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How can you troubleshoot a car battery?

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Quick Answer

Troubleshooting a car battery involves using an electronic tester, considering the age of the battery, examining driving habits and observing the physical condition of the battery. No matter what the problem may be, batteries are usually inexpensive to replace.

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How can you troubleshoot a car battery?
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Full Answer

Electronic testers can be used to determine the current state of the battery and whether it needs to be replaced. Besides automotive shops, testers are also available at auto parts stores. It's best that drivers have the battery tested every time the vehicle's oil is changed and whenever the vehicle is taken in for scheduled maintenance.

Batteries that are older than three or four years usually start to develop problems, meaning that drivers should start looking for a new battery and saving up the older a battery gets. A driver who doesn't drive his vehicle very much or very far may not get as much use out of his battery as someone who drives more often. Stains and signs of corrosion on the battery can be an indication that there's a leak.

Batteries that have buildup around the terminals can be cleaned with a combination of baking soda and water while the individual wears protective gloves and goggles. Batteries that smell like rotten eggs may be overheating.

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