Six Signs that Your Dodge Vehicle Needs a New Battery
Have you recently been stranded with a dead battery or had to endure the hassle of buying and installing a new one on a busy day? Or maybe you’re concerned about preventing those things from happening. Either way, here are six ways to tell if the battery in your Dodge is damaged, defective, or on its last leg.
It’s Five Years Old
Conventional wisdom is that the average car battery lasts three to four years, but in Snohomish county, the average battery lasts about five. Your best bet is to have a professional test the battery’s condition once a year after it’s three years old, just to be safe.
The Ignition is Sluggish
Don’t be fooled; if your ignition isn’t turning at all, the battery may be dead, but it could also have lost its charge. But if you charge your battery to full capacity and the ignition still feels like it takes a little too long, it’s likely the battery needs replacing.
The Case is Swollen or Bloated
Your battery case should be a geometric, boxy shape. If it seems rounded or bulging, the battery is likely overheating and/or has died. If the change is slight, you still have time, as it’s usually a gradual problem that drains the effectiveness. If your battery has overheated, there could be an alternator issue that’s causing it to deliver too much power at once. Have your alternator checked out if you have had this problem before.
The Fluid Level is Too Low
Most car batteries have a translucent section that helps you watch the fluid level. In other cases, you may have to open the ports to check and refill the fluid. You shouldn’t have to change the fluid in a healthy battery, so if you do, there’s a problem. It could be related to overheating. As a tip, when you refill the fluid, use distilled water, as the minerals in regular water can wear the battery down from the inside.
There’s Corrosion Around the Terminals
If you see a strange, dry mess built up around your battery terminals (the ends you clamp with jumper cables), your battery could have a leak. If this corrosion builds up too much, your car will not start even when the battery is charged. Corrosion builds up over time, even on healthy batteries, so clean it and check it again, and if the corrosion returns rapidly, replacing the battery may be best.
There’s a Battery-Shaped Dash Light
Finally, you could get lucky and see a light on your dashboard alerting you that the battery is not working properly. Take note with caution because sometimes battery dash lights are triggered by issues with the alternator or other electric parts. While it may be a sign that your battery is dying, it doesn’t mean the battery is the sole source of the problem.
With these warning signs, every driver should know in advance that they’re at risk of the battery stopping for good. If you’re worried about changing your battery prematurely, or if you’re not sure which battery is best for your Dodge, contact our parts department and we’ll answer your questions.
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