Is Your Car Battery Dying? Here Are the Signs

You’re driving along, your favorite song is playing on the radio, and the car starts sputtering suddenly. You pull over to the side of the road and realize that the car battery is dead. How frustrating, right? It’s avoidable only if you can detect the symptoms of the dying battery. Let’s discuss the warning signs that your car battery is malfunctioning and what to do about it.

How to Detect a Bad Car Battery: 5 Warning Signs

Most people don’t think about car batteries until they are dead. And it’s not always easy to tell when it is dying. Sometimes, the signs can be subtle.

But if you know what to look for, you can catch a bad battery before it leaves you stranded. These signs will tell you that your car battery is on its way out.

Slow engine crank

When you turn the key in the ignition, does it take longer than usual for your engine to start? If so, this is another symptom of a dying battery. A healthy battery should provide enough power to start your engine instantly.

If you have to wait more than a few seconds for your engine to turn over, it’s time for a new battery.

Check engine light is on

The check engine light is one of the most common indicators of something wrong with your car.

If this light comes on and stays on, it could indicate that your battery is not providing enough power to the engine. Several things could cause this, but a failing battery is one possibility.

bad car battery symptoms
A bad battery will make the check engine light come ON. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Wikiuser100000)

So if this light pops up on your dashboard, it’s time to take your car in for a check-up – and possibly a new battery.

Sudden backfiring

If your car starts making strange popping or backfiring noises, it’s time to get your battery checked out. It happens because of fuel accumulation in the cylinders, resulting from a dying battery’s random sparks.

The backfiring is the by-product of the sudden ignition of this built-up fuel. Several issues can trigger the backfiring problem, and a failing battery is one of them.

Clicking sound when you turn the key

If you hear a clicking noise when you turn your key in the ignition, it means that your starter motor is trying to draw power from a weak battery. The clicking sound happens when the battery cannot send adequate power to the starter solenoid.

If this happens, you’re not going anywhere until you get a jump start or replace your battery.

The car’s electrical accessories are acting up

If your car’s electrical accessories – like the radio, windshield wipers, or power windows – are acting up, it indicates a battery issue.

These electrical components draw power from the battery. They act up or do not work when they don’t get enough electrical supply.


The car won’t start at all

If your car won’t start, it’s probably because the battery is dead. If you turn the key in the ignition and nothing happens, chances are good that you’re going to need a new battery.


The battery in your car is responsible for many essential tasks, so it’s important to keep it in good condition. If your vehicle shows these symptoms, you should do a battery check-up.