After what seems like an entire day spent wandering the aisles of Target, you throw your bags into your trunk, excited to eat that frozen stuffed crust pizza for dinner. You go to start your car, the engine starts cranking, and...nothing happens. Your car battery is dead, and you — and your frozen pizza — aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
Your battery is crucial to keeping your car running, and without it, you could easily be stranded in a Target parking lot. Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealer, wants you to know the signs of a failing battery. Keep an eye out for these six signs that your battery could be on its way out:
- Dashboard Warning Light: Your dashboard will most likely be the first to warn you that your battery is having an issue. This light may come on for a few different reasons, from the battery not being replenished properly to something being wrong with the alternator. If this light turns on, your safest bet is to take your car to a mechanic.
- Slow Engine Crank:
Have you ever gone to start your car and the engine takes longer to kick on? Because the battery is what’s providing power to the engine, a slow engine crank can mean your battery is on its last legs.
- Swollen Battery Case:
A car battery is essentially a bunch of chemicals in a small box. When it’s exposed to excessive amounts of cold or heat (hello Florida!), the case might bulge or swell. This can turn into you having a dead battery.
- Failing Electrical Components:
Your car’s battery does more than just charge the engine — it charges all the electrical components. If your radio starts going out, it could mean your battery is starting to fail.
- Old Age:
On average, car batteries last about four to five years. Once you hit the four-year mark, it's a good idea to start regularly testing your battery.
- Weird Smell:
If your battery has been frozen, overcharged, or is shorted internally, it may vent gas — gas that smells like rotten eggs. If you notice a funky smell coming from your engine, have your battery inspected as soon as possible.
Even if your battery is brand new, it’s always a good idea to keep jumper cables in your car. That way, even if your battery dies, you won’t be stranded. If you think you need a new battery, stop by your Lakeland area Ford dealer, Bartow Ford. We’ll be able to test your battery and advise on a new one. Give us a call today at 800-303-4016.