Battery Testing & Replacements

 

Few things can disrupt your day like a faulty battery. Whether it's preventing you from getting out of your driveway in the morning or out of the parking lot at the grocery store, a dead battery can keep an otherwise perfect vehicle from moving anywhere.

Not only that, but if you leave a dead battery in your vehicle for too long it can end up damaging other components and costing you even more money in repairs.

It's something we all want to avoid which is why we came up with this guide to help you understand the warning signs of a faulty battery and where you can take your vehicle to get it tested and replaced when the time comes.

Signs of a Faulty Battery

There are a few tell-tale signs of a faulty battery and we'll go over them for you here.

However, before we dive too far into things, we want to highlight that there are a few other conditions that can mimic a faulty battery. Things like a chipped starter or a faulty alternator fool many inexperienced drivers into replacing the battery when there wasn't really anything wrong with it.

With that in mind, some of the most common symptoms of a faulty battery are:

  • A vehicle that keeps dying - especially in colder weather
  • A battery warning light on the dash
  • Slow engine starts
  • Intermittent operation of electrical components
  • Warped battery case
  • Corroded battery terminals

Getting the Most Out of Your Vehicle's Battery

Nobody wants to replace a vehicle battery until they have to. That's why it's so important to take care of your battery before you start running into problems. If you already need a new battery we still recommend reading this section so your new battery will last as long as possible.

First, you want to ensure that you're giving enough time during your driving trips for the battery to charge back up. This means at least a few trips onto the highway or a longer drive of about 30 minutes or so.

Second, try to insulate your battery from the climate. While you can't keep your vehicle inside while you're driving it, storing it in a garage when you're at home can help extend the battery life.

Third, to get the most out of your battery you need to use it. That means driving your vehicle frequently, at least two to three times a week for about 30 minutes each time.

Finally, getting the right battery for your vehicle is essential to get the most out of it. It's why we recommend going to an authorized service dealer like Bournival Jeep since they'll help you get the right battery in your vehicle the first time.

When Should You Test or Replace Your Vehicle's Battery?

If you're not noticing any problems with your vehicle there's no real reason to test or replace the battery. However, if you're noticing that it's taking longer for your vehicle to start up or that various electrical components aren't working the way they should then you should test the battery.

Of course, if your vehicle won't start at any point testing the battery is a great place to start too. Another time you might want to upgrade the battery in your vehicle is if you're adding a lot of after-market components that draw additional power.

As far as replacing the battery you should keep using the same battery until performance starts to drop off and you've tested the battery.

Sometimes all the battery needs is a little time on the charger and it'll start working like new and give you another year or two of solid performance. Let a professional test it for you and they'll advise you on the best course of action regarding battery replacement.

Because weather conditions play such a large role in how long a battery will last, we can't give you an exact time frame, but regular lead-acid batteries typically last between 3 and 5 years. Meanwhile, AGM-style batteries will typically last twice as long as a lead-acid battery.

Can a Faulty Battery Damage Other Components?

Yes. The exact way a faulty battery can damage other components depends on the problem with the battery, but there's no doubt that a faulty battery will at least cause other components to wear out faster than they should.

The component most susceptible to damage is the alternator. That's because it will go into overdrive trying to keep the battery at the correct charge, even though the battery can no longer hold that charge.

That means every time you're driving the alternator is pumping voltage into the battery. However, while that's the component that's most susceptible to damage, depending on what the problem with the battery is, every electrical component in your vehicle is at risk.

The battery can short out and send an excess amount of voltage to another electrical component and damage it leading to far more damage. While this is unlikely, it's not impossible if you keep driving around on a faulty battery.

Another concern is that the battery can bulge and warp until it finally explodes. Since battery acid is an acid, this will likely damage other components in your vehicle. If you do see battery acid, don't touch it because of its corrosive nature.

Testing and Replacing Your Vehicle's Battery

Too often drivers assume that just because they can't get their vehicle started, it's because of a faulty battery. Often cheap battery testers point you in the wrong direction or a sketchy part-store salesperson will try to sell you on the quickest fix for them.

It's a job you want to get right the first time, which is why it's best to stick with an authorized service center like Bournival Jeep. Not only will they test your vehicle's battery for you, but they'll also test the entire charging and starting system to ensure that everything is in working order.

That means they won't replace the wrong part and your vehicle will start up every time you turn the key.