I think it's really important to know a bit about the internals of a car, so that when you are getting your car serviced you can talk intelligently with the auto technician. As well, there are many easy DIY jobs you can do on your car to save your some money which can make all the difference when you are young and starting out. This site is where I am recording everything I am teaching my kids about auto servicing, and because I think it will be useful to many other families as well. I hope you find it useful for your family.
If you wait until your car doesn't start to replace the battery, you might be stranded at the grocery store with a trunk full of food that will spoil or be at a gas station in the middle of nowhere during a road trip. To avoid these types of situations, pay attention to your car so you know when to replace the battery before it dies completely. Here are some common signs that it is time to replace the car battery.
Electrical Components Are Lagging
One of the earlier signs you will notice when your car battery starts to fail and is in need of replacing is when the electrical components lag. They might still be working, but tend to go slower, or you need to press the button a few times before anything happens. For example, if you have power windows and locks, the window might roll down extremely slowly, or the locks might require pushing the lock button a few times before it works properly. The radio inside your vehicle can also be affected by a failing battery. As soon as these things happen, it is time to have your battery tested to find out if it should be replaced soon.
The Engine is Slow to Turn Over
Another thing you may notice that is lagging is the engine. When you start your car, and it eventually turns over, but it is slow, it might not actually be due to a failing engine or starter. This might actually be related to the battery. The car battery is going to help your car start and remain running, so if the power starts to fail, it gradually makes it harder and harder to start that engine. Hearing a clicking noise when attempting to turn the ignition is a very common sign of having a battery in need of replacing.
You Have Jumped the Car Frequently
Even if you weren't jumping the car due to a failing battery, jumping it multiple times in a short period of time can cause stress on the battery, which means you will need a new one soon. Perhaps in the last week, you left the lights on and the battery died, so you needed a jump, but then the starter was bad, and then the door was left open. This is happening much too often for you to keep getting a jump and charging the battery. You really should consider getting a new one and trying to remind yourself to turn off the lights and shut the door completely.
You Don't Remember When it Was Replaced Last
You likely already know that car batteries don't last forever, but knowing exactly how old a battery is sometimes hard to determine. If you have had the car for a while, but don't actually remember ever changing the battery or it has been so long you don't remember how old it is, it is probably time for a new one.