There are often some common causes for a weak car battery. The signs you may notice include dimming headlights, a clicking noise when you turn the key in the ignition, and the need to press the gas pedal for your car to start. Catching a weak battery before it dies altogether can save you time and possibly even money; some mechanics offer free battery checks as preventative maintenance. Still, it’s always good to be aware of the signs your battery is failing so that you don’t become a statistic on the side of the road waiting for a jump start.
Leaks happen in batteries that have been sitting in cars for too long without any use. Battery leaks can also occur after the battery was placed on the ground—this disrupts the flow of electricity, leaving the battery drained. Instead, if you must remove the battery from your vehicle for any reason, place the battery on the floorboard of your car.
Your battery may not be functioning correctly because of faulty wiring. Dimming and flickering lights are signs your wiring could be the issue. Be sure to check your wires for any char or darkened outlet switches. Also, check your battery cables to make sure they aren’t loose or corroded.
A weak battery can affect specific injectors, causing the cylinder to misfire. If this happens to you, replace all the spark plugs. There’s also a chance that you’re interfering with the opening of specific injectors, causing the fuel to pump more slowly. You can use a diagnostic car code reader to check for misfiring.
Other common causes of a weak car battery are the electrical components in your vehicle, such as your starter or alternator. Your alternator provides energy to the battery in order to power the car. Listening to music in your car without the car being on can drain the battery as well. Music-lovers can try bringing personal Bluetooth speakers into their cars to prevent their batteries from draining.
From its wiring to its electrical components, your car is essentially a colossal conductor. Several things can set off a dead battery, but you can prevent this by knowing those common causes. Take care of your car battery with preventative maintenance—especially in the winter—and all will be well.