Skip to main content

Bad Battery Symptoms: How to Remove Bad Car Battery Symptoms and Fix the Problems

Fernando the electronics guy is an electronics engineer. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from UC Riverside.

Take care of your bad battery

Take care of your bad battery

How to Remove Bad Car Battery Symptoms and Fix the Problems

First we need to star by addressing the main concerns.

The Bad Battery Symptoms

Struggles to start

Is your vehicle struggling to start? Most vehicles with a bad battery hear cranks that progress to slow cranks. Their vehicles won’t turn. This is a common danger sign that your vehicle’s battery may be dying.

Frequent jumps

Perhaps you had the above symptom. So, you call a friend over to help you jump-start the vehicle. Once the vehicle is jump-started, and it turns, you ignore the above symptom. It’s all okay, right? But then, a few days later, you need another jump start. And another. Frequent jumps mean your battery may be bad. Though it doesn’t paint the whole picture, it’s a possibility.

Electronics Flickering

Are most of your electronics flickering? There’s a possibility that this may be related to your battery. Here are the most common:

Radio lights flickering

This is a common symptom of a bad battery. Your radio begins to flicker. The light will be bright. But it dims down to a dimmer version of itself. You’ll know your radio lights are flickering when you start to notice a repeated pattern of bright to dim to bright on repeat. Don’t be fooled, this doesn’t mean your radio is bad. This may be due to the car battery.

Instrument cluster flickering

Another common symptom is the instrument cluster flickering, just like the radio lights.

Speedometer indicator misplaced or moving rapidly

Sometimes, especially during a jump start, your speedometer will spin out of place and end up in a position it should be in. Sometimes the indicator stick will end up at 180 MPH or a high number at idling instead of at 0 MPH. It is also common to see the speedometer indicator spin around the whole range from 0 to 200+ before coming back to 0 miles per hour. This may be due to your vehicle having a bad battery.

Headlights and Taillights flickering

Your taillights and headlights are going to suffer the same symptoms as all electronics in your vehicle. Your lights may be dimmer than normal. They may also dim and brighten rapidly. It’s important to understand that this isn’t a symptom of the bad taillight or headlight lamps. This may be due to your vehicle’s battery failing.

How to Tell if You Have a Bad Battery

Check the voltage

Checking your battery health is as easy as checking how the battery’s doing. Ensure you’ve checked how the battery performs to find out if it’s bad or not.

Fully charge the battery

First, charge the battery properly and extensively. Now, charge the battery with a 10-amp charger (or anything similar) for 12 to 18 hours. This helps ensure the battery is charged optimally to remove any gimmicks.

Check after fully charging

Ensure the vehicle is off. Check the battery voltage. Voltage should sit between 12.1-12.7 volts when healthy. Anything below 12.1 volts and you may have a failed or failing battery.

Scroll to Continue

Check while starting the vehicle

Have a partner start the engine. During this process, test the battery voltage. If the voltage drops below 12.1 volts, you may need a new battery. This may be due to the battery having multiple failing cells.

What to Do When You Suspect a Bad Battery

Check manufacturer warranty

You could get a new battery for a reduced price from Costco if you bought the battery there. I personally find this retailer to be the best place to buy batteries.

Go back to any other retailer that gave you the battery, such as Interstate.

Go to the auto parts store for testing

Go to your local auto parts store for battery testing. They will guide you if your battery doesn’t check out. They will also check your charging system if the battery checks out fine. This may include the starter, battery, and alternator. Free of charge.

Get the battery swapped out

When in doubt, throw it out. More than likely your battery is failing. Feel free to buy another battery if you’ve done all your testing. I highly encourage giving an auto part store a visit to test your system. It is quick, easy, and saves you money. It gives you confidence in knowing that you have all the right answers.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 electronicsguy

Related Articles