Bad Battery Symptoms: How to Troubleshoot Your Car Battery

Has your vehicle ever stopped working because of battery failure? Sometimes, your battery could malfunction as you plan to go to work. How do you deal with the frustration? Fortunately, you do not need to experience car battery failure as you can learn about some of the signs of a failing battery.

Bad Battery Symptoms How to Troubleshoot Your Car Battery 2

How to Troubleshoot Bad Battery Symptoms



Batteries often do not fail without warnings and you don`t require the full knowledge of a mechanic to diagnose an imminent failure.

Troubleshooting your own vehicle’s battery? Make sure you look for these bad battery symptoms first.

1. Age of the Battery

Age matters. Batteries that have worked for several years will have lost their efficiency. Find out about when you bought the battery. You can check on the top of the battery for a label that shows the date of purchase.

How long should a car battery last?

If your battery has been in use for more than four years you should consider a replacement. Plan on how to buy your next battery even if the current one has not shown any uncharacteristic behavior. Most often than not, batteries over the age of four years will die without any warning.

You could consider new age batteries that have significantly longer lifespans than their predecessors. For example, Dry Charged Automotive Battery contains heavy duty grids that protect it from extreme temperatures.

You can find this model in your local shops or in online shops.

2. Slower Crank Engine

After determining the car battery life, you should pay attention to the sounds made by your battery. How does your car behave when you turn up your engine? If you hear some whirring sounds when you start the engine you should note that it signifies a slow engine crank.

A slow engine crank reflects that your battery is in bad shape even if it has not operated for long since purchase. Do not wait for a breakdown; invest in a new battery.

3. Observe the Check Engine Light

While driving, focus on any uncharacteristic signals in your car. In case you note the check engine light coming on, you should inspect your battery. In most instances, the flickering of the check engine light shows that your battery power is weak.

You should thoroughly assess the state of the battery before buying a new one. Sometimes, the check engine lights could have some malfunction. If you feel you lack the required level of expertise to determine the issue, contact your mechanic for a professional opinion.

4. Check the Battery Fluid Level

New car batteries have specific fluid levels that help in the production of power. Bad battery symptoms include low levels of battery fluids, which show that overcharging effects have caught up with it.

You can check on the fluid level by peering through a translucent casing placed on the battery. Some traditional models have red and black caps that you can unseal and check the fluid levels.

How do you determine whether the battery has low fluid levels?

Check on whether the fluid levels fall below the lead plates that act as energy conductors. If you notice that your battery has low fluid levels, you should conduct more tests to determine the efficiency of the charging system. You can contact your local mechanic to test the battery for more accurate results.

5. The Swelling, Bloating Battery Case

Have you considered the shape of your battery? Has it changed since you bought the vehicle? You should not that bloating or swelling will indicate some serious problems with the battery.

The bloating results from excessive heat and such as battery will have lower efficiency. Once you realize that your battery has ballooned, you may need to search for a replacement in the market as it may die at any time.

6. Bad Symptoms Include the Smell

In some instances, bad batteries have pungent smells. Yes, you will not escape the smell when you get near the battery. It could smell like some rotten eggs.

If you have never encountered rotten eggs, look out for some disgusting smell coming from your battery. After possibly vomiting, you should strive to shop for a new battery as that signifies battery leaks. It is possible that the leaks will have corroded the battery terminals.

7. Inspect Battery Connections

Before you render a battery useless, ensure you inspect at the battery connections. Loose battery connections could affect the functioning of your battery. Take a closer look.

Do you see some problems with the cables, connectors, and battery terminals?

If you find loose cables, try fitting them tightly. Does the battery now function properly?
You should also look for signs of corrosion at the terminals.

Corrosion at the terminals will affect the transmission of power to the rest of the vehicle. Corrosion appears in the form of blue, white and green blooms on the battery. You can try to scrub the substance using baking soda mixed with water.

Then, test whether the battery has improved its power output.

Batteries that fail to recover after you have cleaned corrosions will need replacement.

8. Test the Voltage

You can determine the state of your battery by testing the voltage using a multi-meter. Don`t worry about how to test your car battery with a multi-meter, it is pretty simple. Ensure you have a fully functioning multi-meter and then place the red multimeter lead on the positive battery cable and the black multimeter lead on the negative cable.

Then, check on the readings on the instrument, what does your battery register?

Readings of 12.45 volts or greater will indicate a healthy battery. If your battery registers a lower figure should take further steps to confirm whether it has some power storage problems.

You will need to fully charge the battery and conduct a load test to assess whether it can hold a charge. Strive to involve a mechanic in the tests, as they tend to have more experience. If your battery cannot conserve power, it would be better to get a new one from the market.

It`s Pretty Easy to Troubleshoot Your Car Battery

You can easily detect most bad battery symptoms. Consider the typical battery life that ranges from 3-5 years. Assess the physical appearance of the battery for any signs of boating or corrosion.

You will not need the help of an expert to figure out foul smells originating from your battery. Once, you have noticed some of the issues, examine the car battery costs in the market to budget for a replacement. If you are looking to troubleshoot your car battery, keep an eye out for these signs of a failing battery.

Check out more posts on our blog and learn cool and interesting facts about your car.