Although most people don't give a whole lot of thought to the battery under the hood of their car, it's important to remember that it won't last forever. Car batteries have a fairly short lifespan and need to be replaced periodically. If you don't have a whole lot of experience dealing with car batteries, you may not be able to easily spot the warning signs that yours is failing. Here's a look at some of the things that you should watch out for that could mean your battery is nearing the end of its useful life.
You're Jump Starting Frequently
If you have had to jump start the car more than once or twice in the last month, that's a sure-fire sign that your battery is in need of replacement. Not only is the fact that it's not holding a charge a sign of a problem, but jump starting multiple times over a short period like that can damage the battery as well.
Your Check-Engine Light Is On
Although the check-engine light can come on for a multitude of reasons, one common reasons is due to a faulty battery. When the battery is failing, your car won't get the proper power to the computer. This will trigger the check-engine light. If you're seeing other symptoms of a faulty battery along with the check-engine light, it's a pretty good indication that the battery is the culprit.
The Engine Only Starts After Multiple Tries
Although a hesitant engine could also be an indication of a starter problem, it's most often caused by a low battery. You can determine which is the problem fairly easily. Jump start the car, then let it run for about half an hour. That allows the alternator to charge the battery for a while. Then, once you drive home, turn the car off and wait a couple of minutes. After a couple of minutes, try to start the car again. Do this a couple of times. If the car starts without a problem, that's a sign that it's the battery, not the starter.
There's A Foul Odor Under The Hood
A smell that resembles rotten eggs emanating from under the hood of your car is a key warning sign that the battery is damaged. This smell usually comes from gas venting out of the battery. It's important that you don't ignore this, because if the battery is venting, it could also be seeping sulphuric acid under the hood.
The Battery Looks Swollen
Whether your car has been exposed to extreme heat or cold, those temperatures can actually cause a chemical reaction in the battery that causes the case to swell. If your battery is misshapen, it will need to be replaced right away.
For additional information, contact a company like Auto Electric Sales & Service.