When the battery in your car dies, you aren't going anywhere. This is a situation no vehicle owner ever wants to face. Since battery failure is progressive, knowing how to recognize the warning signs can keep you from getting stranded.
If you've had your battery for several years, even if you aren't noticing any signs that the battery is failing, failure may be imminent. The average car battery will last somewhere between two and five years. Once you've had your battery around four years, it's a good idea to start having the battery tested by a professional. With testing, a mechanic can let you know if it's time to replace your battery so that you can do so before it fails.
When you turn on your car and it starts, but does so slower than it normally does, this is a warning sign not to ignore. When starting your vehicle, the battery has to transmit a great deal of power. As the battery starts to fail, the amount of power it delivers will also decline. In turn, this means it takes longer for the vehicle to turn over and turn on. If you're experiencing this issue and you ignore it, eventually the vehicle simply won't power on.
Is the encasement around the battery enlarged? If you look under the hood and this is what you see, you've got a problem brewing on your hands. When your battery is exposed to extreme heat or cold, or there is some other problem, a chemical reaction can occur within the battery. This reaction causes the encasement to swell. If the battery is still working in this state, consider yourself lucky. It's literally only a matter of time before it stops working.
A failing battery may also start to produce an unusual smell that is reminiscent of old, or rotten eggs. When the battery starts to die, it can start to vent gas, which is the reason for the scent you smell. In the early stages, you might only notice this scent when you look under the hood, but eventually the smell will start to seep through your vents, filling the cabin. Have a battery in this condition inspected and replaced.
If you don't have a vehicle equipped with a battery warning system, these tips can keep you from finding yourself stranded. Make sure you're being mindful of these warning signs. In the event of a failed battery, contacting an auto towing professional can get you back on the move safely.