How Do I Know if My Car Battery is Dying?

It’s a crisp November morning when you’re walking to your car.

The piercing cold puts an extra spring in your step.  Pulling your keys from your pocket, you eagerly push the unlock button while silently thanking the person who invented car heating systems.

Before you’re even in the frigid driver’s seat, your key is in the ignition.  With a relieved exhalation, you turn it.  Only, nothing happens.  No engine roar.  No blast of air coming from your vents.

Just the faintest of clicking noises.

That’s when you realize the awful truth.  You have a dead battery.

But how were you to know that your battery was about to die?  No lights came on in the dashboard.  The car seemed to be running fine.  Is there a way to know whether or not your battery is dying before it happens?

As a matter of fact, there is.

How to Know if Your Car Battery is Dying:

1. It Won’t Start and You Know You Didn’t Leave Anything On

A lot of times, people kill their own car batteries by leaving a light on.  It happens to the best of us.  Usually though, you can figure out if that’s what you did.  If you didn’t leave a light on, and your engine won’t turn over, your battery is probably dead.

You can charge it long enough to get it running, but once you turn that engine off, it probably won’t start up again without another charge.

2. It’s Been a While Since You’ve Changed It (Or you Never Have)

How long do car batteries last?  About 3-5 years.  Maybe longer if you’re lucky.  But just to be on the safe side, if you’re having trouble starting your car in the morning, and your battery is over 2.5 years in age, you might want to get that tested.

3. It Takes a While Before it Turns Over

If you’re car has been starting, but seems to take a little while to do so, your battery could be going.

Could It Be Something Else?

If you’re experiencing a problem with your car starting, or you’ve recently had to jump it, there’s a good change that it is the battery.  But it’s also possible that there’s another cause.

The best way to know for sure is to get it tested.

Just take your car down to a local auto shop (like Dokmo, your location for auto repair Northfield, MN) and have them check it.  Most include this service during an oil change.

Generally speaking, dying batteries are easy to spot.  Don’t get caught out in the cold.  Have your battery checked today.

Posted in Car Tips, dokmo community.

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