Your vehicle’s battery is something that you don’t think about much until it’s time to replace it. Many drivers don’t realize that it’s getting close to replacement time, however, until they wake up one morning and can’t get their car to start. By then, it’s too late. The battery is officially dead.
This is most inconvenient, especially on those cold Illinois mornings when you’re likely already running behind. But there are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid the surprise of a dead battery.
Car Battery Basics:
- Corrosion observed on the battery should be addressed right away. This can happen over time, and cleaning away the debris may actually help your battery perform much better without replacement. However, it’s worth having a pro do this to ensure the corrosion is not a symptom of a bigger problem.
- Extreme weather can take a huge toll on the lifespan of the battery, so be sure to have it checked by a trusted mechanic before winter hits to ensure that the scorching summer heat hasn’t taxed it completely.
- If a vehicle is parked without driving for long periods of time, your battery can die sooner than it would with regular drives. Short drives can also cause older batteries to die sooner than a newer battery because there isn’t as much time for it to recharge.
- Slow engine turn over can be a sign that your battery is nearing the end. Flickering or dim dash lights can also indicate that the battery is losing capacity to kick start your car with full power.
- The average battery lasts 5-7 years, but this can vary greatly based on the quality of car battery purchased and how you drive. After 4 years from purchase, keep an eye out for performance as a good rule of thumb.
If you’re concerned about the condition of your car battery, bring it in to a local shop and the technicians can quickly run a test. While there’s never exactly a convenient time to have to replace the battery, you can avoid an unfortunate surprise by keeping an eye out for hints that the end is near.