When car batteries go bad, they can seem to die suddenly without warning. However, if you know what to look for, you’ll find that some common symptoms occur when the battery starts to fail, including the following issues: 

  • Slow Engine Crank
  • Old Age / Out of Warranty
  • Swelling, Bloating, or Leaking
  • Check Engine Light
  • Low Battery Fluid Level  

Let’s look at each of these problems and discuss what you can do to help extend your battery’s life. 

Slow Engine Crank  

When your car is slow to start, or the starter sounds slower than usual, it usually means the vehicle isn’t getting enough power from the battery. This issue occurs for several reasons, but one of the most common problems is the battery is starting to go bad. 

The best thing to do is test your battery and charging system. You can have these tests done by just about any mechanic, or you can buy a battery tester or use a multimeter to check the battery’s condition.  

Old Age Or Out Of Warranty

Batteries last three to five years on average, but their lifespan can be shorter in extremely hot or cold climates. As batteries get older, they start to hold less of a charge and don’t work as efficiently. This problem gets worse in hotter or colder environments, which place more strain on the battery. 

If your battery is past the warranty date, it is best to replace it. This is especially true if your car cranks slowly or you notice other issues. Replacing it before it goes out completely will save you a lot of time and trouble. 

Swelling, Bloating, Or Leaking

If you notice your battery looks swollen, or it is leaking, it should be replaced as soon as possible. Batteries contain sulfuric acid, which is extremely harmful and corrosive. In addition to damaging your car, sulfuric acid causes severe skin burns and burns the eyes. Inhaling can irritate your nose and throat and cause serious breathing difficulties.  

Check Engine Light

The battery light will come on on newer cars if one of the electronic systems receives a low voltage reading. While there could be several reasons why a system may receive less power than it needs, one of the most common problems is a weak battery. 

If the battery light comes on, test your battery and charging system to make sure they aren’t the issue. 

Low Battery Fluid

Most new batteries are maintenance-free and do not require you to top off their fluid, which is a mixture of distilled water and sulfuric acid. However, some types of batteries still require occasional maintenance, including topping them off with more distilled water.    

If your battery needs to be topped off, it will show the same signs as a low or weak battery. To top it off, open the battery cap and add more distilled water to the fill line. It is important to only add distilled water. Drinking water contains minerals that will cause the battery to degrade. 

GMB Offers Batteries You Can Trust

If your battery shows signs of failing, GMB has you covered. We carry the highest quality maintenance-free batteries for your car, truck, or SUVs.  These batteries use AGM construction and are powerful enough to handle the demands of modern electronics. Like all of the products we carry, you can trust us because:

  • We have been an industry-leading OEM and aftermarket automotive parts manufacturer since 1943.
  • We have locations on the east and west coasts in the US and global locations in Asia and Europe.
  • We believe your success is our future which is why we offer the products and support you need.

If you have any questions about our batteries or any of our products, please get in touch with us.


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