5 Warning Signs of a Failing Car Battery

A technician holds a toolbox and looks underneath the hood of a car

We’ve all been there – you’re running late for work or jumping in the car for an exciting family road trip, and that’s when it happens: your car battery decides to call it quits, leaving you stranded with no backup vehicle. 

While it’s a common occurrence, we often fail to notice the warning signs until it’s too late. At Big Chief Tire, we’re here to help you learn the telltale signs of a failing battery so you can save time and money down the road. 

Dim Headlights

Dim headlights are more than just an inconvenience; they are a sign that your battery is going bad. A failing battery can’t provide enough power to illuminate headlights properly, jeopardizing your safety on the road. If your headlights seem dim or seem a little weaker than usual, check your battery ASAP.

Your Vehicle is Slow to Start

A slow start is a classic sign that your battery is nearing the end of its life. If your engine cranks with a whirring noise before starting or hesitates to crank at all, have your battery tested to ensure your safety on the road.

Clicking Sound When Turning the Key

A clicking sound when turning the key is a red flag indicating a bad battery. When you turn the key, your battery sends a current to the start solenoid. As your battery fails, the electrical current weakens, resulting in a clicking noise. While jump-starting might temporarily resolve the issue, it’s not a permanent solution.

Old Battery

Batteries naturally wear out over time. If your battery is several years old, it’s likely on its last legs due to constant use and repeated cycles of discharging and recharging. Look for the date of manufacture on the battery and consider having it tested if it’s been in service for a while. 

Car Backfiring

If your car starts backfiring, it’s a crucial sign of a dying battery. A failing battery can disrupt your car’s spark plug operation, leading to fuel buildup in your cylinders and eventual backfiring. While other factors can cause backfiring, testing your battery is a smart step to eliminate it from the list of potential issues.

A Bad Battery vs. A Bad Alternator

Understanding the difference between a bad battery and a bad alternator is important in saving time and money. While a bad battery shows up as dim headlights, slow starts, clicking sounds, and sometimes backfiring, signs of a bad alternator differ. 

Abad alternator leads to your car dying right after starting, noticeable vibrations while driving, and low battery power even after charging. Know these differences to schedule the right service for your vehicle and avoid a dead car battery or failed alternator.

Schedule a Battery Test in Jacksonville, FL

Finding a trustworthy auto shop is essential to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Don’t let a failing battery disrupt your plans – if you’ve noticed any of these signs, it may be time to use a battery and alternator tester. Contact Big Chief Tire of Jacksonville, FL, today to schedule a battery test and ensure your vehicle is ready for the road ahead.

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