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Car Battery Acting Up? Follow These 3 Tips

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It's never fun when you have a car battery that fails when on the road. However, it helps to know why your battery could be acting up so you can troubleshoot the problem.

1. Know What The Dashboard Battery Light Means

When that battery light on your dashboard lights up, the chances are that the batter is not the problem. Don't make the mistake of running out to the store to get a brand new battery. It is more likely that there is a problem somewhere within the car's charging system. In most situations, you can have a problem with the alternator or faulty wires.

You'll most likely need to have the vehicle towed, so take it straight to a mechanic. They'll diagnose the problem to determine if it is indeed the alternator, which will officially rule out the battery as being the problem. Typically, a failing alternator is accompanied by a burning smell or growling sound coming from under the hood.

2. Consider Using A Car Jump Starter

Jumper cables are an essential item in every car's emergency kit, but they require another car to be around in order to use them. It is a better idea to have a car jump starter handy in case you end up with a dead battery, which is essentially a portable battery with a set of jumper cables attached to them. These devices are easy for anyone to use, and can be used when your vehicle won't start and you can't find another person with a vehicle to help you out.

Unfortunately, car jump starters are not perfect. The battery does need occasional charging, or else it will not have enough power to start up your vehicle. You'll need to occasionally take it inside and plug it in to ensure that it has enough power.

3. Know How To Deal With A Frozen Battery

Cold weather can freeze a car battery. This happens when the water and sulfuric acid within the battery cannot mix due to the water freezing. Jump-starting a battery that has frozen is a bad idea since it can injure you and cause damage to your car.

The key to figuring out if the battery is actually frozen is to attempt to turn the car's battery on. If there is enough juice to cause the dashboard lights to turn on, the battery isn't frozen and is safe to use jumper cables. If no dashboard lights come on, take your car to an auto service shop for assistance.