How Do You Know Your Car Battery is Bad?

Do you start to panic when you rush out the door to work and your car won’t start? You may be worried about how you know your car battery is bad or if there is some other problem lurking under the hood. Understanding the basics of car batteries might help you figure out if your car battery is going bad.

As you already know, without a good battery, your vehicle doesn’t have the power to start, move, or run any accessories. Most car batteries are a “wet-cell” battery, a plastic cube containing sulfuric acid and lead with two terminals. It has two main functions; to store the electrical power generated from the alternator while your car is running and send electrical currents to the engine and other electrical components and accessories.

To assess your battery, check the fluid level in the terminals and the cable connections. If the fluid is too low, your battery cannot hold power or generate power. If the cable connections are loose or corroded, the battery’s electrical current cannot travel from the battery to your vehicle’s electrical components.

Here are three main signs of how do you know your car battery is bad:

  1. The engine cranks but doesn’t start. You can hear the engine trying to start, but there isn’t enough power to actually get it started.
  2. Your engine doesn’t crank at all, and the lights don’t come on. A significant sign of a bad battery could also indicate that the alternator isn’t doing its job of charging the battery.
  3. Your vehicle randomly starts one day then doesn’t the next. If starting is an intermittent problem, two things could be wrong; 1) the battery terminals are loose, broken, or corroded, or 2) something is drawing electrical power from the battery even when the car isn’t running.

An inspection of your battery is quick and easy. Your auto mechanic can quickly determine whether your starting problems are the fault of a bad battery, a failing alternator, or a bad starter. It may simply be time for a car battery replacement.

So how do you know your car battery is bad? Contact our ASE-Certified Technicians at B & L Auto Service in Whitehouse, OH, or Toledo Tire and Auto Care for more information about a car battery replacement and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop is proud to serve vehicle owners in Whitehouse, OH, and the surrounding areas.