How to Recognize a Dying Battery before It’s Too Late

Just because the weather is warming up does not mean that you want to get stranded because your battery’s dead. We can help you prevent getting stuck in your driveway or at work after quitting time by recognizing when your battery needs a charge or a change before it’s dead.

Signs and Symptoms that Your Battery Is Dying

Most car batteries do not suddenly run out of “juice.” Attentive drivers can spot subtle signs that battery power is diminishing, such as:

  • Slow engine crank. Usually when you put in the key and turn to start the ignition, your car fires up right away. If you hear a “rurring” or churning noise, your car is experiencing ignition difficulties, and your battery may be the problem.
  • Intermittent electrical outages. Especially upon startup, if your car’s clock is off, the radio cuts out and/or your notice programmed radio stations “disappear,” your battery may not have sufficient charge to back up your infotainment settings.
  • Swollen battery case. While you’re spring cleaning and refilling your wiper fluid reservoir, you may notice that your battery case has fattened up over the winter. That expansion is the result of exposure to extreme heat (or a freeze/thaw), and that amount of heat is only generated when the chemical reaction that happens in your battery is not properly contained. A breach in the integrity of the battery case usually precedes a type of battery death that cannot be fixed by a charge.
  • Corrosion on battery nodes. If you notice whitish “gunk” on the battery where the cables connect, there’s a leak. Removing the corrosion may allow your car to start and operate like normal. However, removing the corrosion doesn’t fix the leak, so it may build up again. Depending on the age of your battery, it may be advisable to simply replace it.

Of course, for some cars, there is a not-so-subtle sign of a dying battery—the dashboard indicator. Many modern makes and models have a battery-shaped light that illuminates when your battery charge is low. If you see the light on, get the charge checked (which you can do at most auto parts stores or at Quanz Auto Body).

What to Do for a Dying Battery

There are two possible remedies for a dying battery:

  1. Recharge
  2. Replace

Which fix is possible depends on the reason for your battery’s diminished performance. If seasonal temperature fluctuations are the likely cause, then a recharge, or “jump,” will probably suffice. But, if your battery is leaking or old, then replacement is the only way to ensure your battery is not going to “poop out” at the worst possible moment.

You do not have to worry that you are only staving off a problem or wasting money on an unnecessary battery replacement. Quanz Auto Body will determine what battery-boosting strategy your car needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment or visit one of our locations for a quick battery reading.