Everything You Need to Know About Car Batteries

July 21st, 2023 by

A mechanic is shown installing a battery at a Chevy service near me.

If you own a Chevy, you’re fortunate enough to take advantage of a level of reliability and performance you won’t find elsewhere. As does anyone, you want only the best, so when it comes to servicing your battery—the pulse that drives your vehicle forward—you should leave it to the pros.

When should you replace your battery? How do you know if you need a new one? You want to take care of your Chevy as best as possible, so if you’ve been searching for “Chevy service near me” to address your battery concerns, you’ll want to partner with the experts at McCluskey Chevrolet. We’ll take care of everything so you won’t have to.

When Should You Replace Your Battery?

The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded because your battery has died. This creates a stressful situation, seeing as you haven’t planned for this and will need to take time out of your day to get towed to an auto repair center for a new battery. This can all be avoided, however, by keeping up with regular maintenance, wherein a technician will test your battery and let you know if it will need replacing soon.

Typically, batteries will need to be replaced about every three years, but this will largely depend on your driving habits and where you live. You see, those who live in colder or hotter than average climates will need to have their battery swapped out more frequently since these extreme temperatures can deplete the battery at a faster rate. Those who frequently use their vehicles for work on the job site or who regularly traverse challenging terrain will also notice their batteries depleting more quickly. Fortunately, when you find a service team you can trust, you can be more aware of the status of your battery so that you can eliminate any issues before you’re left stranded on the side of the road.

A red 2022 Chevy Equinox RS is shown driving near a building.

What Are the Signs of a Dying Car Battery?

The good news is that, most of the time, your car simply refusing to start is not the first sign that you need a new battery. There will be telltale signs that something is amiss before this occurs. You may notice that your engine has trouble sputtering to life more frequently, forcing you to turn the key again and again to get it to start; this is one of the first signs that your battery is failing. Many vehicles will tell you flat-out that a new battery is needed by simply illuminating the battery light on the dash. This is an obvious sign that you will need to address this issue as soon as possible—and it doesn’t get much clearer than a big, bright light on your instrument panel.

You may also notice that the lights on board your vehicle aren’t as bright as they once were; a frequent culprit of this is a dying battery. Popping the hood will give you a better picture of what’s going on with your car’s battery, as a bad smell or corrosion on your battery connectors typically means that it’s time for a replacement. You may also notice a bloated battery casing, which is another sign that a new battery is in your future. Plenty of signs appear long before a breakdown, so don’t ignore these; take your vehicle in for service as soon as possible.

Battery vs Alternator

Many drivers worry that these issues may not be the battery at all but, instead, a more serious issue that involves your alternator. The alternator is not only responsible for charging your battery but is the key component to keeping your car running after it’s been started. From your headlights to your power steering, instrument panel, and windshield wipers, the alternator keeps all of these features in working order. Although the symptoms of a bad alternator can mimic those of a bad battery, there are some small details that point toward your alternator as the main issue.

For one, when your alternator is going bad, the amount of power it sends to various electrical components is inconsistent. This means that your lights may be very bright one minute and very dim the next, so if you notice these fluctuations, it may be the alternator. Another telltale sign that it’s your alternator is if you jumpstart your car. Typically, if it’s just a bad battery, jumpstarting it will allow your car to stay running for a while, whereas if it’s the alternator, your vehicle will shut off within mere moments of the jump. Also, pay attention to strange smells or whining noises, as these may point to an issue with your alternator, not your battery.

The Best Battery Brands

The battery you choose for your vehicle will depend on your driving habits and your environment, which is why we always recommend speaking to a certified technician to ensure you’re making the right choice. Here at McCluskey Chevrolet, we carry only top-quality parts to ensure you can keep moving with expert precision. It’s always advised to find a battery that meets your travel demands and offers a warranty—that way, should something happen sooner rather than later, you’re covered.

Among some of the industry’s best battery brands, you’ll find favorites like DieHard, ACDelco, Odyssey, and others. At McCluskey Chevrolet, we keep our parts department stocked with a variety of top-rated batteries to appeal to the diverse array of drivers who walk through our doors. This way, you have an abundance of options, allowing you to find what will work for you to keep you moving safely and confidently.

A black 2023 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is shown driving on a racetrack.

Team Up With the Experts

If you’re not experienced in vehicle maintenance, finding the right battery for your unique needs can be overwhelming. You need a battery that suits your driving habits, and having an experienced team of parts professionals to help can make a world of difference. We work with many different types of travelers—from hard workers on the job site to everyday commuters, families, adventurers, and others—and each has a different set of needs behind the wheel.

When you drive a Chevy, it’s helpful to partner with professionals who are well-versed in working on Chevy vehicles with the tools at their disposal to help you stay moving forward with optimal peace of mind. They can guide you to the right selection of batteries, install your battery properly, and service your battery regularly, alerting you when it’s time for a replacement. Having a reputable service center on your side takes the guesswork out of vehicle maintenance, making your time on the road more enjoyable in every way possible.

The Pros at McCluskey Chevrolet

Now that you know a bit more about batteries, keep these best practices in mind. If you notice something that seems amiss—like dim headlights, a sputtering engine, or corrosion—it’s likely time to bring your vehicle in for a new battery. Not all batteries are the same, so choosing the right option for you is key. Finally, trusting in a reputable service team will give you the maximum assurance that you won’t be let down by your battery, with trained technicians ready to help you find the right battery and service it accordingly.

So, don’t ignore your battery, and when it’s time to take advantage of the best battery services in the business, trust the professionals here at McCluskey Chevrolet.