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7 Signs Your Car Battery Is About To Die And Needs To Be Replaced (or reconditioned)

With no battery, your car simply isn’t functional.  Among the most inconvenient things in life is when your car battery suddenly dies unexpectedly!

But the good news is… there are several ways to know if your vehicle battery is on the verge of dying and has to be replaced.   In this article we will go over 7 signs your car battery is about to die and needs to be replaced or reconditioned.

Before we begin talking these 7 critical signs, it’s important to remember that if experiencing problems with your car battery, be sure to check the battery connections and wires first because occasionally a faulty connection can seem to be a bigger problem.

1) Slow Cranking – When turning the key, if your vehicle turns over for longer than normal or takes some time to”catch,” it often is because the battery charge is low.  While the newcomer can be the culprit, most of the time the battery is to blame.  If this is happening regularly, it’s a fantastic sign your car battery is going bad and it may be time to replace your battery or recondition it.

2) Assess Engine Light/Battery Warning Light – The check engine light is always a good indication of something off with your car or truck.  The battery power being weak will trip the check engine light.  If your check engine light is on, make certain to check the battery power level.   Additionally, newer cars have a battery light, similar to the check engine light. This is only going to light up if there’s an issue with the battery.

3) Age – A car battery lifespan, in perfect conditions, is about five decades.  

4) Electrical Component Issues –  One sure indication your battery is beginning to fade is if electric components are struggling to operate (such as lighting, windshield wipers, power locks, and windows).

6) Smell –  If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs under your hood, then this is frequently a symptom of leaking battery acid. This may damage other engine components if not addressed immediately.  If you become aware of this, you may either bring your own battery into a store and have them look at it or you may use our reconditioning measures and do it yourself.

7) Multiple Jump starts Needed – if you’re having to jump your battery to get your car started more than three times each week, it is time to replace the battery or recondition it.  Excessive jumping can also damage other systems, so it’s ideal to have the battery replaced or correct the battery yourself.

Regular maintenance is important to extend the life of your car battery (along with your vehicle).  If your car battery is showing any of these 7 signs, know that your battery needs to be replaced or reconditioned before your car no more runs.


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Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But many men and women find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

Why is this?

And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?

Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this report.

We’ll show you why car batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.

We’ll also offer you 8 easy tips and tricks to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anyone will have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.

However, most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…

Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.

A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most dependable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.

Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used gently.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to keep for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but have to be watched.

Around this time, you can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it before a problem arises (like being unable to start your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and rust free.   One of the initial problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of rust around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and many batteries are replaced due to a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is readily treated simply by pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.   Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car.   When the vehicle is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.

Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery for a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly utilized in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery cables.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit.   This will ruin the battery — and even cause damage to your car whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help optimize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself.   Just be certain it fits your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are usually made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing proper ventilation.

Tip 5: Fully charge your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or interchange batteries if you have to).   Your car battery drains even when the car is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use.   They do it by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for some time.  They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge.   The most important thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll greatly increase the life of your battery.  Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.  

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).   If your alternator is bad it will results in ineffective recharging of your battery and dramatically shorten your battery’s lifespan.