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Replacing car battery on Long Island, NY.

Is It Time to Replace Your Toyota's Battery?

Posted at Fri, May 13, 2022 9:00 PM

If you have ever tried to start your vehicle and there’s no response from the engine, you have likely experienced the sinking feeling associated with having a dead car battery. No matter what time of day it happens, it is always an inconvenience. While you might think it happened out of the blue, the chances are that there were actually signs that the battery was on its way out. Once you learn how to spot those signs, you can take steps to ensure you are never unpleasantly surprised by a dead car battery again.

Unusual Electrical Issues

There are a couple of electrical indicators that your Toyota’s battery is failing, but keep in mind there could be more than one cause for each of these. The first is weak headlights, which can be caused by the headlight itself being dirty. If you have checked and the headlights are actually quite clean, there is a good chance the culprit here is a dying battery.

The next issue is weak or flickering dashboard lights. A battery that is on the fritz can lead to troubles with the dashboard lights, and the “Check Engine” has even been known to come on due to a battery in need of replacing. Please note that if the “Check Engine” light is on in your Toyota, you should bring it in to have it checked out as it can encompass a number of different problems aside from a bad battery.

Difficulty Starting

In Long Island, it is not unusual for people to have trouble getting their vehicles started in the winter due to the cold temperatures. However, when you have trouble getting your Toyota started on a nicer day, it could be indicative of a bad battery. Typically there will be a clicking sound when you attempt to start your car and the battery is dead. This sound comes from the starter not having enough power to be charged.

Please note that the problem could also be the starter itself, so the best way to tell what the issue is to either test the battery yourself or bring it in to receive a battery health test.

Warped Battery

Extremes in temperatures can do some serious damage to your Toyota’s battery, and this results in a pretty obvious deformation of the battery itself. Also responsible for battery disfigurement is time – years of use can lead to this problem as well. A healthy battery will be properly rectangular, while a disfigured battery might appear swollen on one side. If this is the case, it is time to buy a replacement immediately.

Build Up of Corrosion

One of the most obvious signs of a worn out battery is the buildup of corrosive material around the terminals. Pop the hood and take a close look at the battery terminals – if you see a crusted yellow or blue-ish buildup around the red (positive) terminal (and sometimes the black terminal), it is a sign that you should replace the battery.

This corrosive buildup is not something that should be ignored, and this is because the acidic residue adds some resistance to the entire battery system and can result in a loss of overall voltage.

If you have the know-how, you can clean the corrosion off yourself which will result in the battery performing better. However, you may need to do this several times over, meaning that replacing the battery would be a better option.

A Distinct Odor

The fifth indication that a vehicle battery needs replacing is a distinctly sulfurous odor. This stems from the release of hydrogen sulfide, which can be released by overcharged or damaged batteries. The cause of this is the leaking of an acidic gas and if it is left unchecked, it can actually corrode other parts of the engine. Therefore, if you experience this smell while driving, it is paramount you check the battery and get it replaced as quickly as possible.

Out with the Old, in with the New

An unexpected dead battery can really derail your day, but if you are able to spot the warning signs, you can have your Toyota’s battery replaced before it gets to that point. If you suspect your Toyota is in need of a new battery or would like to have your existing one checked, be sure to book it in with us here at Westbury Toyota.

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