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Battery Breakdown

When your vehicle starts acting up, it’s easy to feel a sense of alarm. You start brainstorming all the possible reasons behind the malfunction. In the complex automotive world, it’s tempting to assume that any hiccup is indicative of a larger issue. However, sometimes the culprit behind your car’s odd behavior is as straightforward as a worn-out battery. At Pete’s Auto Parts, serving Michigan since 1956, we understand the importance of maintaining your vehicle’s battery health. Harsh weather conditions can swiftly drain a battery’s life, so our Michigan climate also plays a significant role in battery longevity. Consider this your comprehensive guide to pre-owned car batteries, brought to you by Pete’s Auto Parts, your trusted source for recycled original equipment. In this post, we’ll delve into the following topics:

  1. Signs indicating your car might need a new battery.
  2. What to consider before purchasing a battery.
  3. What to look for in a reliable pre-owned car battery.

Is It Time to Replace Your Car Battery? Here’s How to Know

Has it been *years* since you last replaced your car’s battery? If so, it might be time to consider a replacement if you want to ensure uninterrupted performance on the road. But how can you determine if it’s the right moment to swap out your battery? Here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:

Battery Age

Many people wait until their battery is dead and they are stranded to address the issue. But vehicle batteries should be swapped out every three years or so for optimal functioning. Sure, factors such as local climate and driving frequency also influence a battery’s lifespan. Extreme temperatures, like those we experience in Michigan, can accelerate battery deterioration. Or, if your vehicle sits idle for extended periods, the battery will degrade faster due to insufficient charging opportunities.

If you can’t recall the last time you installed a new battery, it’s likely time for a replacement. Before making a decision, check the battery’s manufacturing date to ensure it’s past its recommended service period.

It’s Been a Few Years Since the Last Replacement: If your car battery is over three years old, it’s prudent to replace it, helping you avoid unexpected breakdowns.

Dimming Interior Lights & Headlights: Your car’s battery powers essential electrical components, including headlights, dashboard lights, and interior illumination. Dimming or flickering lights are telltale signs of a dying battery. As the battery weakens, it struggles to sustain power to these systems, resulting in diminished performance.

To assess your battery’s health, you do not even need to take your vehicle to certified technician for testing, you can use a voltmeter for a DIY evaluation. A voltage reading below 11.8 volts indicates the need for recharging or replacement.

Slow or Unresponsive Engine Startup: If your vehicle’s engine cranks slowly or fails to start altogether, it could indicate a failing battery. In Michigan’s frigid winters, dead batteries are a common occurrence due to increased strain on the electrical system.

As batteries age, their charging capacity diminishes, leading to sluggish engine starts. A fresh battery is better equipped to retain charge and withstand extreme temperatures, ensuring reliable performance.

Frequent Jumpstarts: Recurring instances of jumpstarting your vehicle signal an ailing battery. Over time, batteries lose their ability to hold a charge efficiently, necessitating more frequent jumpstarts. If your battery frequently dies during periods of inactivity, it’s a clear indicator that replacement is imminent.

Bulging or Corroded Battery Casing: Inspect your battery for signs of swelling or corrosion. These abnormalities suggest exposure to extreme temperatures, compromising the battery’s integrity and longevity. Any deviation from the standard square shape indicates potential issues warranting attention.

Unusual Odor: While uncommon, battery leaks can emit a foul odor resembling rotten eggs due to hydrogen sulfide gas production. Ignoring this smell can lead to damage to other vehicle components. Prompt inspection by a qualified technician is essential to address potential leaks and prevent further damage.

Check Engine Light Activation: Although the check engine light can indicate various issues, it may also signal a failing battery. If the light illuminates unexpectedly, seek professional assistance to diagnose the underlying cause, which could include battery deterioration.

Clicking Sounds: If your vehicle emits unusual clicking noises during startup, it’s likely due to a failing battery. This symptom should not be ignored, as it indicates impending battery failure. Prompt action, such as battery replacement or professional servicing, is necessary to prevent further complications.

Corroded Terminals: Examine your battery terminals for signs of corrosion, which can disrupt voltage flow and compromise battery performance. While terminal deterioration is normal over time, excessive corrosion requires attention. Cleaning the terminals with a baking soda solution and stiff brush can alleviate mild corrosion, but severe buildup warrants battery replacement.

3 Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Car Battery

  1. Size and Power Compatibility

Selecting a battery of appropriate size and power output is crucial to prevent compatibility issues. Before visiting Pete’s Auto Parts, identify your vehicle’s battery specifications and bring along the old battery for comparison. Alternatively, consult a knowledgeable staff member for assistance in selecting the correct replacement. We do supply a tape measure and a battery meter for measuring and testing! 

  1. Battery Age and Warranty Coverage

Examine the battery’s date stamp to determine its age and remaining service life. Although every battery comes with a lifetime warranty, it’s still smart to choose a battery with a recent date stamp so you know you won’t have to come back TOO SOON to swap that battery out for a fresh one. Prioritize batteries with recent dates!

  1. Terminal Configuration

Ensure that the pre-owned battery’s terminal placement aligns with your vehicle’s specifications to facilitate seamless installation. Photographing your existing battery or seeking guidance from our knowledgeable staff can help identify compatible replacements. At Pete’s Auto Parts there are often shelves full of top posts while every side post flies out the door immediately. If you can’t find the configuration you need, consider a conversion kit, available at our front desk. 

What Constitutes a Quality Pre-Owned Car Battery? 

  1. Age Verification

Inspect the battery’s date stamp to verify its age and determine remaining service life. Avoid batteries nearing the end of their recommended lifespan to minimize the risk of premature failure.

  1. Corrosion-Free Exterior

Excessive corrosion indicates prior damage or neglect, compromising the battery’s performance and longevity. Choose batteries with minimal signs of corrosion for optimal reliability.

  1. Adequate Power Output

Ensure that the pre-owned battery matches your vehicle’s power requirements to avoid performance issues. Selecting a battery with sufficient cranking amps and reserve capacity ensures reliable operation in various conditions. This is measured in terms of Cold Cranking Amps or CCA. 

Find Quality Automotive Components at Pete’s Auto Parts

Your vehicle’s battery is a critical component that influences its performance and reliability. Recognizing signs of battery failure, such as dimming lights and sluggish engine starts, empowers you to take proactive measures to prevent breakdowns. 

If you’re in need of a car battery on a budget, consider opting for a pre-owned battery.  Pete’s Auto Parts offers a cost-effective solution for acquiring automotive components, including batteries. For $60 (plus tax and $10 core fee if you do not have an old battery to exchange.) you get a LIFETIME warrantied battery. That means you can bring your battery back and exchange it for a fresh one for the rest of your vehicle’s life, as long as you have your receipt! If you sell the vehicle, the new owner can enjoy this warranty, as it is fully transferable.  This is no junkyard, what you are getting is a LIFETIME warranty when you buy a battery from us. Pete’s Auto Parts is your trusted partner in Michigan. You can read the Battery Warranty that spells out the lifetime warranty. With nearly seven decades of experience serving the community, we offer quality used car parts at competitive prices. Visit us today to pick out a used battery with a lifetime warranty for just $60 (plus tax & core!)

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Pete’s Auto Parts is a well-established used auto parts supplier in Michigan that employs a team of five highly knowledgeable salespeople dedicated to finding the right parts for customers.

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Every part comes with a standard 90-day part-only warranty as we stand by our quality. Plus, we offer extended warranty options so you can rest easy knowing your investment is protected.