The life of car batteries vary, but there are three primary factors that impact how long they last: time, heat and vibration. Like people, car batteries age over time and have a limited life. Even under perfect conditions, eventually a battery will have to be replaced. Heat can affect the rate at which it degrades. Vibration can cause a physical breakdown of internal parts. A malfunctioning charging system also can reduce its lifespan.

How do you know when it's time to replace your battery? There are some definite warning signs. Here are a few you should pay attention to:

Slow Engine Crank - If the starter motor cranks the engine slowly and takes longer than normal to start, you'll want to have the battery checked.

Warning Light - If the battery/charging warning light comes on, it's an indication your battery may be failing. It's a signal that it's time to have it checked. The check engine light sometimes appears when your battery power is weak.

Dim Headlights - If your car is older, you may notice your headlights seem dim, particularly when the car is idling. This might be caused by a weak battery, so it would be a good idea to have the battery checked.

Clicking Sound - If your car makes a clicking sound when you try to start the engine, it could mean the battery is too low to crank the engine or that there's a bad connection to the battery.

Low Battery Fluid - If part of the battery casing is translucent, keep an eye on the battery’s fluid level. If the fluid level goes below the lead plates inside, have the battery and charging system tested.

Swollen Battery Case - If your battery casing looks bloated, there's a good chance the battery is bad. Excessive heat can cause the battery case to swell and decrease the battery's life.

Rotten Egg Smell - If you notice the rotten egg smell of sulfur, it might be caused by a battery leak. Leaking causes corrosion around the post. If you remove the corrosion, your car may start, but you should have the battery checked.

If you own an Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, or MINI, when it's time for battery replacement, you'll want the services of a certified technician because replacing the battery on an import can cause diagnostic trouble codes. Chances are you don't know how to clear them or resynchronize parts. Plus, when an S2 Dynamic pro replaces your car's battery, they have an opportunity to spot other potential problems. A trained professional will see things you might miss and be able to alert you before damage is done.

It’s a good idea to have your battery checked at every oil change. It’s more convenient to replace your battery when the charge gets low than to have a battery fail.

S2 Dynamics is your Rockville battery replacement center. If you notice any of the warning signs, or just want to be sure everything is as it should be, visit us at 12058 Parklawn Drive in Rockville, MD. Call us at (301) 881-1283, or schedule an appointment online at s2dynamics.com.