One of the most essential parts of your car is the battery. A car will not start without it! Even though the car battery is important, sometimes its care and maintenance can get overlooked. Since we are heading into the months of February and March, typically colder months for Colorado, and winter cold can zap the strength out of a battery, it’s crucial to know when to change your car battery!
When we initially turn the key to start the engine, the battery needs to work to start the car, and then continues to work to start the ignition system. If your car battery is functioning properly, the initial electricity from the charging system of the car is adequate to keep it running, as well as power all the “extras” that we have in our cars. Remember that your car battery also powers your MP3 players, GPS receivers, and DVD players, and for some of us, that can be very taxing on our batteries!
You may not always have noticeable signs of when you need to change your car battery, it may just die. But if you notice a “clicking” sound when you try to start your car or if your headlights seem to be dim or dimmer than usual, that can be a warning that your battery might need to be changed. Before you change your battery, have the battery cables tightened or tighten them yourself and have the cable terminals and posts cleaned, or clean them yourself, with a baking soda and water paste, this might help. But since a battery doesn’t always give us a warning before it stops working, we suggest a few “checklist” tasks that can help you avoid having a dead battery.
- Have the battery fluid checked. Some batteries have removable filler caps and the heat evaporates the fluid more rapidly. If this is the type of car battery you have you might want to consider replacing it with a newer, flush-top battery.
- Have the battery case inspected. It shouldn’t have any cracks or bulges or be leaking fluid. If any of these are present, it should be changed immediately.
- If your car battery is more than three years old, get it tested by a trained technician, they should be able to give you a good idea if you should change it or not. The life of the average car battery is about 4 years, so keep that in mind also as you consider when you should change your car battery.
Come in and see us or give us a call at (303) 691-2760 for any of your Denver Auto Repair needs.