Do You Need to Replace Your Car Battery?
As a rule, if you look after your vehicle well enough, your battery should last around three years. Unfortunately, however, not many of us do. Flat and damaged batteries are one of the most common reasons for roadside assistance calls, so it’s important to make sure that you look after yours and keep an eye on it when it’s underperforming.
How Long Do Batteries Last?
While batteries that are properly looked after can last as long as five years, most will become worn down and inoperable after around three. Just like the batteries in your laptop or smartphone, your car’s battery will gradually become less effective with each subsequent charge, so you should be able to tell when your battery’s performance starts dropping off.
Unfortunately, as our vehicles get more technically advanced year on year, our batteries are put under an even bigger strain. Of course, battery technology is also getting more advanced, but it can’t quite keep pace with the sheer volume of gadgets and gizmos that the average domestic vehicle has onboard these days. With this in mind, if you have a newer car, don’t expect your battery to last five years, no matter how well you look after it.
Signs That Your Battery Needs Replacing
So, now you know that it’s important to keep an eye on your car’s battery. But what are the sort of things that you should be looking out for? Here are three important signs that you car’s battery might need replacing:
- Your vehicle is taking a while to start: To start, your vehicle requires large amounts of energy, so if your battery isn’t at its best, you’ll probably know about it when you put your key in the ignition. Specifically, you want to listen out for your engine cranking more slowly than usual. This is a telltale sign that your battery is dying, and you will probably only get a few of these before it goes completely flat, so take your car to the garage if you notice this.
- No power to the electrics: It’s important to remember that your car’s battery doesn’t just start the engine, it has to start all of your car’s onboard electrical systems, such as the lights, windows, heaters and all of the various computers. If you notice any of the aforementioned features struggling when you start the car, then this is a good sign that your battery could well need replacing.
- Your dashboard warning light illuminates: The easiest way to tell that your battery is having issues is by checking your dashboard warning light. If you can see that the battery icon is lit up, then you’ll know there’s something wrong with your battery. This could be anything from a loose alternator to a damaged cable, so make sure you take your vehicle to the garage as quickly as possible.
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