If you’ve lived in Saskatchewan long enough, you probably know that your car battery will typically last somewhere between 3 to 5 years. Sometimes a little more. Sometimes a little less than that.
What this means is that you should actively be on the lookout for warning signs to check your car battery health every 2-3 years. But what are some of those signs? Here are 6 things to look out for.
1. Slow or no start while cranking
In an ideal situation, whenever one turns the key to start their car, they can hear a chirping sound that the starter makes before it lets the engine take over and begin running.
That chirping sound is called ‘cranking’. If your car battery is dead or about to die, you’ll either not hear the cranking or experience a very slow, staggered crank when you turn the key to start your car.
This is one of the most common signs that will tell you that your car battery needs to be checked.
2. Clicking sound during ignition
Another very common sign of a dead car battery is if you start to hear a clicking or grinding sound whenever you try to start your car.
Generally, during extremely cold weather, there’s a chance that you hear the clicking or grinding more often since it takes time for the engine to crank to life.
However, if you’re experiencing such sounds even during normal weather or after your car has heated up sufficiently, it’s a sign that you need to get your battery checked.
CAA PRO TIP: You can check the health of your battery by looking at its voltage range. Anything below 12 volts means that your battery could be weak and might require changing.
3. Engine starts but then stops
Once you start your car and the engine cranks up, it should keep idling till the time you switch gears and start driving. However, instead of idling, if your engine stops, your battery might have a problem.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to replace your battery since its charge was good enough to turn over the engine, it still poses an issue since it’s failing to send consistent signals.
4. Headlights are dim or completely out
This might be one of the easiest signs that point toward a dead or weak battery.
If you see that your headlights are dim while your engine is idling but they start to brighten up as soon as you press the accelerator and rev up your engine a bit, you most probably have a weak battery.
On the other hand, if your headlights fail to turn on completely, and you’re certain that they’re not burnt out, then it’s clear that you have a dead car battery.
5. Check those dashboard lights
There might be a lot of lights on your car’s dashboard, but two of the most important ones that you must always keep an eye out for are the battery light and the check engine light.
If you see that your battery light is on, it’s a direct indication that something is wrong with your battery.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a dead battery as it could just be a loose terminal connection or perhaps an indication that the battery isn’t sufficiently charged.
If your check engine light is on, it could mean a lot of things, which include issues due to a faulty battery.
6. Something smells like rotten eggs
If you smell something funny when you lift the hood of your car, don’t ignore it.
When your car battery is about to die, it will sometimes release a gas that smells like rotten eggs. This is due to the battery releasing sulfuric acid, which can cause significant damage if not checked on time.
It’s important that at times like these you do not touch the liquid as it could be dangerous. Instead, take your car to a mechanic immediately and get your battery tested or replaced.
Here’s how CAA can help you
Being stranded because of a dead battery is not a big problem if you’re safe and secure in your home. However, if you’re stalled on the road or on a deserted highway, it could be a different story.
CAA Saskatchewan offers you the most convenient way to get back on the road. Being a member, you will always have peace of mind with 24/7 roadside assistance, 365 days a year.
But that’s not all. Being a CAA member also allows you to take advantage of CAA Battery Service.
Through this service, our trusted CAA technicians in Regina and Saskatoon will test your battery in the comforts of your own driveway and install a new one if needed. No need to make an appointment or get towed.
And lastly, if you live in Regina and its surrounding areas, be sure to check out Regina Battery Depot – your one-stop shop for all your battery needs. As a CAA member, you can save 10% on all regular-priced merchandise.
Join CAA today to go that extra mile and commute with confidence!