How To Tell If a Battery Is Dead?

How To Tell If a Battery Is Dead?

Batteries are bound to reach the end of their life no matter how good of a power pack they are. While this is normal, knowing the warning signs of a dead battery is more important than most people think, especially in off grid camping or backup applications.

Having an idea of a deteriorating or juiced-out battery can save you from a lot of inconveniences especially if you're using it as a temporary power source for power outages or camping in a remote area. You don't really want to find out that your battery is dead in the middle of nowhere or during a blackout so better to check it from time to time, preferably when you're not in an urgent situation.

Let's start with some of the most commonly used battery types: Car batteries and outdoor/backup batteries. Read on and check if yours has one or two of these signs!

What Are The Signs Of A Dead Car Battery?

Slower start

Is your car suddenly starting slower than usual? This is normal in temperatures below 20 degrees but if the temperature hasn't dropped, it's best to have your battery tested before you go anywhere.

Headlights on, not starting

If your lights and radio are working fine but your engine is making a weird buzzing sound, this could mean that your battery is not supplying enough power for your vehicle anymore.

Off sound system

Your radio should turn on along with your ignition. This is the same case for windshield wipers and headlights, so if there is an issue with your built-in car accessories, it might be a sign of a weak battery.

Expanded battery

This one's a given. A swollen battery should never be ignored as this could mean your alternator has overcharged it, which also equates to irreversible damage.

Smelly battery

A failing or dead battery would often have an odd smell which means it has vented gas. This could lead to even bigger and incur more experiences if not fixed immediately, so make sure not to ignore it!

Old age

How old is your battery? Any car power pack that's more than four years old should be given more attention and inspected regularly to check how much charge it has.

Engine starts & dies immediately

While this happens to certain car models and could mean other things, a quick battery check should always be done just to be sure. Remember: a faulty power pack can cause interruptions in a car's electric control unit too.

How Do You Know If A Lithium Battery Is Dead Or Dying?

The fastest way to check if your lithium battery has reached the end of its life is through a voltmeter. If your battery is not charging, this means it's already dead or almost dead. The same thing also happens if you notice that it fully charges and drops in voltage immediately.

Another indication of a deteriorating lithium camping battery or battery backup is swelling. For safety reasons, it's best not to use your power pack anymore if it shows any signs of bloating or in some cases, leaking.

A rapid heating of your power pack is also a sign that it might be nearing the end of its lifespan. This is particularly important to note for non-lithium batteries especially flooded lead acid batteries.

Where To Get Long-Lasting Batteries?

When it comes to batteries that will last you for several years, you can never go wrong with LiFePO4 batteries. These have a service life of up to a decade and require minimal maintenance because of their built-in battery management system (BMS).

Interested? Check out our collection of LiFePO4 batteries at Outbax. We have them in a variety of voltage levels and capacities so whether you're after a standard 12V 100Ah lithium battery, a slimline lithium battery, or a 24V battery, we have you covered!

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