Your car's battery is arguably the second most important part of your vehicle, right behind the engine. An improperly functioning battery will severely adversely affect the performance of your car, while a completely dead battery will leave you stranded on the side of the road, unable to even start the engine. Therefore, it's a good idea to know the warning signs of an old and failing battery so that you can replace it as soon as it begins to show signs of age or wear.
The most obvious sign of a battery that is in need of replacement is if you happen to experience any issues with your car's electrical systems. This can take a variety of different forms, but can range from poor radio performance, unreliable air conditioning and heating, flickering lights, and so on. If only one of your electrical systems is experiencing issues, the issue likely lies with that system itself, but if multiple systems are failing, your battery is likely to blame.
Similar to the above point, your battery is what provides your engine with the power to get started. If you experience any sort of ignition issue, particularly if your engine turns over multiple times before it catches, your car battery may be on its last legs. This is a particularly serious issue that should be addressed quickly: once your battery has trouble starting the engine, it's not very long before it completely fails to start it at all.
If your battery becomes damaged and begins to leak battery acid and other internal fluids, it will begin to give off a strong odor. Battery acid smells similar to rotten eggs, though it can be hard to pick up on while driving. If you notice that a strong smell is coming through your air conditioning or heating, or that your car smells odd in the driveway, your battery may be damaged. If this is the case, you need to have the battery replaced right away, as leaking battery acid can cause corrosion and physical damage to the components surrounding your car battery, which can be even more complex and expensive to fix.
In a similar vein to the above point, if you notice any electrical, ignition, or odor issues that you think may point to battery issues in your vehicle, you should open up the hood and inspect the battery itself. A damaged battery can swell in its case, visibly bulging outwards. While this isn't a symptom of poor battery performance, it does act as confirmation that you need to head to a mechanic straight away.
For more information, contact auto repair services near you.