Car battery death can be a huge inconvenience and a problem when you have someplace important to go. Knowing the signs of a failing battery can help you take care of the issue quickly to get yourself back on the road. These are three signs your car battery is slowly dying and what to do if it happens to you.
1. Your car clicks when you start it.
Your battery might be dying if you hear yourself saying, "The car clicks when I start it." The clicking noise means the battery does not have enough power to crank the car.
Such situations usually occur when drivers accidentally leave their lights or another accessory on overnight. However, the issue could mean the battery is legitimately losing some of its power and deteriorating. Batteries are typically only designed to last three to five years. Therefore, you can suspect a dying battery if you’ve had it that long and it’s out of warranty.
You’ll need a fresh charge to get your car up and running. Ask someone for a jump, or use a powerful jump box that has enough juice to give you a blast. Be sure to drive the car for about 20 minutes once you get it started, so the alternator can recharge it. You should be good to go unless you also have an issue with the alternator.
2. Your car radio wont turn on.
A moody car radio is another issue that usually occurs when a car battery is on its way out the door. Your car radio may not turn on when you want it to because the battery can’t handle feeding power to all the accessories at once. Some may work, and some may not.
Additionally, you might notice a moody battery if you have a dying alternator. Alternators can make many strange things happen. Lights can come on when they shouldn’t, and other lights and accessories can fail to activate.
The result of a bad alternator is always a dead battery because the battery gets no charge from a malfunctioning alternator. You can use a battery and alternator tester to check to see which item needs help. Alternatively, you could take a jump and see if your car starts again after driving it. If not, you most likely have a problem with the alternator.
3. Your lights are dim.
Your battery could be dying if your lights are dim, but that issue is present when alternators fault and fail, too. Consider the age of your battery as well as its condition. Check for corrosion, loose terminal connections, and other issues. Also, you can take your vehicle to an auto parts store that may give you a free battery and alternator check.
Don’t be alarmed if you go outside to find that your battery acts weird. Focus on getting to where you need to go and having someone diagnose the issue. The first step is to see if the battery will take a charge.
The long-standing experts at Madison Muffler and Auto repair can help you if you have an issue with your battery or alternator. Fifty years of service in the industry should give you all the confidence you need to make the call.