Batteries are used to store electrical energy which is vital in performing various functions in vehicles. Such duties include starting the vehicle, providing power for lighting during the night, the indication of direction, and providing power for sensors and car signals. However, batteries do not last forever; hence they should be replaced after their lifespans come to an end. Batteries are essential devices in vehicles and understanding how long they last and what can be done to extend their lifespans is equally crucial. The how long does battery last question does not have a definite answer because vehicles operate under different conditions which makes their batteries to have different lifespans.
However, according to research, a car battery should last for an average of three to five years. Batteries operating in vehicles that are used in warm areas tend to have shorter lifespans compared to those serving in cars that are used in cold regions. The difference in lifespans is brought about by the fact that batteries in warmer areas die faster because of water loss and sulfation which reduces their lifespans. In this article, I will address the key indicators that will let someone know that the life of the car battery is almost coming to an end.
1. When the Check Engine Light is On
As the battery life comes to an end, the car is designed to detect this. Once the electro-mechanical system of the vehicle senses that the battery is almost dying, the check engine light usually indicates this when the engine is on. The check engine light should be a message that the car battery should be replaced as soon as possible. However, other engine issues might trigger the check engine light meaning that one should visit a qualified mechanic for a checkup.
2. When the Fluid Level of the Battery Drops
Another sign that the battery is dying is when the level of battery fluid falls. When the fluid level falls below the level of cell plates, the battery should be replaced immediately so that the car can continue moving. A drop in liquid level exposes the battery cells to intense mechanical vibrations which destroy them in the long run.
3. When the Battery Terminals are Corroded
Car batteries require concentrated sulphuric acid to operate. Sulphuric acid is corrosive, and any leakages from the battery compartment would corrode the terminals. Therefore, corroded terminals are signs that the battery is leaking and hence it should be replaced. A battery that is leaking is very dangerous because the sulphuric acid can damage other delicate parts of the engine. Such batteries should be replaced as soon as possible.
4. When the Engine Crank is Slower
Car batteries are most critical especially when the engine is starting. When the battery is dying, the car will start experiencing ignition problems that will make the engine struggle to start. Some cars usually struggle to start during cold weathers. However, when the issue is persistent, this is an indicator that the battery is dying and should be replaced immediately.
5. When the Headlight Get Dimmer Than Normal
If one notices that the headlights are brighter when driving the car but dimmer when the vehicle stops, chances are very high that the battery has weakened. The headlights are usually brighter when the engine is running because they get more power from the alternator. However, when the car is not moving, the lights receive power directly from the weak battery; hence becoming dimmer.
In a nutshell, understanding how long does battery last is vital so that relevant measures are taken to replace the battery in advance before it runs flat while driving. Additionally, understanding that batteries also have lifespans is essential so that one starts preparing to purchase a new battery earlier enough before the engine fails to start altogether.