Car batteries are one of those components of your vehicle that you can easily forget to check on a regular basis. Yet they perform the important task of supplying the electricity needed to start your car and operate its electrical and electronic parts and accessories.
Just like other car parts, auto batteries can develop problems that prevent them from working properly. Here are some common problems that you may experience with your car battery and how to fix them.
Loose battery connections
Over time, the electrical contacts connected to your car battery can become loose as your car runs. When this happens, your car may not draw enough electricity from the batter,y and the battery may not get charged properly. This can lead to a variety of problems, such as:
- Difficulty in starting your car
- Your car not starting at all
- Dimming headlights
- The battery light on your car's dashboard coming on
The above signs are usually an indication that electricity is not able to reach certain parts of your vehicle. The good news is that loose battery connections can be repaired by simply tightening up the loose battery terminals.
Corroded battery connections
Another battery terminal-related reason why your car battery may work erratically or at less than its full capacity is corrosion. Corrosion can occur at the battery terminals over time, making it difficult to distribute electricity to important parts of the vehicle. When this happens, a car breakdown will be inevitable.
Corroded battery terminals can be fixed by simply cleaning the terminals to remove the built-up corrosion.
Low electrolyte level
If your car uses a lead-acid battery, you'll need to keep both of its lead plates (the positive plate and the negative plate) fully immersed in a fluid to keep the battery working at its full capacity.
The fluid in your lead-acid battery is a mixture of sulphuric acid and water. It is called an electrolyte in technical terms. As your car runs, the water in the battery gradually breaks down and evaporates. This causes the electrolyte level to drop over time. If the electrolyte level is not replenished, it can lead to a loss of battery capacity.
If you feel like your battery isn't performing at its full potential, check the fluid level to make sure that there's enough fluid inside. If the electrolyte level is lower than it should be, you'll need to add distilled water to the battery.
Your car battery can fail due to a variety of problems. Knowing what these problems are and how they can be addressed can help you deal with most battery problems on yourself. However, if you're confronted with a battery issue you can't resolve on your own, you should visit a car repair shop near you.