64792949 - a senior man recycling a car batteryAlthough relatively inexpensive to replace, a drained car battery is never fun. No motorist likes to be stranded on the side of the road, after all. Fortunately, batteries usually provide a few warning signs so you won’t be caught completely unawares. Watch for these 5 telltale signs of a bad battery so you can act quickly!

1. Dim headlights
If your car battery is failing, it will affect other features on your vehicle – including headlights. If you notice that they seem dim and weaker than usual, don’t ignore the problem. In addition to being a safety issue, it also means your car battery is almost at end of life.

2. Clicking sound when you turn the key
When the starter receives reduced or insufficient power from the battery, it often results in a clicking sound, a red flag for a weakened battery.

3. Slow crank
If you notice that your engine cranks more slowly or sluggishly than normal when you turn the key, your battery may be on its way out.

4. Needing to press on the gas pedal to start
If you find that your car is only starting when you apply force to the gas pedal, you may be dealing with a failing battery.

5. Backfiring
A failing car battery can cause intermittent sparks and result in fuel accumulating in the cylinders. When this build up is ignited, it occurs suddenly and with increased force, causing your vehicle to backfire.

If you suspect your battery is near its life, the best thing you can do is to get it tested at an auto supply store. Batteries have an average life of about 4 years, so plan accordingly. And if you do have a drained battery, simply pull over to a safe spot and jump start the battery. (Jumper cables are a must to have in your trunk!)