How Can I Tell If My Car Battery Needs Replacing?

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There are few things more frightening than hearing buzzing or clicking from your car when you’re trying to start it. It could mean any number of things, but chances are that it means you have a faulty car battery. You need to test your car battery, and it might be time to replace the battery, or maybe just do some car battery maintenance.

Do I have a bad car battery?

Maybe or maybe not. A car battery doesn’t last forever, but sometimes the problem isn’t really the battery – it’s simple hygiene. So the very first thing you do is simply disconnect the battery cables (negative first). Now, take a look. Do the posts and connectors look clean, or are they covered with a whitish substance? This is corrosion, and it’s preventing your car battery from communicating effectively with your car’s electrical system. So get a brush, or some steel wool, and start removing it. Don’t worry about damaging the posts and connections – that’s not going to happen. Follow up your cleaning with a coating of grease on the cable clamps and posts – plain old Vaseline will do the trick quite nicely.

Battery still won’t take a charge?

The battery’s electrolyte level could be low. This is the balance of water and sulfuric acid that delivers the charge to the rest of your car’s electrical system. YourMechanic can test your car battery using a device called a hydrometer. If the electrolyte level is low, your battery might be over-charging.

If the hydrometer reveals that the battery is fully discharged, YourMechanic will hook the battery up to a charger. If the battery won’t hold a charge, then you can probably safely assume that you have a bad car battery that needs to be replaced.

Still no start?

If you’ve performed these car battery maintenance tasks, and your car still won’t start, you’ll need to explore other possibilities. A proper battery inspection by a mechanic could be helpful in this situation.


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Recent Brake Pad Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

11,007

Rating Summary
10,490
331
68
33
85
10,490
331
68
33
85

Richard

15 years of experience
60 reviews
Richard
15 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Fremont, California
Excellent communicator, walked me through the fixes and even gave me an idea of what might be next on the fix list.
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Union City, California
quickly diagnosed the problem but knew it would take longer than appt time to fix. since we had appt the next day for brakes he rearranged his schedule to do it all together the next day. very knowledgeable, friendly, and professional.

Tung

14 years of experience
285 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Mableton, Georgia
Very detailed and customer service oriented. Did an amazing job fixing my back brakes and even set-up a schedule of future appointments for my car!
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Horus

9 years of experience
103 reviews
Horus
9 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Antonio, Texas
Horace worked on my Land Rover today. Showed up on time and was professional and courteous. Replaced front and rear break pads. Great job!

Juan

11 years of experience
37 reviews
Juan
11 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Mountain House, California
Was very thorough in explaining the condition of the car and how the repairs will impact it’s service.

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