How do you know when your car battery is about to die?
Looking out for the signs of a dying car battery is important, as it not only imperils your day, but could turn into a dangerous traffic situation.
Having a dead one is a big problem as that could really complicate your day if you’re in a rush.
However, take note of signs that your battery is dying and you could save yourself a big headache:
- Your engine turns over but doesn’t start. Often, you will hear the whirring of the starter motor, but the engine doesn’t catch. That means your battery is almost certainly dead.
- Your engine doesn’t turn over or start at all, and your dashboard lights don’t illuminate.
- The battery warning light/engine warning light comes on in the dashboard. That is pretty unambiguous.
- Your car takes longer to restart at a traffic light. On cars with auto stop/start systems, if your car takes longer than usual to restart at the lights, definitely have your battery checked.
- Dim headlights. So your engine starts and your car runs normally, but your lights are dimmer than usual. It’s best to check the battery’s charge level then.
If all else fails and you need to jumpstart your car, here’s our handy guide on how to go about that.
What types of car battery are there?
There are mainly three types of car battery: lead-acid, absorbed glass mat (AGM) and enhanced flooded battery (EFB).
Lead-acid is your run-of-the-mill car battery. They have a shallow charge cycle, which means they charge rapidly, but they also deplete very quickly.
The good thing is that these are relatively cheap compared to AGM and EFB batteries.
AGM batteries are more commonly found in Continental cars, and are able to deliver more power to in-car accessories.
They can handle deep discharges better and potentially recover better from complete discharges.
The downside to these batteries is that they are costlier than lead-acid ones.
EFB batteries are best suited for vehicles with auto start/stop.
They are extremely durable and typically last two-three times longer than lead-acid cells, and you should consider these if your car has start/stop tech.