How to tell if your car battery is dying

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Car batteries are an underestimated important factor in a car and require routine maintenance in order to work efficiently and correctly.  When the car battery isn’t working how it should be, then it will affect the entire vehicle.

Car batteries do have a lifespan, so if it hasn’t been changed in a few years, then it’s possible you need to replace it.

Here is how to tell if your car battery is dead.

Clicking Sound

When you turn the key in the ignition, if you get a clicking sound, this is one of the most common signs that your battery is weak or dead.  The clicking sound is the starter motor, and means that enough power is not getting to it to start the car.

No Sound

If no sound is made when you turn the key, and the electronics such as dash board lights and radio are not working, that means the battery is completely dead.  If the battery is old it will probably just need replacing, but if it’s a fairly recent battery, it could mean there is a problem with the alternator or the battery cables.

If the car is able to start with jump leads, then this confirms that the problem was a dead battery.

Dimming Lights

If the lights on the interior and exterior of the car dim when you start the engine, this could be a sign that the battery is going dead or is not fully charged. Check the battery connections to make sure nothing can be blocking the current, and there is no corrosion or build-up on the terminals.

Engine Changes Pitch

Your battery may be losing its charge if your car seems to lose power, or the engine changes pitch, when you turn on the air conditioner or heater. These systems rely on power from the battery to operate and if the battery isn’t fully charged then it cannot operate these systems.  This is a good sign that you need to replace your battery.

Loose or Corroded Connections

One main cause of battery problems that gets overlooked is the cable connections.  If the cables are loose or not correctly connected, then the full charge from the battery is not being transmitted to the engine.  Make sure the cables are connected securely, and the wires are in intact and in good shape. Also, look for corrosion on the terminals, which can prevent the vehicle from starting. If the connections are secure and clean, but the car still won't start, this may indicate a dead battery.

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