Getting stranded with a dead car battery is always inconvenient—and getting stranded in inclement weathe can be downright dangerous. No matter how old your car is, it’s important to take good care of your battery. If you think your car battery is failing, here are a few things to watch out for.
1) Clicking sound when you turn the key
The first and probably most obvious sign of a failing battery is a clicking sound when you turn the key.
When your key turns in the ignition, your car battery is supposed to send an electrical signal to the starter—that’s what gets your engine going. If your battery is weak or failing, it will struggle to make this connection; in turn, the starter receiving reduced or insufficient power from the battery will often make a clicking noise. Often, there will be a few “warnings” before your battery won’t start at all. You should bring your car in for service at the first sign of trouble with your starter. Don’t wait until the engine can’t turn over.
2) Dim headlights
A less obvious sign that your car battery is failing is dimming lights. If your battery is failing it won’t be able to power your car’s electrical components, like your headlights. If you notice that your headlights seem dim, bring your car in for service as soon as possible. This could be an early warning sign that your battery is almost dead.
Another sign your car battery is failing is backfiring. Here’s how it works: A failing car battery can sometimes cause intermittent sparks—sparks that cause fuel to accumulate in the engine’s cylinders. If built-up fuel is ignited, it will cause your car to backfire.
Backfiring can be a symptom of several different problems, so your technician will want to perform a battery test to be sure. Cleaning your batteries can help to prevent this in the fut
Read more in our recent article Car Battery Replacement: When is it time for a new battery?
Keeping up with regular maintenance, like battery charging and replacement, can help to extend the life of your vehicle—and prevent costly repairs in the future.
V&F Auto has been serving the Western Mass community since 1988. As a family-owned and operated business, we treat our customers like family. Our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3-year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor—and our team will go above and beyond to meet your needs. Call us at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
This article was originally published in 2021 and has been updated.