Car trouble can completely ruin your day. For some failing components, there are warning signs leading up to complete failure that can help you identify the issue and have it repaired before being stranded. Your vehicle relies heavily on the battery, and thankfully, there are a number of warning signs you should watch for to help you know when it's time to have it replaced.
Slow engine crank
When you start your car, all of the energy required to crank the engine is coming from your battery. If you notice that it's difficult to start your engine, and it seems to crank slower than usual, it's likely due to an old, worn out battery. You likely won't get much time after noticing this, as the next time you go to start your car, it may not have enough juice to crank at all, so be sure to have it checked immediately. If your battery is too weak to crank the engine at all, you'll hear a rapid clicking sound.
Your vehicle will do its best to warn you directly that something is wrong by illuminating the warning lights on your dashboard. If you see the small battery light come on, it means your battery isn't supplying power properly. This doesn't necessarily mean the battery is to blame, however. There may be a problem with the alternator, which replenishes the battery as you drive, or another part of the electrical system. If the battery light on your dashboard comes on, have your electrical system inspected to find the root of the problem.
In some scenarios, you can tell there's a problem with your vehicle's battery simply by looking at it. If your battery has been subjected to extreme temperatures, the flat side of the case can swell or bulge. This typically causes it to discharge as well, leaving you with a completely dead battery. In this case, jumping it will have no effect. Your only course of action is to replace the battery. To keep this from happening, don't leave your car sitting in the driveway for long periods of time without driving it, especially in the winter, or the hottest parts of summer.
When's the last time you replaced your car's battery? If it's been more than three years, the problem may simply be that it's reached the end of its lifespan. Depending on the type of battery you get, it's only expected to last 2 to 3 years, or five at the most. This can fluctuate greatly based on how much stress you put on your battery and the conditions you typically store your car. Once your battery is more than two years old, it's a good idea to have it tested. A professional mechanic should be able to give you an estimate on how much life it has left.
If your battery is showing signs that it's nearing the end of its life, or your vehicle is having other issues, call us at Benzin Motor Works.
We are a specialty shop providing expert repairs and maintenance on BMWs, Mercedes, and Hummer H1s.