You should think of your car battery as the heart of your vehicle. It is its power unit. You would think the engine would be a better metaphor, but your car battery is what essentially gives your vehicle power. Just like you wouldn't want your body to go without a beating heart, you wouldn't want your vehicle to go without power. Otherwise, you'll end up getting stuck somewhere because of a dead or defective battery. The best method for maintaining a functional and reliable unit is to have your vehicle serviced professionally at least twice per year.
If you are concerned about your "power unit", or simply wish to learn more about them, continue reading for some frequently asked questions about dead batteries, as well as, their answers.
How Do I Know if My Car Battery is Dying?
There are several signs that indicate it's time to service or replace your car battery. These signs include but are not limited to: slow engine crank, weak engine power, dashboard lights illuminated (even if it seems unrelated), check engine light turns on, low fluid, dim lights (interior and exterior), sluggish car start, bloated casing, smell of sulfur or rotten eggs, and more.
Why Did My Battery Die?
The most common cause for a dead battery is drainage. If you leave your headlights or interior lights on all night by accident, you may wake up to find that your car power is dead. A simple jump-start will fix this issues in as little as a five minutes. Other circumstances that can cause power drainage include not closing the visor or glove box all the way, leaving a stereo on, leaving a door ajar, and leaving the dome light on. After several hours, it will drain entirely, even sooner if it's old or close to replacement.
As for other reasons why your car battery might have died, things like parasitic draw, defective cells, low fluid, and more can all play a role. It is best to have yours inspected by a trained mechanic for accurate and professional assistance.
How Long Do Car Batteries Last?
The typical lifespan for a standard lead-acid car unit is between 3 to 5 years. For those who drive often or long distances, change out your batteries closer to the 3 year mark. This is recommended for older vehicles as well. Keep in mind that although this is the standard lifespan, there are several factors that can shorten the life of your car battery.