There are two types of people: those who understand the warning signs of a failing car battery and take preventative measures, and those who end up calling a tow truck from the grocery store parking lot when their battery finally dies.
The exact timeframe a car battery depends on a few factors, but the average lifespan of a car battery is between 2 to 5 years. Your environment can shorten the battery’s lifespan, as well as the condition of the car. Harsh winters and harsh heat cause it to fail sooner. Understanding the common symptoms of a failing car battery can prepare you for the inevitable.
Slow Starting Engine: If it takes the battery longer to create a charge for the starter, your battery might be failing. It may start slow, but you’ll find yourself waiting a few seconds before the engine turns over.
Dimming Lights and Electrical Issues: The battery powers all the electrical components of your car. While you may not notice a change to the way your car turns over, you might notice your dashboard dimming.
Check Engine Light: The check engine light can mean anything from a loose gas cap to a faulty catalytic converter. As soon as possible, you should bring your battery into a mechanic to see if the issue is caused by a failing battery or something more serious.
A Rotten Smell: Damage to your battery can cause the battery to leak gas, which will give off a rotten egg smell when you open the hood.
Corroded Connectors: Battery corrosion is when the metal connectors of your battery are covered in a white, ashy substance. These can lead to voltage issues and trouble starting your vehicle.
Misshapen Battery Case: Especially in Minnesota, extreme heat and cold can cause the battery to swell and sometimes crack. If your battery is a shape other than a rectangle, you should consider getting a new one.
Your battery stays charged by reusing the energy created from driving. If your car sits in the driveway for too long, you risk killing it. Similarly, lots of short trips don’t give the battery enough time to fully charge and will put a strain on your battery.
You’re likely aware that leaving your lights on while the car is shut off will drain your battery. You must then jump-start your battery to get going again, but it doing this repeatedly puts a strain on the battery. Another thing that adds stress to your battery is continually plugging in many things, like your phone, GPS, or other devices. The more things you plug into your car while driving, the faster your battery will die.
Mimbach Fleet’s Automotive department carries batteries, tools, parts, and more for your vehicle. To find out more, stop by our store, or give us a call at (320) 252-1682.