May 4

What are the signs of needing a new battery?


Picture this: you’re cruising down the road, your favorite song playing on the radio, when suddenly your car sputters and comes to a halt. You’re stranded, all due to a dead battery. To prevent this aggravating situation, it’s crucial to make sure your car’s battery is in top condition.

At Huffines Chevrolet of Plano, we recognize the significance of maintaining a reliable battery for your vehicle’s performance and your peace of mind.

Your vehicle’s battery is vital for keeping your cur running smoothly. However, like any other component, batteries have a finite life span, and you’ll eventually need to replace the one in your vehicle. In this article, we explore some common signs that indicate it’s time for a battery replacement. We also discuss factors that affect the life span of your car battery and the importance of choosing the right one.

The Life Span of a Car Battery

Car batteries typically last about three years, but their life span can vary based on factors such as the climate and your driving habits. Hot weather can lead to battery acid evaporation and increased corrosion, while cold weather can result in thicker engine oil and place additional strain on your car’s battery. Short trips and leaving the car inactive for extended periods can also decrease the battery’s performance.

To avoid being stranded due to a battery issue, have the battery inspected at every oil change and tested annually once it reaches three years of age. Our expert mechanics at our service center can provide a professional assessment and maintenance for your battery.

Common Signs of a Dying or Dead Car Battery

Slow Engine Crank

When you turn the key or press the ignition button, does your engine take longer than usual to start? A slow engine crank is often an early warning sign that your battery is losing power. As time goes on, it will take even longer to start your engine until, one day, it doesn’t start at all.

Illuminated Battery Light

Your car’s electrical system is designed to warn you when there’s an issue with the battery. If the battery light on your dashboard illuminates while driving or when you start the car, it could indicate a problem with your battery or charging system. Don’t ignore this warning sign — have it checked by a professional as soon as possible.

Bloated or Misshapen Battery Case

A damaged battery case is a clear sign your battery needs to be replaced. Extreme temperatures can cause the battery case to swell, crack, or leak. If you notice any of these issues, visit a parts department to purchase a new battery right away.

Battery Fluid Leak

If you see fluid leaking from your battery or notice corrosion around the terminals, this is a strong indication that your battery is dying. Corrosion can create resistance, making it harder for your battery to deliver power to your vehicle. Cleaning the corrosion may temporarily fix the problem, but it’s best to replace the battery to avoid further issues.

Frequent Jump Starts

If you find yourself frequently needing jump starts to get your car running, this could be a sign of a weak or failing battery. While occasional jump starts may not be cause for alarm, consistently having to perform them indicates your battery is no longer holding a charge properly.

Dimming Headlights and Electrical Issues

A dying battery can struggle to provide adequate power to all electrical components in your vehicle. If you notice your headlights are dimmer than usual or accessories such as power windows or the radio are operating slowly or intermittently, a failing battery could be to blame.

Difficulty Starting in Cold Weather

Car batteries tend to lose power more quickly in cold weather conditions. If you have trouble starting your vehicle on cold mornings, it might be a sign that your battery is struggling and should be replaced soon.

Age of the Battery

As previously mentioned, most car batteries have a life span of around three years. Even if you haven’t experienced any of the issues listed above, it’s wise to have your battery tested by a professional once it reaches three years of age. Regular preventive maintenance can help ensure you’re not caught off guard by a dead battery.

Choosing the Right Battery for Your Car

When selecting a new battery, there are several factors to consider:

  • Battery type: Batteries are either conventional lead-acid or the more advanced absorbent glass mat (AGM) design. While AGM batteries are more expensive, they offer improved performance and longevity.
  • Physical size: The group number (e.g., Group 24) defines the battery’s physical size, hold-down configuration, and terminal location. Make sure you choose a battery that fits your vehicle’s specifications.
  • Cold cranking amps (CCA): This industry-standard rating measures how much electrical power a battery can provide at zero degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a colder climate, you’ll need a higher CCA rating to start your engine reliably.

When purchasing a new battery, always buy from a high-volume seller with fresh stock, and look for an extended full-replacement warranty. Our parts department at Huffines Chevrolet of Plano offers a wide selection of car batteries, so you’re sure to find the right one for your vehicle. Our knowledgeable staff can help guide you through the process of selecting and purchasing a new battery that meets your needs.

Stay Charged and Ready to Go

A healthy car battery is crucial for your vehicle’s performance and your peace of mind on the road. By staying alert to the signs of a dying or dead battery, you can avoid being stranded and keep your car running smoothly.

Don’t wait until it’s too late — if you’re worried about your car’s battery, contact our service department for professional assessment and maintenance. Our experienced team will ensure you have the right battery for your vehicle so you can stay charged and ready to go wherever life takes you.


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