Each time you insert your key into the ignition and turn it to start your vehicle, there are various processes taking place to activate your engine and keep it running. All these processes start with the electrical current that is generated by the car battery. This is the electrical current needed by the ignition system as well as the starter motor to help start the engine. Meanwhile, the alternator receives an electrical current from the battery as well. Once the alternator receives this current, it can produce electricity for all the sensors, accessories, and electronic components of the vehicle.
As you can see, the car battery is very important for a vehicle’s functionality. Think of the battery as a reserve power supply for the vehicle. The alternator is what keeps the vehicle powered as it is running. But when you’re first starting the vehicle, the battery is what kicks it into gear. So, if you have a bad battery or one that is low on power, it is going to cause electrical issues in your vehicle. Sometimes your battery can be recharged to fix this problem, while other times you need to replace the battery.
5 Bad Symptoms
You will know when you have a bad battery because you’ll experience a variety of problematic symptoms in your vehicle. You must take care of these symptoms by replacing the battery as soon as you notice them. Otherwise, you’ll likely be stranded or experience issues with your ability to drive.
Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad battery in your car.
1) Engine Cranking Issues
The engine should crank within seconds after you turn the key in the ignition. But if you’re having troubles cranking the engine and turning it on, then you likely have a bad car battery. A slow engine crank almost always means you have a failing battery in your car.
2) Foul Smell
Since car batteries contain sulfuric acid, a bad or leaky battery may emit a rotten egg odor. The odor only gets worse because the heat from the battery intensifies the smell. It is an easily recognizable smell in the cabin of your vehicle. There may even be smoke coming out of the hood from the battery as well. Between the smoke and the rotten egg smell, don’t put yourself through any more torture by forcing yourself to endure it. Replace the battery and put an end to the smell.
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3) Weak Electrical Components
Along with issues cranking your engine, you’ll notice weaker electrical components in your vehicle too. Things like your power seats, radio, headlights, GPS device, dashboard lights, and power windows will all function a lot slower or not at all. Don’t wait until they stop functioning before you change your battery. As soon as they slow down, replace the battery at once.
Older car batteries eventually cause corrosion to form on the outside of the battery and its casing. This corrosion comes from the hydrogen gas which emits from the battery and builds on the outside as the months and years go on. Once the corrosion is visibly noticeable, then it means it is time to get a new battery.
5) Battery Warning Light
The battery warning light will activate on your dashboard whenever you have a bad battery. If you have a digital screen on your dashboard, you should see a battery warning notice come up on there too. In most cases, the warning activates when the battery is only low on power. This gives you enough time to get to a mechanic or auto store and replace the battery before it dies completely.