What does a car battery do?
The car battery is responsible for powering all of the electric components in your car. As well as the lights, stereo, windscreen wipers, etc. it is also responsible for powering the ignition system that starts your engine and keeps it running.
How often should a car battery need replacing?
A car battery is to have an expected lifespan of between 4 to 6 years. This is dependent on several factors, for example, the quality of the battery, weather conditions, vehicle type, driving habits, and vehicle type.
The law, vehicle regulations, and your MOT
The physical condition of your battery will not cause your car to fail an MOT, but if the car won’t start, run or operate the electrical components properly because of your battery, then that will.
What causes a car battery to stop working correctly?
Your battery is continually being charged by your car’s alternator while driving, so it’s only through damage or that it has reached the end of its operational life, that it will fail to hold its charge.
On occasions when there has been excessive electrical use without your battery being recharged, your battery will be drained. A drained battery will only require a recharge unless the battery is faulty and its failed operation was instrumental to the drain.
After prolonged use, a car battery can leak the acid that holds the electrical charge. This liquid will turn to a white or bluish powder where it dries, so is fairly easy to spot.
Eventually, a battery will simply reach the end of its life. At this point, it’s time to organise a replacement.
Symptoms of a malfunctioning car battery
If your car won’t start
If your car doesn’t start when you turn the ignition switch, especially when the engine doesn’t make any attempt to turn over, your battery could be flat.
None of the electrical components work
If the lights, fan, radio or any other electrical components in your car don’t turn on or operate, then your battery could be drained or damaged.
The terminals are corroded
If the terminals (connection points) on your battery are corroded, then your battery is likely to be damaged or worn out.
Your battery has powdery deposits on it
If there are white or blueish powdery deposits on any parts of the battery, this is a sign of acid leaking and incorrect operation of your battery.