What Are the Signs of a Failing Car Battery?

Date: November 28, 2023

A car battery is the unsung hero of your vehicle, silently powering everything from the engine to the lights and electrical systems. It's a critical component that, when failing, can bring your daily commute to an abrupt halt. Tucked away under the hood is the battery in UAE, which stores the energy needed for starting up the engine and powering many electronics. However, every component is mortal, despite its functionality. Recognizing the signs of a dying battery is crucial for timely intervention and avoiding the inconvenience of being stranded. In this blog, we will explore unmistakable signs that indicate your car battery is dead or on the brink of failure, helping you take proactive measures for a smooth, uninterrupted driving experience.

Engine Cranks But Doesn't Start 

When you turn the ignition key and hear the engine crank but fail to start, it's a classic sign that your car's battery may be dead. This symptom manifests when the battery has enough power to activate the starter motor but not enough to ignite the engine. The cranking sound indicates that the starter motor is engaging, but the lack of engine ignition suggests that the battery's charge is insufficient.

Technically, this scenario points to a depleted battery that's lost its ability to hold and deliver the full power needed for starting the engine. While batteries naturally degrade over time, this particular sign often occurs after prolonged use or due to electrical drains. A battery in this state may still have enough surface charge to power smaller components like lights or the radio, but starting an engine requires a much larger burst of energy, which a failing battery can no longer provide. This discrepancy is why the engine might crank but not start, signalling that it's time to check the battery's health or replace it.

No Crank, No Start, No Lights

One of the most definitive signs of a dead car battery is when there is no crank, no start, and no lights. This situation indicates a complete absence of electrical power. When you turn the ignition key and nothing happens—no engine sound, no dashboard lights, and no headlight response—it typically means the battery has no charge left to power any vehicle system.

In troubleshooting this scenario, first check if the battery terminals are clean and securely connected, as corroded or loose connections can mimic a dead battery. If the connections are fine, try jump-starting the car with the help of another vehicle. If the car starts, the issue is likely with the battery. However, if jump-starting doesn’t work, the problem could be with the starter motor or alternator. In such cases, professional diagnostic services are recommended to identify and resolve the issue accurately.

Dim Headlights and Electrical Malfunctions 

Dim headlights and other electrical malfunctions are telltale signs of issues with your car's battery health, often indicating the need for car battery service. When the battery starts to fail, it loses its efficiency to power the vehicle's electrical components. This inefficiency first becomes noticeable in systems that demand less power, like headlights and interior lights, which appear dimmer than usual.

A weakened battery can cause significant damage to a car’s electrical system. The battery weakens with time and is unable to provide enough power for other electrical components like the infotainment system, dashboard lights, power windows, and even air conditioning. The presence of these symptoms represents declining battery health as well as insufficient charge to kick-start the engine. Therefore, immediate battery service in Dubai is crucial to prevent getting stuck on the road.

Check Engine Light

In the UAE, particularly for those driving in Dubai, the check engine light illuminating your dashboard should not be ignored, as it can sometimes indicate a problem with your battery. While this light can signal various issues, a weak or dying battery is a common culprit. This is because the battery plays a crucial role in powering the vehicle’s electrical systems, and any fluctuation in power can trigger the check engine light.

If this light comes on, it's recommended first to check your battery's condition. For drivers in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, seeking professional battery service in Dubai should be a priority. If a thorough diagnostic check does not identify the main cause, the battery will be at fault. Replacing a faulty battery immediately ensures that the operation of your car remains smooth without hitches.

Battery case looks swollen.

A swollen battery case is a visible sign that it's time for a battery purchase or to buy a new battery. During a visual inspection, check for any bulging or deformities in the battery case. A normal battery should have flat sides; any deviation from this can indicate swelling. This physical change is often caused by excessive heat, which leads to the battery fluid evaporating and gas expansion within the case. It can also result from overcharging, where internal components break down and release gases. Swelling not only affects the battery’s performance but also poses a safety risk, making it crucial to replace the battery promptly.

Battery Leaks Acid

Spotting acid leaks from a car battery is a clear warning that the battery needs immediate attention. These leaks usually manifest as a white or greenish corrosive substance around the battery terminals or on the battery case itself. Acid leaks can severely damage the battery and the surrounding components, leading to poor performance and potential safety hazards.

Safety is critical while handling a leaking battery. Wear protective gloves and glasses at all times, as the solution is acidic. Avoid any sparks or flames near the battery, as leaked acid can be flammable. It's safest to have the battery inspected and replaced by a professional to prevent any risks associated with handling a damaged, leaking battery.

Battery Age

The age of a car battery significantly impacts its performance and reliability. Car batteries usually last between three and five years but depend upon other parameters such as climatic conditions, traffic, and servicing. During the maturity of batteries, their ability to store a charge reduces and increases the probability of breakdown. Regularly monitoring a battery’s age is crucial. If your battery is nearing or has surpassed the five-year mark, it's wise to proactively consider replacing it to avoid unexpected breakdowns and maintain optimal vehicle performance.

What to Do If Your Battery Is Dead

When you notice that your car battery has died and you are in Dubai or any other place within the UAE, the first remedy is to seek battery service. It is important to opt for well-recognized battery brands in the UAE for replacement so as to guarantee quality and longevity. Research and select a battery that matches your vehicle's specifications and usage needs. Professional installation is recommended for safety and to ensure that the battery is correctly fitted and functioning. In Dubai, many service centres offer expert installation, ensuring your new battery is properly integrated with your vehicle's electrical system for optimal performance.

Conclusion

Recognizing these signs can prevent unexpected breakdowns and ensure your vehicle's reliability. Timely battery checks and regular maintenance are crucial in extending the life of your car battery. We encourage all drivers to have their car batteries checked regularly and to seek professional advice for any battery-related issues, ensuring a smooth and safe driving experience. Do not hesitate to buy a new battery when needed.