How To Check Your Car Battery without a Meter

A failing battery is usually the number one cause of car-starting problems. To avoid disruptions, you should know when the battery is weak and needing replacement. You can do this by connecting a multimeter to the battery to give a voltage reading. But in the absence of a multimeter, you can still easily determine if your battery is weak by taking note of the following signs.

  1. Weak lights. If the lights are dim, chances are great that your battery is nearing retirement. Erratic illumination, such as turning from dim to bright depending on the car speed, also indicates a weak battery. If you observe such changes in the lights, it is time to buy a new battery.
  2. Dashboard warnings. The dashboard ammeter can tell you if the battery is weakening. The ammeter will usually flash a battery picture that indicates low battery or battery problems. Take note of this warning when driving.
  3. Starter’s click sound. When you turn the ignition on and hear a click sound, it is a good warning sign that your battery is wearing out. The click sound results when the battery delivers insufficient load of electricity to the starter’s solenoid.
  4. Incomplete recharging. You know you have to replace your battery when it does not fully recharge, thus needing frequent recharging. Like any other thing, car battery is also subject to wear, and this usually results in its inability to complete a full charge. 
  5. Slow start. Because weak battery does not supply a steady amount of electricity, your car may have moments of slow startups, requiring you to wait for a few minutes before it starts. Slow starts are usually unexpected. In some cases, days of perfect startup are followed by a slow start. In worse cases, you may have to push the car to make it start. The worst comes when the car doesn’t roar to life at all.
  6. Inferior car performance. The electricity supplied by the battery is necessary to ensure the power performance of all the other parts of the car. Therefore, if certain parts, devices, and gadgets are not in full working order, the battery might be signaling weakness. You can observe this from air conditioner, clock, and door locks, among other things.
  7. Battery damage. If your battery incurred damages following an accident, you have to immediately replace it. Especially if the damages are on the body, a damaged battery is perilous. It may cause chemical leaks that may put both you and the car at great risk.

A battery can last three to five years. But to avoid going through startup problems, it is practical to anticipate wearing out signs so that you can effectively prepare.  Although cost is a major holdup, buying a new one even before the battery shows signs of wearing out should be prioritized. In the end, it saves you from unwarranted troubles and frustrations. If the discussed signs are observed from your car, immediately consult an expert mechanic to verify your observations and assist you in changing your car battery.


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