We’re in the fourth week of national lockdown which means most of us are keeping safe by staying home more. That will likely mean you are not using your car as often, or only making short journeys. This can in turn mean that your car battery is not being charged regularly and fully, increasing the potential for damage to your battery. Batteries do not like being left discharged as it damages them and reduces the storage capacity.
- Engine is beginning to turn over more slowly on startup
When a battery becomes weak, the actual power it has to turn the engine (known as cold crank performance (Amps) or CCA for short) drops down and that will manifest itself in the engine turning over slower than before when the start is initiated.
- Rapid clicking sound on startup and the engine not turning
This is a sure-fire sign of battery deterioration. The battery has enough power to fire the starter motor solenoid, but not enough to actually turn the engine.
Whilst a battery may show 12v+ if tested with a multimeter, it’s the actual power that is important. Battery power is measured in Ah, which is why the label will clearly state the Ah figure and in most cases another figure as just ###A. This is the figure of the CCA and indicates how the battery will perform in cold start conditions. A higher figure indicates the battery will turn the engine quicker and for longer until the engine starts.
A battery with dead cells or poor power capacity will often charge quickly, however that is because only a small percentage of the storage is actually being recharged. So it will show 12v as mentioned, but the actual power is diminished and the battery requires replacing.
For further information on batteries, please visit https://www.clickmechanic.com/help/articles/285/battery-replacement
If you’re not sure if your battery needs replacing or not, then our in-house mechanic team can help. Submit our technical assistance form with a brief description of the problem and your details.
We’re also offering priority bookings for key workers at this time.
Finding out when your car battery needs replacing can be tricky. Over time the battery in your car will inevitably deteriorate. Especially winter can put increased strain on your battery as it has to work much harder. Come spring you may find that your battery’s condition has become so bad that it can’t keep the car running properly. Sometimes the battery will simply stop working from one day to the next. Often, though, there will be signs which can point to a deteriorating battery.
Signs Your Car Battery Needs Replacing
Dimming headlights & interior lights
One tell-tale sign of a weak battery is dimming lights in and around the car. If the battery just isn’t powerful enough the strength of your lights will be weaker. The headlights may not be powerful enough which would prevent you from seeing properly in the dark. Make sure to get help from a mechanic immediately to get this resolved, to stay safe on the road.
Slow start of the engine
If it takes a long time to start the car then in most cases it will have something to do with the battery. Try starting the engine, if the starter motor isn’t able to ‘crank over’ over the engine, then often it is a case of a drained battery.
Batteries contain battery fluid which can leak. Usually, the leaks can appear on top of the battery around the battery terminals, but a damaged casing can also lead to leaks.
If the battery fluid leaks then the ability to charge and provide power will decrease. It will lead to a less powerful battery. Take care to address this in time if you notice it. Battery fluid is nasty stuff and will cause corrosion around the battery.
Check Engine Light
Sometimes something as simple as the check engine light coming on can point to a problem with the battery. It usually comes on when the battery is weak.
Bloated Battery Case
Whilst this may sound peculiar, your battery case can expand over time, especially if it has overheated. In turn, the battery will deteriorate and battery life will decrease.
If you’re not quite sure if your battery needs replacing it is advisable to get help from a professional mechanic who can do a battery check. A mechanic will be able to find out if the battery really needs replacing. Make sure to also follow manufacturer guidelines on battery replacement intervals.
Batteries can be one of those car components that can be an absolute pain. Sometimes they can inexplicably die or become flat, or the battery terminal can corrode. Perhaps it is no surprise that battery checks and replacements were among the most requested jobs by our customers last year. Remember, getting to the bottom of battery problems will always be tricky with out professional equipment. But where can you actually find the battery in your car for a quick preliminary check?
On most cars the battery is fitted in the engine bay at the front of the car and to the side of the engine, either on the right or the left. On some cars, though, the battery is fitted in the boot for better weight distribution. On cars fitted with an engine in the middle or the rear of the car, like the Porsche 911 or Boxster, the battery may be found in the luggage compartment at the front of the car.
Usually the battery will be a small black boxlike component with wires sticking out from the top, which are the battery cables that feed the car’s electrical system. The cables are attached to the battery terminals, there is a positive and a negative electrical terminal, the battery after all provides a direct electrical current.
If you’re not sure what battery problem you have always make sure to have the situation checked by a professional. For more information check our battery repair page.
Ps. and remember, always stay safe with batteries!