance on. This doesn’t mean that your battery is dead, it just needs to be jump-started to be functional again. But if this continues for long, then get it checked by a mechanic.
Batteries are not meant to live forever. With a few years into service, there is a chance that the parts inside the battery have worn out. This eventually leads to degrading performance.
The most common symptom of a failing car battery is that it will show dim headlights or the lights would be less bright than usual. This is where the RC ratings come into play to show you the exact number of minutes your battery will last with the headlights on with 25 amps of current. Having a higher RC is always better for cars.
If your battery makes a clicking sound when you turn the key, then it’s a sign its ready to retire. The first thing your car does when you turn the ignition key is to send current to the starter. But because of the reduced current or power from the battery, it tends to make a clicking noise.
Slow Cranking up
Cold Cranking Amps or CCA is responsible for giving your battery enough juice to start the day. But as time passes by, your battery tends to run out of juice gradually. So, a higher CCA rating means the greater starting power the battery has.
If you notice that your engine cranks up more slowly than it used to in the prior days, or if you need to tap the gas pedal to make it work, then your battery has given you a clear notice. Change it as soon as possible, otherwise, you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery.
If you have odd odors coming from inside the hood, then it’s an indication that your battery is probably leaking. You change your battery immediately otherwise it would corrode other parts of your vehicle.
Testing a Car Battery
Nowadays you have digital car battery testers or Multimeters in your service to make sure your batteries are charged & ready for action. At first, turn off your engine and make sure the battery is idle. Then take off the positive & negative caps & place the right probes with the appropriate terminal markings.
Usually, the red probe is the positive terminal & the black probe is the negative one. A healthy battery should show approximately 12.6 volts on the display. If you find it around 12 volts, then it is only half charged. But anything lower than 12 means that the battery is discharged.
How to Avoid a Flat Car Battery?
If your car is sitting idle in your garage or parking spot, then you are bound to experience a flat car battery for sure. Batteries gradually lose their charge if they are not used. Modern-day alarm systems, clock & other electrical appliances are still on & draw power from the battery.
You have to drive your car at least once every three or four days. You can’t just end in short runs for grocery, that way the battery will not fully recharge at all. You have to at least drive 9 to 12 kilometers to get the battery fully recharged. These small practices can make a huge difference in expanding your battery life.
Flat Car Battery Call Out | Tips and Tricks
If you do find yourself in a scenario where you have encountered a flat battery, then these tricks might come in handy.
- If you hear clicks while starting, then try cycling the key repeatedly.
- If cycling doesn’t work, give a solid tap to the battery terminals. For better contact, you can use your shoes.
- If your battery is not completely drained, then you can charge it using a battery charger.
- If the batteries are drained, then you probably have to jump-start your car.
A flat battery can ruin your entire day & be certain that it will come at the most important of days. So don’t waste your time, if you see any signs of battery wear in your vehicle, get a replacement battery as soon as possible. All parts of your vehicle should be checked after a certain period because they can go off at any time.