Keeping your eyes on the condition of your battery will promote the overall health of your vehicle and reduce the likelihood of other mechanical problems arising.
We’ve all been there – you put your keys in the ignition and instead of a smooth engine kick you’re left with no crank and no start. This is quite often the result of a dead battery, and it can happen when you least expect it.
The typical battery life expectancy ranges from 3 to 5 years, however it’s important to look out for the warning signs and potential factors that could lead to a shorter lifespan. Here are three tell-tale signs that it’s time to consult the condition of your battery with a mechanic:
1) You've been jumping your car a lot
If turning on your car has been an intermittent problem and you’ve had to jump-start it more than three times in a single week, it’s time to change your battery. Using jumper cables is harsh on your vehicle and it can drain the battery quickly, and jump-starting multiple times without getting your battery replaced can have serious effects on the overall condition of your car. Not only will your battery eventually go bad, but it could also rot the alternator and starter. Instead of having to drop a ton of money on three new parts, consult with a mechanic as soon as possible to ensure that the rest of the vehicle stays healthy.
2) Something doesn't smell right
A battery that is close to dying will sometimes vent gas that contains sulfuric acid and release a smell like rotten eggs. If you lift the hood of your car up and smell this scent, take your car to a local mechanic for inspection. The acid released from the battery casing can eat away at other engine parts and cause corrosion on the inside of your vehicle. If this is left for too long, be prepared to drop a ton of cash on repairs.
3) Your driving habits and the environment
Extreme weather conditions and sudden switches in temperature could shorten the lifespan of your battery. Freezing cold and boiling hot climates can either overheat or freeze your battery and cause sudden drainage. If you are driving in these conditions, take frequent breaks to let your engine rest and be prepared in case of an emergency. Driving frequently for short periods of time is another factor that can drain your battery. Try to avoid trips that take less than 20 minutes on the road, especially if you have an older battery, or else it could drain more quickly than you presumed.
Keeping your eyes on the condition of your battery will promote the overall health of your vehicle and reduce the likelihood of other mechanical problems arising. Use your instincts, be mindful of your environment and always be prepared in the case of an emergency.