YES batteries have a finite shelf life as well as a finite service life be sure that the born-on date is within the last 12 months or so and try charging the battery before using if it doesn't hold a charge it is bad.
Yes, A car battery can have enough charge to turn on car electrical components but not start the car. This is not much of an indication of a bad battery however. Use a volt meter to test the power in the battery. If the battery seems low put it on a trickle charge. Most modern chargers will tell you if your battery is bad or not. The battery also has to be load tested to determine if it's good or not.
Typically you know your alternator is out when you have to jump start your car numerous times. A way you can test it is by turning on your car and while it's running discount the + terminal. If the car turns off then your alternator is bad. If the car remains in then alternator is good and possible bad battery. Hope this helps
A bad alternator will have the effect of draining the battery, resulting in dim lights, trouble starting the car and the like. It would be best to replace the alternator as soon as possible and possibly obtain a new battery. This may vary depending on how much the bad alternator has drained it. You can get your alternator and battery checked any time at Auto Zone.
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