Batteries fail with age and use – often in cold weather
A flat battery might be caused by another car problem, such as a power drain or a faulty charging system
1. The engine cranks, but won’t start
This is most likely to be the result of a flat battery – it could also be an engine ignition or fuel system problem. It’s also possible that loose or corroded battery terminals have created an unreliable connection which is stopping electricity from the battery reaching the starter motor. It could be that the battery is old, or that lights or accessories were left switched on, or it might be the result of a component of the car’s charging system, such as the alternator, failing.
2. The engine won’t crank (and the accessories and lights are off)
This symptom points squarely at a flat battery – just as with the above scenario, there could be a number of causes. Battery damage as a result might mean it needs to be replaced too.
3. You've had to jump start your car a lot
If you have had to jump start your car a lot, there is obviously a problem with your car. A slow power drain or a failing alternator could be the culprit, but there is a chance the repeated jumpstart has damaged the battery, so you might also have to replace it.
4. Your car battery is cracked, swollen or leaking
If you notice the battery case is cracked or swollen, or you see battery acid leak, you will certainly need a new battery. The replacement battery must be of the right size and type, with the posts in the right place and enough power (expressed in CCA, for cold cranking amps) to start your car.
Cold cranking amps (CCA) refers to the amount of power needed to start a cold engine. The colder the engine, the more power required to start it. If you live in a cold climate, you will need a battery that can generate enough CCA to always start your engine. For more advice, you can call the NRMA motoring advice team on 13 11 22, Monday 8.30am to 5pm.
If you’re stuck, or would prefer to have the job done for you, call 1300 726 751 for NRMA batteries, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll come to you, usually within the hour, to deliver and fit a new battery to your car at home, work or the roadside.