Signs Of A Bad Car Battery And When To Replace

Cars are often susceptible to wear out after some years of use. Luckily, you can easily notice when your vehicle has problems. Hence, you can fix it immediately.

Nonetheless, it can be hard to identify the root cause of the problem in most instances. One of the most common problems faced by car owners is a failed car battery.

How do you know your car has a bad battery? Normally, car batteries give warning signs when they are about to die. Below are some of the signs that show you have a bad car battery.

Signs of a bad car battery

An old battery:

Old car batteries do not perform at their maximum potential. They are more prone to failing. An old battery tends to wear out due to frequent usage.

So, if you have an old battery, it may be time to replace it. An old battery will always have multiple discharging cycles.

When purchasing a car, it is always advisable to ask the manufacturer the expiry date of the battery. Doing this will help you know when to replace the car battery.

The engine is slow to start:

If your car tends to take long before it starts, there are high chances you could be having a bad car battery.

Additionally, if the engine is cranky when your turn on the car, spare some time to get your battery tested. Nonetheless, experiencing such a problem could indicate other issues in your vehicle.

Experiencing clicks and cranks and finding it challenging to start your car:

When you hear a long crank whenever you start your car, your battery could be the problem. More often than not, you would need to give the car a jump start.

If the vehicle still does not start after jump-starting, this could be an indication of another problem.

A failed car battery will not jump start your car completely. So, get the car battery checked if you always make many attempts before starting your car.

The car won’t start even after the dash lights are on:

Your dash lights could be on, but the car won’t start. This may be an indication of a bad car battery. Your car battery can have the energy to turn on your dash lights, but this may not be enough to start the car.

The solution to this problem is often jump-starting the vehicle. You can also try starting the car multiple times. But don’t forget to get your car battery evaluated by a professional.

Intermittent sparks:

One of the most common signs of a bad car battery is the occurrence of sparks. These sparks cause a buildup of fuel in the cylinder.

In turn, this can lead to backfiring. Backfiring can result from various problems, but this is the most common one.

Take action immediately you notice any sporadic sparks in your car battery. Hire a car expert to examine the problem or replace the battery.

More frequent jump-starts:

It is common to jump start your car once in a while. But if your car needs a jump start more than usual, check the condition of the battery. Over time, batteries lose the strength to retain charge for a long time. And this can lead to more frequent jump-starts.

Unfortunately, a new car battery can also wear out. There are many reasons that could cause your battery to wear out prematurely.

Always consult the manufacturer to see whether the battery needs replacement. At times, some components in the car could drain the car battery.

For example, you can have a light or radio that drains the car battery. So, consider switching them off especially when they are not in use.

Battery corrosion:

Have you ever taken the time to examine your battery? Occasionally, car batteries corrode. This problem is easily noticeable; a corroded car battery will always form a thick blue film around the positive terminal.

Also, corrosion can lead to the formation of a clear film on the battery case. Battery corrosion makes the engine very sluggish; hence your car will take some time before it starts.

Corrosion indicates that the acid in the battery is leaking or producing acidic fumes. This problem often leads to low voltage; thus, it affects the efficiency of the battery.

To prevent corrosion, clean your battery frequently. Cleaning, however, does not provide a long-term fix for corrosion.

Car professionals usually suggest purchasing a new battery anytime you notice signs of corrosion. Alternatively, think of replacing the positive terminal end.

Do non-functioning car lights indicate a bad car battery?

Normally, your battery light goes on when you start the car; and it goes off immediately after the car starts. However, it’s not supposed to be on when you are driving.

If it does, this could be due to a malfunctioning charging system. The alternator may not be generating enough power to recharge the battery.

Also, if you notice that your electronic systems in the car are beginning to shut down, get your battery checked. Dim headlights can also indicate a bad car battery.

Do you constantly have to press the gas pedal for the car to start?

Whenever you notice that your car only moves if you press the gas pedal, this may be a sign of a bad car battery. You need not press the gas pedal for your car to start. The solution to this problem is often replacing the car battery.


Typically, car batteries tend to wear out with time. There is a broad spectrum of issues that can lead to a bad car battery.

Luckily, you can always notice a malfunctioning car battery. Some of the signs of a bad car battery include the need to press the gas pedal when starting the car, dim headlights, corrosion, and frequent jump-starts.

Car experts usually advise taking the car battery for evaluation from time to time. But if this is not possible, you can do a few things to avoid experiencing a bad car battery. Clean the car battery from time to time.

As you do this, focus on getting rid of dirt accumulated around the terminals. Doing this can help the battery survive until you replace it.

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