Weak Car Battery Symptoms

Last Updated on February 11, 2023 by

It’s simple to recognize weak car battery symptoms that your car is suffering issues, but determining the root isn’t always easy. Conduct a quick Google search, and you’ll discover the same symptoms for defective batteries, starters and alternators, and a myriad of different engine-related problems. Experts should deal with the most complicated issues at your local mechanic shop. However, don’t leap to the most likely conclusion yet. The best way to diagnose car problems is to be straightforward. In this instance, it means beginning by examining the battery first.

A battery is likely to die slowly and will give some notice in Advance. There are exceptions, like instances where an internal problem results from a damaged cell. If this happens, there’s a good chance that you don’t be able to detect any warning signs and may see your car or truck needing a boost every time you begin to start it up. However, for many instances, when a battery for a car goes out of service, which is likely to happen, any of the symptoms listed below will be present.

Top 6 weak car battery symptoms

1. Old battery

It’s evident, but it’s still worth noting. When your battery has more than a few years old, it may be nearing an end to its lifespan. All components wear out over time, and batteries aren’t any exception. Discharge cycles repeated in the beginning and stops, extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), and other elements result in batteries draining over time. You should look for a sticker with a month and year on the battery if you aren’t sure when the last time you replaced it was. A sticker that says 09/15, for example, is being held on loan.

A battery loses strength as it ages; younger batteries, those under three years old, have a more robust tolerance to frigid temperatures. Therefore, if your battery is dead one morning and you live somewhere that routinely drops below freezing during the winter, you’ll probably need to replace it relatively quickly.

2. Slow to begin

This is the typical warning sign of a bad battery. When you turn the key, the engine starts to crank, creating an eerie whirring sound that lasts longer than usual before the engine gets started. If you notice this, it’s time to have your battery checked.

3. It clicks or cranks, but it won’t get started.

A long, sluggish crank or clicking under the hood as you press the ignition key is one step away from an inefficient start. If it’s the battery that is the issue, you’ll be able to jump-start and be back on the road to a new battery. However, it is recommended to be heading to the nearest Advance to get your battery tested.

If you hear only an occasional click when you start the engine and turn the key, it could be a sign that your starter is not working. If you attempt to start your vehicle but don’t hear a click sound, you may not be experiencing an issue with your battery. Some starters perform intermittently before going out of commission, and repeatedly turning the key will help determine this. A starter may begin after a few attempts; however, a discharged battery is not likely to.

4. Dash lights are working; however, the car won’t start.

In this case, the battery you have may be powerful enough to supply power to the electronics. However, it’s not sufficient to fully charge the starter. Another scenario where you could be suffering from an unreliable starter. In this scenario, jumping into your car and making multiple attempts to turn the key are the next steps.

5. More often, jump starts

Do you know the feeling of constantly charging your old cellphone? Batteries for cars are the same because as batteries get older become less efficient, and they’re unable to keep a charge for longer. If you’ve got an older battery that isn’t able to keep its control also, it’s time to replace it. But what happens if the battery is brand new and needs jump-starts? There are several options. The first one is the most straightforward scenario: you have a battery becoming worn out. Examine your warranty in a case testing the battery shows that replacement is required.

An electronic device in the vehicle may draw an electrical current even when the car is turned off. Numerous sensors work in this manner in their design. However, they’re not drawing enough power to deplete the battery. If a device such as the light bulb or radio stays on when it shouldn’t be, you’ll discover that your battery is dead in a rush to get out of the door to go to your morning job.

More often, jump starts

6. A lot of film or corrosion

Have you ever checked your battery? If you notice that your engine isn’t running smoothly when you turn the ignition, open your hood to inspect the battery. If you see an abundance of blue corrosion, which is usually located at the positive terminal or a transparent layer across the case, it’s or is emitting acidic fumes or spilling the actual acid of the battery. These situations cause tension between your battery and cables, which reduces the battery’s voltage and, consequently, its effectiveness.

Do you want to run an instant check to determine the voltage you’re losing in your case or between the cable and the post? Make sure you set your multimeter to take measurements of DC volts. Place one lead in the case and the other on the line. It isn’t a matter of which charges go where. Ideally, the reading should be .3 voltage or less. Anything higher than that indicates that you have high resistance. It is possible to clean your battery, and you’ll likely notice performance improvements. Still, you should be aware that it’s only a temporary fix since corrosion is likely to return. Most professionals recommend replacing the battery and the positive terminal when heavily damaged.

Battery light

It’s time to dispel an untruth. The battery light will not indicate an issue with your battery. It’s common for your battery light to turn on and then off when you begin your vehicle. However, if it appears during your drive, it’s an indication that your charging device is having an issue and is usually due to a failed alternator. The battery’s function is to get the car started, and it’s your alternator that creates the energy needed to keep it going and recharges the battery.

Another method of interpreting that battery light is to understand that it is a sign that your car is operating just with battery power. If this occurs, you’ll be able to drive for a while. If you’re lucky, you’ll discover that your electronic devices begin to cease to function. Your headlights are likely to be dim, and you could be unable to use the radio, seat heaters, etc. Because you’re unlikely to drive long using battery power, it’s best to limit your driving to the minimum. You can either have your alternator replaced by a reputable shop or if you can handle the job, go to Advance for a free test of your alternator before purchasing the replacement.

It is important to note that if your alternator breaks down, such an enormous strain is put on the battery and will often require it to be replaced.

Apart from this, if you are interested to know about how to start a car with a dead battery then visit our Tech category.

How do you fix a weak car battery?

If your car battery is weak, you can take a few simple steps to try to fix the issue and get your vehicle up and running again. Firstly, check the battery terminals and cable connections to ensure they are clean and tight. If they are corroded, clean them with a wire brush, baking soda, and water solution. If the battery is old, it may be time to replace it.

If the battery is new, check the charging system, including the alternator and voltage regulator, to ensure it works properly. If the battery is fully charged and still weak, you may need to have the battery tested by a professional to determine if it is faulty and needs to be replaced. If the battery is the issue, purchase a high-quality replacement battery with the correct specifications for your vehicle. Taking care of your car’s battery can help prevent issues like a weak battery in the future and keep your vehicle running smoothly.