By Erik Watkins

How Often Do Car Batteries Need To Be Replaced?

Last Updated: July 19, 2022
How Often Do Car Batteries Need To Be Replaced

When you are planning to go somewhere, a problem comes out of nowhere – a dead battery on the car. Imagine how annoying you feel at that moment. Periodically replacing the battery is a must. 

But how often do car batteries need to be replaced? No need to stress out anymore as you have reached the right page. The response will appear along with all-around crucial information regarding the car charge system.

How Often Do Car Batteries Need To Be Replaced?

When it comes to the car charge cycle, there is no clear-cut answer due to various outside effects. On average, experts say that the lifespan of car batteries will last up to 5 years with proper care and usage. Meanwhile, irregular checks or reckless operations may make the battery last just three years.

Although knowing how often to replace a car battery, the life span may vary in the whole process. Some adverse outside elements also contribute to how long a battery would survive. Take a closer look at five following unavoidable influences:

See more: How Long Does A Car Battery Last

Time

The first factor is so obvious that no one can deny it. Everything gradually reduces quality as time goes by, not except for car batteries. Even operating in an ideal condition, the source to kick off the engine is still out of juice.

Usage Patterns

The ways you drive trigger significant effects on battery aging. Take short trips as a typical example; there is not enough time for the battery to fully recharge. Since too many accessories like overhead lights, dashboard lights, or phone chargers work simultaneously, consuming a lot of power. 

Besides, parking the car in the garage for extended periods also deteriorates the battery. The non-used charging system will automatically self-discharge. So notice this important point.

Heat

Extreme temperature results in chemical reactions leading to useful electricity generation. Nevertheless, it also causes serious battery deterioration and even a dead battery. 

In hot climates, shorter battery life of three years on average is typical. Besides, several vehicle batteries must withstand an intense hot temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. To ease the suffering, manufacturers may relocate them to an isolated space and put a heat shield to cover the battery. 

On the other hand, in colder climates, the lifespan of a battery may lengthen to a maximum of five years or even longer.

Vibration

A dead battery may stem from the strong vibration while driving. Hard physical movement makes the internal battery parts set apart. The best solution is to install hold-down hardware to keep the batteries in position. 

Corrosion On Battery Terminals

How To Replace Battery Terminals

Apart from the above possible reasons, shortened battery ages also come from the corrosion on battery terminals. The battery posts help to connect the power source to other parts of the charging system.

When you detect the white, ashy deposits on terminal posts, instantly remove those adverse corrosions using baking soda.

How to Tell If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced 

Many warning signs will indicate to you the needed battery replacement:

  • The starter motor set out the engine more slowly than usual
  • Illuminated charging warning light
  • Blurring headlights even in the rest state.
  • Unusual power fluctuations
  • Long-awaited to start up the car with a key or button
  • The vehicle takes longer to start up with the key/push button
  • Weak electrical system
Signs Of Batteries About To Die
Signs Of Batteries About To Die

Not all the indicators show obvious symptoms to fix up, which sometimes confuse automobile users. So the ultimate point is to make periodic tests and observations to remain batteries for a long period of time.

View more: 8 Signs Your Car Battery Is Dying

How To Test A Car Battery 

The battery performance test is not quite difficult to implement. Thus, you can either take the vehicle to professionals or DIY at home.

We offer two simple but effective methods, please follow exactly, and you can save a fortune from the garage.  

The Headlight Test

  • Start the vehicle but keep it still and turn on the headlights
  • Rev the engine and focus on the brightness change of the headlights
  • If the headlight remains at the original brightness, your battery still works well. 
  • On the contrary, you get a weak battery
  • Drop by a nearby auto repair shop for professional replacement.

Using a Digital Multimeter

  • Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts
  • Raise the hood and connect the probes to the appropriate terminal of the battery (black to negative terminal and red to positive terminal)
  • Turn on the headlights and check the number shown on the voltmeter.
  • The battery voltage at 12.5 or higher signals a fully-charged battery. 12.3 volts means a 75%-charged battery. 11.8 volts or lower means a 25% or less-charged battery.

How Much Does A Car Battery Replacement Cost?

There is a wide range of price options based on your preference and vehicle type.

Typically, the battery cost fluctuates between $75 and $120. You can find them at any auto parts store. 

In addition to the medium sector, you can also opt for premium batteries which offer a longer-lasting durable operation. This choice costs you around $200, a bit pricier, but the longevity won’t disappoint you.

Together with the new battery, an extra replacement fee is compulsory. You may spend approximately $1000 to $6000 to install an upgrading charger system.

Can I Replace A Car Battery Myself? 

Of course, you can. The process is quite easy, allowing you to replace it at home. Also, you must follow the safety measures. Below are general steps to DIY the battery replacement

  • Make sure to turn off the vehicle engine entirely
  • Remove the terminals on the damaged battery by socket wrench.
  • Then, install the new charger back in the holder 
  • Wait for several minutes before switching it on.
Knowing When Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

The Bottom Line 

Hoping the answer above will satisfy your wonders regarding how often car batteries need to be replaced. And all the related information also assists you in having accurate battery maintenance.

The battery in proficient condition supports other accessories’ good operation. Hence, you can enjoy every moment to the fullest on most road trips.

Automotive Master Mechanic at PowerAll

With 7 years experience in management positions leading automotive mechanics at PowerAll, Erik Watkins wishes to share useful knowledge and information about automotive mechanical equipment.

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