Our vehicles rely on some pretty complex technology to run properly. The nuts and bolts include digital sensors and wiring, but everything relies on one thing to get started: the battery. Your car battery is the source of energy that gets your vehicle running, so when your battery is not working properly, neither will your car. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell whether it is your battery causing problems or something else, but it should definitely be your first stop on your journey to finding the issue. Here are a few of the biggest signs that the issue you are experiencing with your vehicle is stemming from your car battery.
When I say nothing, I mean absolutely nothing is working. While it is possible that there is another issue, most of the time, this is a battery problem. Your vehicle will not even unlock with the remote control, and it doesn’t make a peep when you open the door. Often times, people assume the battery is completely bad because, when it’s this dead, even a battery tester won’t detect any charge. When this is the case, jumping your car might be a little more difficult than normal. In order to get a surface charge on the battery, you will need to have it connected to another vehicle through your jumper cables for a while. You may even need to rev the engine of the working vehicle to get enough charge in the dead battery. After the vehicle is started, you will want to drive it for a while without turning it off, and, just to be safe, make sure your next stop is somewhere you won’t be stranded!
If you turn the key in your ignition and you hear a loud repeated clicking noise, then your battery is probably the culprit. This is not to be confused with the symptoms of a bad starter, as the signs for a low battery are often mistaken for a bad starter and vise versa. Typically, a bad starter will make either a screeching, grinding, and yes, sometimes clicking sound, but it is usually accompanied by a burning smell as well. If your engine is cranking without turning over, it should be easy to either use a charging box or jumper cables – which ever you have the quickest access to. Again, you will want to let your battery charge for a while by letting it run before turning it off. Then, after it’s been off for a few minutes, try and restart your engine. This will help you know if your battery has gone bad or if it had just lost charge in an isolated incident.
A real clear sign that you have a bad battery is when you have to jump it multiple times in a short time period. When your vehicle is running, the battery is actively being charged by the alternator. If your battery is unable to adequately hold a charge when your car is not running, then your battery needs to be replaced. It is possible that something is causing your battery to drain faster than it should, and your mechanic should be able to test this for you. If you have a newer battery and find yourself constantly needing a jump, you should let your mechanic know, and they can run some diagnostics and help get your car back to being your reliable, trusty steed!