Signs of an overcharged car battery include loss of water, battery failure or a hydrogen explosion. In vehicles equipped with an onboard computer, the overcharging battery causes faulty error codes. The most common cause of overcharging is a faulty voltage regulator. If the batteries fail prematurely, check the regulator or have an expert check it.Know More
When a battery overcharges, it leads to the cleaving of water. The electrical charge breaks the bond between hydrogen and oxygen in water, forming hydrogen gas and oxygen. Normally, these gases escape through the holes in the vent cap, doing no harm. However, as the water in the cells breaks down, the level drops. If the gases build up too quickly, an internal spark in the battery ignites the two gases, causing an explosion. The battery case usually breaks, and battery acid sprays over the surrounding surfaces. The acid can cause paint to peel and the metal to rust.
When gases dissipate, the lower levels of water in the battery expose the plates to the atmosphere where they oxidize. Unless the owner refills the water regularly, the oxidation reduces the battery's ability to hold a charge and leads to premature failure.
The onboard computers in vehicles depend on a regulated charge in the battery. If it overcharges, the check engine light often illuminates. Checking the computer with a scan tool often reveals erroneous diagnostic codes due to the overcharging battery.Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance
Signs that an alternator may be going bad include a weak battery, dim lights, strange sounds and smells or warning lights on the display panel reading showing the picture of a battery or displaying the codes "ALT" for alternator or "Gen" for generator. Alternators are part of the electrical system in cars and work by providing power to the batteries. If owners suspect a problem, they should have their alternators evaluated quickly because dead alternators can leave drivers stranded or mean extensive repairs, say experts at PepBoys.Full Answer >
Signs that a fan clutch is going bad include vibration, excessive fan noise at any speed, bad air conditioner performance at idle or low speed and failure to increase speed when the engine gets hot. Other symptoms, such as free-wheeling, looseness and leaking fluid, also indicate a worn fan clutch can be ascertained by examining the fan manually.Full Answer >
Signs of a bad ignition switch could include dashboard lights that come off and on, problems with the vehicle starting and a switch that is hot to the touch. A bad ignition switch can mimic other problems that are seen in a car, such as a faulty motor starter.Full Answer >
Signs of a faulty catalytic converter include reduced fuel economy, excess engine heat, and impaired engine or exhaust performance. A visible fuel vapor over the carburetor intake, performance changes after the removal of oxygen sensors and increased carbon emissions from the converter are also warning signs.Full Answer >