Has it been a couple of years since you put a new battery in your car or truck? Or perhaps it’s been longer than that? Then there’s a good chance your vehicle is due for a battery replacement if you want to keep your wheels on the road.
How can you tell if it’s time to put a new battery in your vehicle? Here are the warning signs you’ll want to watch for that indicate your battery is close to calling it quits.
Age of the Battery
As a rule of thumb, vehicle batteries should be changed every two to three years for optimal performance; however, age isn’t the only factor that impacts battery performance. Your local climate and the frequency with which you drive your vehicle also play roles in determining how long your battery will last.
Batteries tend to die faster in very hot or cold climates, so be sure to keep that in mind. And, if you let your vehicle sit for extended periods, its battery will also wear out more rapidly since it rarely has an opportunity to charge (vehicle batteries naturally charge themselves while you drive).
If you can’t remember the last time you installed a new battery in your ride, it’s probably time to get a new one. But before you do, check the battery’s date just to make sure it’s past the recommended replacement period.
For more information on determining a battery’s age, check out 4 Things to Look for in a Used Car Battery.
Dim Interior Lights and Headlights
Have you noticed your vehicle’s headlights or interior are dimmer than usual? If so, that dimming probably isn’t due to a failing bulb or bulbs; instead, it’s likely an indication of a failing battery.
To find out if your battery is indeed in need of replacement, you’ll either need to take it to a shop for testing or use a voltmeter to test it yourself. If you get a reading of fewer than 11.8 volts, your battery needs a charge, or it needs to be replaced.
This should really go without saying, but if you frequently need to jump your battery to get your vehicle to start, it’s time for a replacement. A battery will only hold a charge for so long, and after it exceeds its recommended lifespan, that charge will gradually trickle out any time the vehicle isn’t moving. If your battery dies while you’re at work or overnight in your driveway, it’s safe to assume you need a new one.
If you’ve noticed any power issues, you should check your battery terminals for corrosion. Although it’s normal for terminals to deteriorate over time, corrosion can cause voltage issues. And if the buildup gets bad enough, it may make it appear as though your battery isn’t functioning as well as it should.
You can easily remove any buildup with a baking soda and water solution and a stiff-bristled metal brush. After removing the corrosion, check to see if the power issues you noticed improve. If they don’t, it’s probably in your best interest to get a new battery before your existing one completely dies.
Get a Quality Used Battery at Ace Auto Parts in St. Paul
Think it might be time to replace your vehicle’s battery? Don’t want to fork over $100+ for a brand new one? Then stop by Ace Auto Parts in St. Paul, and we’ll hook you up with a quality used battery for less! We test all of our batteries to ensure performance and offer warranties on all the used auto parts we sell.
Feel free to use our parts search tool to hunt for the battery you need, or give us a call today at 651-717-4299 to learn more.