How To Know When Your Car Battery Needs Replacing

Car batteries play several crucial roles in our vehicles. Firstly, they deliver the spark needed to get the combustion engine started. Then, they’re critical in keeping the car’s electrical systems powered. Despite that, it’s not always clear to car owners when their car battery needs replacing, especially since there are no warning lights or indicators you can rely on. Here’s what, though.

You’ll know it’s time to get a car battery replacement when the engine takes too long to start, or it doesn’t start at all! Other symptoms of a failing battery are dim headlights, a backfiring engine, and one that starts only when you press on the gas pedal.

As you read through this article, you’ll learn the signs of a failing car battery in greater detail. But we won’t leave you hanging there! We’ll also guide you to choose the best car battery to buy and explore the idea of buying your car battery online.

Let’s get started.

What Are Signs That a Car Battery Is Failing?

The most surefire way to know if you need to buy a new car battery is to pop the hood and inspect it up close. With a standard multimeter, you’ll be able to know whether or not the battery is still holding a charge like it’s supposed to.

If you prefer not to habitually inspect your car battery that way, that’s alright. Instead, you can look out for these common signs that your car battery might be failing.

Headlights Are Dim

Before you start your car, turn on the headlights. You should be able to gauge whether or not your vehicle’s headlights are shining at the correct brightness like it always does. But if you notice that the lights are dimmer than usual, that’s a sign that your battery cannot give them enough power anymore.

You can use a car battery charger to charge your battery and see if the headlights are any brighter afterwards. If they’re not, then you likely have a dying car battery.

Engine Takes Too Long to Start

Since you turn the key in the ignition one or more times every day, you should have a good “feel” of how fast the engine should start. So when you begin to notice that it takes longer than usual when you crank up the engine, then that's a hint that your battery might need a change soon.

Some people use this as a sign to purchase a new battery immediately, while others prefer to squeeze out as much juice from their battery before getting a replacement. That’s entirely up to you.

Pressing on the Gas Pedal to Start the Car

When struggling to start your car engine, you might find that pressing on the gas pedal might help. If the engine starts perfectly well with that, then it’s safe to assume that you’ll need a car battery replacement sooner rather than later.

Engine Backfires

In many cases, an engine that isn't firing leads drivers to assume there's a problem with the spark plug. However, a backfiring engine could also point to a dying car engine.

The weak battery causes intermittent sparks within the engine, and that could cause fuel to accumulate inside the cylinders. So, while the spark plugs might be in perfect condition, it could just be that they’re not getting a reliable power supply from the car battery.

Car Doesn’t Start (But You Hear a Click)

You can call this the ‘hard way’ of knowing that your battery is dead: when the engine won’t start at all, but you hear a clicking sound. There might even be just enough power for the dashboard to light up, but the engine won’t start.

Most people learn that their car batteries are dead this way, so you shouldn’t feel bad if you find yourself in this situation. This can be a stressful and frustrating way to discover that your battery is dead, but try not to worry too much. All you need to do is buy a new car battery, and all will be right again.

What Is the Best Car Battery to Buy?

When choosing a car battery replacement, you must remember that they’re not all the same. They can differ in terms of size, terminal placement, voltages, and so much more. To understand the technical details of choosing the best battery to buy for your vehicle, you can check out our in-depth guides on this topic here and here.

What Are Things to Consider when Buying a New Car Battery?

In this section, we’re going to look at the top things to consider when shopping for the best car battery for you to buy. 

Car Battery Brand and Seller

An excellent place to start your battery shopping is choosing from one of the top brands and buying them from good sellers. Choosing from reputable brands and sellers will give you plenty of peace of mind that you're getting a high-quality product.

More importantly, a reputable seller might also be able to replace the battery for you, giving you one fewer thing to worry about.

Car Battery Price

High-quality car batteries are available at all sorts of price points, so find one that fits your budget. Buying the most expensive battery isn't necessarily better!

Warranty Coverage of the New Car Battery

The likelihood of a brand new battery failing on you is low. Still, having one that comes with good warranty coverage will make things much easier in the unlikely event that it did.

Maintenance-free Car Battery

These days, there are many 'maintenance-free' battery options available on the market. If you're looking for a no-fuss solution, then that's an excellent option to go with.

Battery Life

It’s always best to buy a battery that has a long expected life. That way, you won’t have to worry about replacing it for a long time to come.

Bear in mind that the lifespan of a car battery isn't based on its quality alone but also on your driving habits. 

Is It OK to Buy a Car Battery Online?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to buy a car battery online. Just bear in mind that you might have to instal the new battery in your car by yourself or get someone to do it for you. If, however, you bought the battery from your trusted local mechanic or seller, they might offer to install the battery for you as part of the sale.

When you buy a car battery replacement online, you get to enjoy certain benefits. Among them is that you can compare the price of a car battery from different sellers and choose the best one. So, it doesn't matter if you’re shopping for a car battery in Sydney or elsewhere; you'll be able to check out battery prices from all over the country!

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