There are countless reasons why your car battery might stop working. Usually, a driver can tell when their battery charge is running low because the ignition will turn over, but very slowly. Additionally, if you turn your key and nothing happens, you likely have a dead battery.
Although there are ways to charge your vehicle’s battery, it is important to know when a complete battery replacement needs to happen. Failing to replace the battery when necessary can lead to dangerous situations, like being stranded at night or on the side of a busy highway.
Here are three signs that indicate your vehicle battery might need replacing:
Battery corrosion builds up over time, especially when you have had the same battery for many years. Corrosion begins when a combination of sulfuric acid and hydrogen gases that vent from the battery when your car is running.
As these chemicals mix with other gases under the hood, corrosion builds up around the battery terminals. The area beneath your car’s hood can exceed 150 degrees, so the extreme temperatures make it the right setting for battery corrosion.
Fortunately, cleaning corrosion is easy. Auto part stores carry battery cleaning solutions that you can purchase. Additionally, a combination of baking soda (sodium carbonate) and water could also do the trick.
Keep in mind that a small wire brush is the best tool for thoroughly cleaning corrosion off the battery terminals. Always refer to your owner’s manual before cleaning your battery or making repairs to your vehicle. While corrosion is easy to get rid of, it is important to keep an eye out for signs that your battery needs replacing.
2.) Extreme Weather and Climates
Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, extreme temperatures and fluctuations can affect your car battery. For instance, in hot weather, temperatures beneath the hood can reach 150 degrees or higher. This causes the evaporation of battery fluid. Additionally, it can result in battery overcharging. This inevitably can lead to a situation where the battery malfunctions more frequently over time.
On the other hand, cold weather causes your vehicle to become more sluggish, especially where the battery is concerned. The efficiency of the battery drops by as much as 20% when the weather drops to 32 degrees. The lower temperatures go, the less efficient your battery becomes.
A vehicle’s battery recharges when the vehicle itself is in motion or running. During the winter months, the recharge rate of the battery decreases. As a result, having your headlights, heater, or windshield wipers on increases the battery load and reduces the recharge rate even further.
3.) Old or Poor Condition
Outside of other difficulties, car batteries have a finite amount of time when they operate at maximum capacity. If you begin to notice a clicking sound when you turn your key, dimmer than normal headlights, or a slow crank when you start your car, you will likely need to replace your battery.
If you suspect your car battery needs to be replaced, give Cincinnatti Ford a call at (859) 341-6603 to schedule an appointment!