Contrary to popular opinion, the heat is harder on your car battery. Yet, every winter, car owners find themselves stranded in the cold with a dead battery. Why? In frigid winter temperatures, fluids in the engine turn to the consistency of molasses. It takes maximum car battery power to start an engine with thick fluids—maximum battery power that old batteries don’t always have. Often car batteries give signals that your car battery is starting to die—signals that are often missed by car owners or could easily be attributed to other car problems.
Car batteries die at different ages, but most batteries start to give out between 3-5 years. In addition, if you know how old your battery is, you can take the battery back during the warranty period when you have problems.
Inconsistent starting & consistent jumping
Your car starts fine most of the time, but randomly won’t start and the battery needs to be recharged. If you have to sporadically jump your battery for no reason, you need to replace your battery.
Slow, rough starting
If you’re familiar with the long, painful cranking that never seems to end when waiting for your car to start, don’t wait to buy a new car battery. Eventually, the cranking won’t happen, and you’ll be stranded. Buy a car battery now—and have your mechanic double check for other causes—-so your car starts consistently.
What should I do if I think my car battery is dying?
Make an appointment with your mechanic, or ask them to check your car battery at your next oil change. Your mechanic can hook up your battery to a load tester to see if your battery is about to die.