The Ultimate How-To Guide to Knowing if Your Car Has a Low Battery

attaching jumper cables to a car battery

How many times has this happened to you: you go to start your car, and your car doesn't turn on. You're now stranded and need a jump start. And just your luck, this either happens when you're far from home or it's really late at night.

A dead battery is never fun to deal with. But many car owners don't know your car shows obvious signs of a low battery.

If you know the dread of handling a low battery, you should identify common signs it's time for a replacement battery.

Here are common signs it's time for a new car battery. When you notice any of these signs, immediately give your car attention.

Engine Makes a Weird Noise

When you turn on your car enough, you become used to the sound it makes.

So when your car makes an unfamiliar sound, it's pretty alarming. Never hesitate when your car makes an odd noise. If you notice a cranking sound or another unfamiliar noise, take your car to a mechanic.

What if your car doesn't make a weird noise but the car stalls? If your car doesn't start immediately, this is another sign of a low battery.

If you don't fix this issue, your car won't turn on. But a service can come and replace your battery. Find out more here.

Check Engine Light Comes On

This is the classic sign your battery is probably dead. Never ignore the check engine light. This light is installed to signal your car needs repairs and gives you plenty of notice.

There are mechanics who are willing to check your engine for free. In best case scenarios, the fix is minor. But this light can signal an issue or a dead battery.

Low Battery Fluid

How often do you pull up your car's hood and take a look inside? You probably notice there's a translucent area. This is the gateway to your car's battery. You can also look here and view your car's battery levels.

If the fluid is below the lead plates, it's time to bring your car to the mechanic.

Battery Case is Bloated

Looking back at the battery case, do you notice it gets bloated? This isn't caused by a dead battery -- it's actually caused by the heat. But the heat can make your battery weaker.

During the hot summer months, keep your eye on the battery case. If you notice it swells, take your car into the mechanic.

Battery Leak

Back to the battery fluids, there are times when the battery leaks. This happens around the cable connections. You can easily see gunk build-up in this area. Fortunately, this is an easy fix for any mechanic.

Prevent a Low Battery So Your Battery Doesn't Die

If your battery is old or you suspect issues, you should keep on the lookout for any signs of a low battery. Common signs include battery leakage, low fluids, and odd noises.

Oftentimes, a check engine light is the first warning your car battery is going downhill.

If you experience any of these symptoms, take your car to a mechanic.

For more DIY car advice, visit our resources.


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