If you have dealt with a flat car battery before, then you how unpleasant the experience can be. The sad story about a dying car battery is that it can go flat anytime at anyplace. That is when you start to look for dubious methods of restarting your car or recharging the battery. However, there are signs that can tell you about a flat battery or one that is almost flat. Almost everything that relies on the battery for operation including headlights and the engine can announce about the death or the looming death of your battery.
One sign of an impending death of a battery is a car that has a low accessory power. The lights of the car, including the interior lights and the headlamps, may turn on but they will appear dim. If the accessories in your car fail to turn on completely, it could mean that you have no accessory power at all; this in turn implies that you have a flat or a dead battery. The engine of the car may also fail to crank or it may crank slowly because of a low supply of power.
Another hint of death comes from the battery itself; a dying battery appears swollen or bloated. This normally happens when the battery is exposed to excessive heat that drains the battery dry.
How You Can Make Your Battery Live Longer
Normally, a battery (12-volt battery) has a lifespan of about two to three years; others can go for up to five years before going flat. After that, it may start to show some dying signs. However, if the signs manifest a bit earlier, it is usually because the battery was not given enough care. To take good care of your battery, always give it frequent inspections. For instance, keep checking the terminals for corrosion; corrosion on battery terminals appear like a chalky white substance. Scrub the terminals using a wire brush and coat them with grease. Then reconnect the battery.
Remember, though, that a car battery contains acid. Hence, it is important to be cautious when dealing with the battery. Wear eye protection and gloves to protect your eyes and hands. But if in some way the highly corrosive sulfuric acid comes into contact with your skin, neutralize its effect with a solution of water and baking soda. And due to the chances that the acid may catch fire, carry out your inspections in a well-ventilated area.
For assistance replacing your battery, talk to a professional.