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 A person attempts to boost their battery in winter.

5 Signs Your Car Battery is Dying

It's the bleak midwinter — how's your battery holding up? Not surprisingly, starting a vehicle in frigid temperatures puts a lot of strain on the battery. It can take up to twice the amount of current than normal to start the engine when temperatures take a dive.

And the lower the temperature, the harder it is to start your car. At 0°C, a car’s battery loses about 35 per cent of its strength. When temperatures plummet to -18° C, it loses about 60 per cent.

If your battery is teetering on its last leg, a cold snap could be the crowning blow that leaves you stuck with a car that won’t start. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:

1.      Lights look different.
If your headlights are dim and appear yellow, instead of white, your battery’s power may be declining. You might also notice that interior dome lights appear dim, or flicker, and warning lights may display on the dashboard.

2.      The car horn sounds strange.
When your car horn sounds less emphatic than usual, your car battery could be on the fritz.

3.      Electronic accessories fail.
Signs your car battery is failing include your radio, heated seats, or cell phone charger not working as usual.

4.      It doesn’t look or smell right.
Sometimes, a simple visual inspection or smell test is all it takes to know your battery is in trouble. If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg smell; or your battery is swollen, cracked, or corroded, it may be time for a replacement.

5.      The battery is more than three years old.
The average lifespan of an automotive battery is three to five years. With the increase of electronics in vehicles, this number may skew closer to three years.


Need to get your battery tested or replaced? Avoid a trip to the auto repair shop and schedule a battery test with your CAA Membership! Here's why you should use the CAA Mobile Battery Service:

✔ We Come To You!
No appointment necessary, we will come to you. A CAA Mobile Battery Service call will not count as an allotted roadside assistance service call should a battery be purchased and installed. We’ll even recycle your old one!

✔ Exclusive CAA Battery Pricing
CAA Members enjoy exclusive battery pricing that's cheaper than non-member pricing. Plus, testing and installation are included at no additional cost – a savings of up to $270!

✔ Six-year Total Warranty
Count on us to deliver your battery with the same service that has made us one of Canada’s most trusted brands. Each CAA Premium Battery comes with six-year total warranty!


Click here to schedule your battery test with the CAA Mobile Battery Service program, or call 1-800-CAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357).