It’s hard to truly gauge a battery’s health from the outside but that doesn’t mean you should leave it as it is. You can gauge a wet or dry car battery’s lifespan by looking out for the telltale signs like below.
- The starter feels a little draggy when you power up the car or the car takes longer than usual to start.
- Your car needs jump-start assistance especially under cooler temperatures (morning or during rain). If you find yourself jump-starting your car more often than usual (three times per week or so), your car battery needs to be replaced or you need to add some water into it (wet cell).
- The car battery box looks bloated or swollen. This is because the battery has reached its maximum level and can no longer receive charge from the alternator.
- A rancid or acidic smell from the car battery. Usually, this smell can be inhaled when the bonnet of the car is opened.
- Alarms sounding erratic also indicate that your car battery is dead and not in a good condition. Even so, you are advised to check the remote or car alarm system first for confirmation.
- Petrol meter indicators become erratic, non-uniform, and unusual. In a normal situation, the meter will show a distance of 115km ± with 3 bars of petrol, but if the battery is dead, the meter will only show a distance of 50km ± only (this is especially common for Perodua cars).
- The clock and radio settings need to be tuned each time the car is turned on. This indicates your battery is weak and needs to be replaced.
These Are the Main Causes Of Car Batteries Losing Power or Dying
There are many factors that cause car batteries to lose their power. Here are some of the reasons why your car battery is dead:
- Short circuit or dead cell in the battery.
- The car’s engine hasn’t been turned on for a long period of time.
- Damage to alternator parts.
- Improper wiring systems by third-party accessory components.
- Excessive installation of car accessories.
- Electrical components are not switched off when the engine is turned off.
- Maintenance factors – dirty, rusty, or loose battery terminals.
How to Prolong the Lifespan of Your Car’s Battery in Malaysia
Proper maintenance can prevent damage and extend the lifespan of your car’s battery. Here are some ways you can do so:
1. Park Indoors More Frequently
As Malaysia’s climate is warmer, car batteries both wet and dry last half as long compared to batteries in cooler temperatures. Why? Heat reduces the lifespan of a car battery by accelerating the chemical reactions within a battery, increasing internal discharge. So, to improve the lifespan of your car battery, park indoors more often.
2. Unplug your battery if you are not using your car for a Long Period of Time
Have you once gone on a trip only to return to a car that won’t start? We’ve been there too. Next time before you go on holiday or don’t drive your car for a long period of time, just unplug the negative terminal (black cable cover) on the car battery. If you’re worried about your car alarm and security that will be disabled after you unplug the battery, you could get your neighbor, friend, or family to start it for you every alternate day.
3. You can’t recharge flat car batteries!
Many drivers think that car batteries that have gone flat can be recharged by driving around. This isn’t true. In fact, continuous undercharging will lower the capacity of the battery over time and also shorten its lifespan. The only way to restore a flat battery’s charge properly is to use an appropriate multi-stage charger. If you’re not using your car frequently, at least start it every alternate day, or drive around the block once a week.
Keeping your Car’s Battery at its Optimum Health
Keeping an optimum battery charge and your car in tip-top condition will not only ensure that you have a smooth drive but also help your car battery last longer so you don’t get stranded on the side of the road.
Since your car’s battery plays a vital role in its overall performance, taking the proper course of action when a problem arises with your battery will also help you get a better price later on when you decide to sell your car. When it’s time for that, you can sell your used car to Carsome, where we’ll give you the best value!