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Recognising the Signs of a Dead Battery

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What Does the Car Battery Do?

Even the most novice of car owners are aware that the car’s battery plays an important part in the running of your vehicle. It powers the on-board computer, ignition system, lights and radio as well as many other elements of your car.

When your car battery dies, it can often occur with almost little warning and can mean you get caught out – either stranded at home, out and about or even on the road so being prepared and looking out for signs is vital.

How to Know if My Car Battery is Low

There are a few signs you can look out for to know if your car battery is low, so be mindful if you see any of the following signs:

Issues Starting the Car

Starting your car requires a lot of energy so if your battery is failing, you may notice that the car takes longer than usual to tick over and start. This kind of sign is usually imminent to your battery dying, so it’s important to inspect your battery or get it checked it over quickly.

If you turn the key and only hear a clicking sound, that means there is not enough power to start the engine and you’ll need to jump start the battery and get a new battery fitted.

Loss of Electric Power

As the battery also powers the electronics in your car, you may notice issues with windows, lights, heaters and seats. Usually these are used more in winter, so issues can often occur this time of year due to increased demand for power.

Dashboard Warning Symbol

Of course, a warning light can often be the biggest clue there is something wrong with your car. If you see the illuminated battery symbol on your dashboard it’s important to get it checked out. It could be due to issues such as a failing alternator, damaged cabling or a loose starter terminal. If you notice it is on whilst driving, then you may have an issue with the alternator belt.

Signs of a Dead Battery

If your battery is already dead, or almost there, as mentioned above one of the biggest signs to look out for are issues during ignition and the car not starting or ticking over.

The way your car reacts can be a clue to the issue, for example if the starter motor cranks slowly but the engine doesn’t start – it is likely a dead car battery or faulty starter. If it cranks at its usual speed but again the engine won’t start – chances are the battery is fine but there could be issues with the fuel or spark plug.

If the engine starts but then dies straight after rather than idling, it may mean the battery has enough charge to turn over but then fails causing disruptions to engine control module.

If you need a replacement battery or want to check if the issue is your battery, alternator or spark plugs then be sure to book your car in at Power Developments. We are the experts in German luxury cars such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi and MINI and provide servicing and repairs for all makes and models. Our expertise has seen us build a respectable reputation with customers coming from Europe to see us! Call us now to get your battery checked.

How to jump start a car battery

Many people will jump-start a car to provide a quick fix to a dead car battery, you’ll either need a portable jump starter or jumper cables and another running vehicle to work as the donor car. So, you’ll either need a friend, neighbour or helpful stranger! It’s well worth having a pair of jumper cables in your car just in case.

Position the cars so they’re facing each other but not touching, both engines off and in neutral with the handbrake on. Identify the positive terminal on the dead battery and attach a red jumper cable clip to the positive terminal and the other red jumper cable clip to the positive terminal on the donor car. Then attached the black jumper cable clip to the negative terminal on the donor battery and the other onto an unpainted metal surface of the dead vehicle such as the metal pole that holds the hood up.

Then start the donor car, let it idle for a few minutes to charge the working battery then start the dead car, which should then turn over. If it doesn’t work, let the donor car run for a few more minutes and try again.

The price will vary depending on the car, but the average cost of a new battery is usually between £100 and £350. At Power Developments, we’ll always offer you the best and fairest price and will never recommend a replacement you don’t need. Regular servicing can check the health of your battery and ensure your car is working in the best condition to prevent more damage later on.

All cars will need a battery replacement down the line, if you invest in a good quality battery it can last about four to five years. As mentioned, car batteries can be relatively cheap to replace and are usually guaranteed for about three years. The type of battery you need will depend on the car and if your car uses start/stop technology then you’ll need an advanced car battery. We are happy to advise you on the best replacement for your car.