Imagine this. You’re running late for work. You finally make it to your car and turn the key in the ignition only to realize your battery is dead. It’s a strong, sinking feeling. We know, we’ve been there. You not only have to determine how you’ll get to work, but you’re probably left wondering how you could have a dead battery when you didn’t forget to turn off your lights or electrical system.
First things first. Before accepting that your battery is dead, double check that it is properly secured in your vehicle, and that all cables and terminals are clean and connected tightly. A battery may still have life left to give if it stopped working because of a weak connection. And if you need help with jump starting your vehicle, read our step-by-step instructions here.
A common misconception about modern car batteries is that they’ll give you plenty of warning before they give out. While it is true that vehicles used to start slower and slower before a battery finally died, most modern batteries have evolved to work at full capacity until they just can’t anymore. Though it’s nice that batteries today function longer than they used to, you have to look for smaller signs that it may be on the fritz.
Common ways to tell that your battery is about to go out include:
It’s also important to note that if your car won’t start, the battery may not be the only culprit. Problems starting can also be an indicator of a bad starter or alternator.
Your starter is what actually cranks your engine. When a starter isn’t working properly, the engine may start with difficulty, or won’t start at all. Starter issues may stem from electrical or mechanical failure, or from it breaking down completely.
Additionally, your alternator is responsible for two important tasks involved in powering your vehicle. First, it recharges your battery while your car is running, and second, it also works with your battery to operate integral electrical components, such as headlights, windshield wipers, and more. A damaged alternator can cause erratic electrical functions or prevent your engine from running.
Normally if you have a bad alternator (versus a dead battery), your engine may still start, but will die quickly and often because your alternator is no longer maintaining a charge. If you aren’t sure what is causing your starting problems, we can help.
Don’t get left stranded, relying on a Good Samaritan to help you jump your car. If you’ve noticed your battery is on its way out, let us get you a new, quality battery, so you can get where you need to go reliably. Book an appointment today.