Four Signs Of A Failing Car Battery

Next to the engine, the battery is one of the most important components of your vehicle, since it powers every electrical system – including the engine's ignition system. A failing battery can significantly negatively affect the performance of your vehicle, and a completely dead battery can prevent your car from starting at all. Fortunately, there are a number of signs associated with a car battery that has begun to lose its charge. Understanding what these signs are can help you determine when you should talk to a car repair specialist about replacing your battery.

Dim Lights

One of the first and most noticeable warning signs associated with a dying battery is if you notice that your vehicle's headlights are not nearly as bright as they used to be. This is because the battery is no longer able to provide the same amount of power to the headlights. This isn't a localized problem: you will likely see that other electrical systems within your car are affected as well, like the radio having a poor signal or the power windows moving up and down slowly. However, dim headlights will usually be the easiest system problem to spot.

Strong Smells

Another clear sign that your battery has begun to reach the end of its lifespan is if you notice the smell of rotten eggs throughout the cabin of your vehicle. This usually points to physical damage or a leak in the battery casing itself, which is allowing the smell of battery acid to reach the interior of your car. This is more than an annoyance: battery acid that is able to leak onto other car parts can cause a significant amount of physical damage, causing more expensive and more complicated repairs.

Longer Ignition Times

Your battery may also be on its last legs if you find that it takes longer than normal for the engine to actually catch and turn on. You may find that the ignition turns over several times and makes a clicking sound, which points to a battery that needs to be replaced as soon as possible to keep your vehicle operating properly.

Physical Damage

Finally, you should also open up the hood to take a look at the battery casing itself to make sure that it is in good condition. Exposure to severe temperatures, especially if those temperatures fluctuate back and forth, can cause your battery casing to swell up, which can increase the risk of a leak developing and can cause physical damage to the battery.

If you notice any of these signs, it is recommended that you visit an auto repair service as soon as possible.