Your vehicle gives you obvious feedback about the health of its internal components. If you pay attention, you’ll instantly notice when something isn’t quite right. In the case of a failing battery, your vehicle will give you several signs that typically make themselves apparent long before the battery actually dies. While there are certainly extenuating circumstances such as a bad cell or internal failure, for most vehicle owners, the symptoms are similar. At AA Auto Tech, we know how frustrating and inconvenient an unexpected dead battery can be. Pay attention to the following signs, and you can avoid the situation entirely.
Corroded Battery Terminals
Have you visually inspected your battery lately? When you pop your hood and examine the battery, can you see corrosion on the terminals? Corrosion often appears as a blue, fluffy substance or a white film, usually on the positive battery terminal. If you see substantial buildup, that’s a definite sign your battery is nearing its end.
Corrosion develops when your battery gives off acidic fumes or leaks battery acid. As it accumulates, it increases the resistance between the battery terminals and the cables that feed power your vehicle. When you observe corrosion, the first thing you should do is test the voltage of the battery using a multimeter. If the voltage is low, you can try cleaning the terminals to improve performance, but that’s typically a short-term fix. Ideally, you should have a battery replacement at your earliest convenience.
Do your headlights appear less powerful than usual when you drive at night? Unless you rarely wash your vehicle and the body is caked in dirt, your headlights should never be dim. Typically, dimming headlights are due to one of two causes: a dying battery or a failing alternator.
In either case, your vehicle needs a prompt diagnostic. A dying battery is a quick and easy fix, but if your alternator fails, you’ll end up requiring a tow to get the problem checked out. Do yourself a favor and don’t ignore this issue—if you do, you may end up stranded.
Sluggish Engine Ignition
When you attempt to start your vehicle, is the engine slow to turn over? Do you turn your key and the engine cranks but takes a few moments to come to life? Your engine draws power from the battery each time you start your vehicle, so if your battery is close to failure, you’ll almost always hear the classic slow crank. If you’ve noticed your vehicle is starting more sluggishly, it’s time to take it to your auto repair shop for a diagnosis. For safety’s sake, toss a set of jumper cables in your vehicle if you don’t already have them.
Need a Battery Test? Contact AA Auto Tech Today
Do you think your vehicle’s battery is failing? Do you live in or around Hastings, MN? If so, it’s time to pay our team at AA Auto Tech a visit. We’re your full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center, and we’re ready to get your vehicle back on the road safely. When your vehicle’s electrical system is on the blink, we can perform a full diagnostic to locate the source of the issue. You’re in good hands when you visit our shop, so give our team a call today at 651-437-2218 to learn more. You can also reach out to us on our contact page for more information.