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Signs You Need to Have Your Car Battery Replaced

July 1st, 2023 | NAPA AUTO PARTS

Your car battery is the unsung hero of your on-the-go lifestyle. But a car battery has a lifespan just like any other car part and you don’t want to be stuck when it finally bows out. Here’s a few signs to look out for so you can spot when your battery is going bad, and the best solution for replacing it.

Not Cranking

This one speaks for itself. If nothing happens when you turn the key, there is a high likelihood that the battery is completely drained. Before you decide that the battery is dead you need to check the battery connections. Locate the battery and identify the positive and negative terminals. Try to give each battery connection a wiggle to verify if it is firmly attached. Sometimes terminals can loosen leading to a no-start condition. If a connection is loose, use a battery wrench to tighten it up. If both connections are firm then the next step is a jump start or some time on a battery charger. If neither of those bring the battery back to life then it is time for replacement. To be certain, have your battery tested by a trained technician at a NAPA Car Care Center, a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop, or through AAA Mobile Battery Service.

Slow Cranking

A dying battery may have enough power to turn the engine, but it may not rotate fast enough to start once fuel and spark are applied. On a modern vehicle, various components all need battery power to crank and start the engine. If the engine is slow to crank over, but does eventually catch, the battery can then be recharged by the alternator. Charging the battery with the alternator takes time – possibly more time than your morning/evening commute. But eventually the battery will weaken to a point where even being recharged by the alternator won’t hold enough power to crank and start the engine next time.


Corrosion can occur where the battery terminals connect to the power cables. Locate your car battery and check for any greenish-grey crumbly buildup on the connections. If the battery cable connectors have a heavy coating of corrosion then it is a fair sign that the battery may have damaged terminals or was overcharged causing an acid leak.  Over time hydrogen gas can leak from the battery. That gas reacts with the copper metal found in the battery connections and creates copper sulfate, which is what makes up the corrosion you see. A leaking battery, regardless of severity, should be replaced immediately and the vehicle’s charging system checked.

Physical Damage

Car batteries can lead a tough life depending on where the auto manufacturer puts them. A battery under a car seat or in the trunk will lead quite a different life than one under the hood with the radiator, engine, and some exhaust components. Vibration caused by driving (not just on rough roads, but everyday travel with seams in concrete roadways, potholes, and the like) can limit the useful life of the actual components inside the battery. A loose or missing battery hold-down can lead to unnecessary vibration or physical damage to the case and internal battery components. It is important to keep your battery fully charged. Extreme cold weather can actually freeze a battery if it is deeply discharged and lead to a cracked battery case. Any damage to the outside case is cause for immediate replacement as it means the battery electrolyte – a sulfuric acid solution – will leak and cause potentially costly damage.


While your battery does not have an expiration date on it like the milk in your refrigerator, it does have a way to calculate the in-service time. AAA batteries have a date code on the top label of the battery that indicates the month and year it was manufactured. On average, automotive batteries last 3 to 5 years. If the purchase date is older than five years then you are more likely due for a replacement.

Buying A New Battery

When it comes time for replacement the best solution for peace of mind is a AAA Premium battery. Rugged construction and optimized smart circuit design mean a direct electric power path that delivers stronger starts and higher cranking amps. Water loss is held to a minimum thanks to the grid construction that reduces outgassing. You’ll have plenty of emergency power when you need it the most. Each AAA Premium battery is backed by a 3-year free replacement limited warranty. AAA Premium batteries are available at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store as well as participating AAA-Approved Auto Repair Shops, NAPA AutoCare Centers, and AAA’s Mobile Battery Service. AAA members also save $22 off the purchase price at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and via

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