Service Plus Automotive posts educating, engaging, and entertaining blog posts about auto repair, preventative maintenance, and our involvement and other activities within the Calcium, NY, Fort Drum, and Watertown community. We post monthly updates, so we encourage you to check back in. Happy reading!

How To Tell If Your Battery Needs To Be Replaced

Do you know how to spot the signs that your car is in need of a new battery? Service Plus is offering you a helpful guide in case you don’t know.

Let’s start with the benign signs. These usually don’t require immediate action, but warrant bringing your car into Service Plus Automotive for a quick check:

  • Slow start. This is when you ‘turn the car over’ (attempt to start the vehicle) and the engine makes a slow whirring crank sound... the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start. This might not be for sure a battery issue. It can be the alternator or it can be extreme cold, so it’s better to get it checked out.
  • Check Engine Light or Check Battery Light. The check engine light sometimes appears when your battery power is weak or a different battery image shows when it senses a problem. Again, this isn’t urgent, but to avoid being stranded, get it checked out.
  • Electronics Not Running at full level. This means that the headlights, the car’s music player, or the dashboard electronics are not working as they are supposed to, having dimmed or completely out. This is a situation where you want to see us immediately.
  • Low Battery Fluid Level. Car batteries have fluid points usually near the charge points that must have water in them. If the water level of these is low, corrosion is the usual outcome, and that means acidic corrosion that must be safely removed to keep from damaging your engine. 
  • Corrosion on the post. As stated, this is a more serious issue (it’s a fluid leak and it’s highly acidic), but usually a result of a long hot summer cleaning out your car’s battery (and usually a tell-tale sign that you haven’t had engine service by a qualified mechanic for a long time. You’ll want to check the water, and then clean and monitor the situation over the next few days, but it’s best to get service ASAP.

Then there are the more dangerous signs, that point to getting a new battery immediately:

  • Swollen, Bloating Battery Case. If your battery casing looks like plastic left under a windscreen-- bubbled and distorted-- excessive heat has swollen your battery case, decreasing your battery life. It's already damaged-- consider replacing this right away.
  • Old Age. If your battery is 3-or-4 years old, it may be coming soon to a point where it needs to be replaced. If it’s older than four years, get it replaced immediately.

Much of this advice comes from the YouTube channel HelpfulDIY’s guide to car batteries:

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For all your car battery issues, bring your vehicle in to Service Plus Automotive in Calcium! Come discover why we are the trusted source for auto repair in Calcium, NY, Fort Drum, and Watertown. Schedule an appointment today for a full winter check-up. We are conveniently located at 27721 State Route 283, Calcium, NY 13616 (just across from Fort Drum), and we are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.



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