March 2006

How to Avoid a Dead Battery

Did you know that most vehicles batteries are designed to last for about four years?  Everyone knows of the all too familiar story of being stuck in an empty parking lot, in the rain, with a car that won’t start because of a dead battery.  This can be avoided by checking a number of factors to make sure the battery doesn’t lose power at an inconvenient time.  Do you even know the last time you replaced your battery?  If not, you are gambling with being stranded.  Here’s how that can be avoided.


Warning Signs

What you need to know first is the warning signs of a battery failure.  The signs of a battery that is losing power are, slow starts (especially in cold weather), dimming lights that seem to get brighter when you accelerate, or having to jump start your car.  If your battery is more than three years old, you may have already experienced some of these signs.  These are the symptoms of a dieing battery, and you should act right away.  Batteries can even fail without warning.  So having your battery tested during a service appointment is a must.


Visual Checks

It is a good idea to visually inspect your battery as well.  Checking the cables, posts, and fasteners regularly is a great way to avoid power loss.  Sometimes, worn battery cables can even make a good battery fail.  Make sure all the cables are in good shape and a securely attached to the battery. 


Batteries eventually wear out over time, but by checking these symptoms yourself, you can avoid being stranded.  Next time you are in for service, be sure to ask that your technician perform a battery inspection.