6 SIGNS YOUR BATTERY NEEDS TO BE REPLACED
A dead vehicle battery can leave you stranded in unfortunate situations, but it doesn’t always happen suddenly. Even if you don’t have a battery light to alert you of any problems, there are six signs your car will give you to say your battery is no longer holding a charge.
1. The headlights dim when idling.
When your battery starts to go, all of the electrical components of your car will be affected. If your headlights dim while idling and brighten when accelerating, your battery isn’t holding a charge anymore. In addition to checking your battery, have your vehicle's charging system, your alternator, tested with a voltmeter to be sure that it won’t be a problem again in the near future.1
2. The engine is slow to turn over.
If your car cranks a few times and sounds reluctant to start, a bad battery could be the culprit. A sluggish start could also happen as a result of bad wiring, a worn starter, or malfunctioning alternator, so it’s important to check each of these when you take a look at your battery.2
3. The Dashboard Lights Flicker
Remember that your battery is responsible for the electrical components of your car, including the interior and dashboard lights. If you notice any flickering, be sure to check your battery before you end up stranded.3 Similar to dimming headlights, these flickering lights are a sure indication of a failing car battery.
4. The windows roll slowly.
Rolling your windows up and down while the engine is on may be easy, but to put your battery to the test, try rolling them up or down when the engine is off. If they are slow to respond, your battery is struggling to power them properly. Physical resistance like a blockage could also be the culprit, so be sure to look for additional signs listed in this article as well.4
5. Excessive corrosion is visible.
Pop the hood of the vehicle and take a look at the top of the battery. That powdery white or blue substance at the connection points is called corrosion and while some is okay, excessive corrosion can negatively affect the battery’s performance and lifespan. Corrosion is caused by a chemical reaction between the gasses and metals under the hood. The fix could be as simple as carefully cleaning the corrosion off, but you should still have the battery checked by a professional in case the problem is more serious like an undercharging system.5
6. Your battery is old.
The length of your battery life can be affected by weather, driving habits, trip length, and the type of car you drive, but the average vehicle battery has a lifespan of four years. Even if you are one of the fortunate car owners who will get many more years out of their batteries, start incorporating a battery check into your regular car maintenance schedule after four years.6
Testing your battery at every oil change can help you avoid any surprises, like being stranded in a parking lot. Even between oil changes, you can request a free battery test at many automotive parts stores. When it’s time to replace your battery, find a shop near you that accepts the Synchrony Car CareTM credit card and take advantage of promotional financing* on purchases of $199 or more.
* Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. See merchant or mysynchrony.com/carcare for promotional financing details and merchant locations.
1. How to Repair Auto Headlights That Dim When Idle It Still Runs
2. Why is My Car Slow to Start? Blue Devil Products
3. What does it mean when my dash lights flicker and pulse? Sun Auto Service
4. Why Does My Car Window Go Down Slowly? It Still Runs
6. How often should I replace my car battery?. How Stuff Works
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