Signs That You Need to Replace Your Car’s Battery
27 Oct, 17
Because all cars rely on a complex system of inter-working parts to function properly, all cars experience issues with various components at one point or another. Symptoms of car issues are overlapping, so it is critical to have an expert opinion and diagnostic procedure performed every time you notice a problem. Battery issues are common, as the battery is one of the components that inevitably needs to be replaced every 4 or 5 years or so. However, depending on your driving habits, some car batteries may last a much shorter or longer period of time. Knowing when to replace your car battery can be tricky, but there are symptoms to look out for that can act as warning signs, indicating your battery may be on its last leg. Waiting until your battery is near death is not a good idea—you can wind up spending money on a roadside service and become stranded and inconvenienced. A much better alternative is paying close attention to your vehicle’s symptoms and preventatively replacing the battery before it completely dies. If you are concerned about your car’s battery life, here are a few symptoms that could prompt you to replace it.
Dashboard Lights and Warnings
When your battery begins to lose its charge to the point of it negatively affecting your vehicle’s functionality, generally certain dashboard lights will illuminate. You may notice that your check-engine light is on, or the battery light is on, indicating that your battery needs to be checked. If your check-engine light turns on, any number of issues could be the cause. It is important to have these diagnostic codes read by a professional before assuming that the problem is related to your car battery. Other issues could contribute to battery problems that are not related to the battery as the direct cause; for instance, if your battery is having trouble keeping a charge, your alternator could be the culprit, not the battery itself.
Frequent Battery Death or Loss of Charge
If you frequently need your battery to be jumped, or your battery seems to die regularly, you should first evaluate your driving habits. Leaving interior lights or headlights on can drain your car battery, or sitting in your parked car listening to the radio for hours could drain the battery as well. In other words, your battery might be in fine condition—you just need to be more careful about how you potentially drain the battery quickly. Furthermore, if the alternator is not properly re-charging the battery as you drive, the issue could be stemming from the alternator. It is possible that your battery is too old, or simply cannot hold a charge, in which case it may be time for a replacement.
Problems Starting the Car
Do you get in your car in the morning, turn the ignition, and say a prayer that your car will start? If you have recent experiences where your engine seems sluggish or slow to start or ignite, then you may need to replace the battery. Because your car’s engine requires power directly from the battery in order to ignite, if the battery cannot hold a charge then you may notice issues starting your car. You may try using a purchased battery-charger overnight, and should have your battery checked by a professional auto mechanic.
Your car’s radio and power-sustained components like windows and seats rely on battery power. If you notice that your windows aren’t working properly, or other issues like dim or dull illumination of interior lights or headlights, then they are likely not getting sufficient power from the battery. If all of these symptoms are present, then your battery is probably the cause.
How We Can Help
At Santa Barbara Autowerks, we are enthusiastic about auto repair and maintenance because we have a passion for the vehicles and clients we work with on a daily basis. We service German imports such as Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, and BMW, because we have a respect for the design and engineering behind such brands. Serving Santa Barbara, CA, with over four decades of combined experience, our master technicians are the most qualified automotive experts in the area. For more information about battery maintenance and replacement, contact us today—we’d be happy to help diagnose any battery issues or other automotive concerns you have.