How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Male mechanic changing car battery

Knowing how often to replace a car battery can save you from getting stranded on the side of the road in Jersey City. In most cases, a car battery will last for roughly four to five years. However, a variety of factors can affect battery performance and lifespan, so it’s important to proceed carefully! Learn how to know if a car battery needs to be replaced and find out how to test a car battery below.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

If you’ve started to wonder about how often to replace a car battery, chances are high that your battery is nearing the end of its life! Any of the following issues could point to a dying battery:

  • Dim headlights
  • Frequent need for jump starts
  • Slow start-ups when you turn the key
  • Unusual power fluctuations, or trouble charging devices

In some cases, these issues may simply be the result of extensive battery corrosion. Slow start-up may also be the result of dying spark plugs! Pop open the hood and take a look before you buy a new battery.

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

Batteries are sensitive components! Any of the following can have a significant impact on your battery’s performance or lifespan:

  • Extreme heat can cause evaporation of the liquids inside of your battery. Extreme cold can cause a battery to lose its remaining charge if it’s already near the end of its life, so you might want to include battery replacement on your winter safety checklist.
  • Failing to secure your battery can also cause problems. Excessive shake or vibration can wear down the battery’s internal parts.
  • A jump start can help you get moving in an emergency, but it will also weaken your battery in the long term. Multiple jump starts could seriously reduce a battery’s life.
  • All batteries wear down eventually because the alternator can only charge them back to full power so many times! Frequent short trips give your battery less time to recharge after start-up, accelerating the process.

How to Test a Car Battery

If you want to maximize the value of your current or future battery, you should know how to test a car battery by hand. There are two main techniques, and one option requires no special equipment at all:

  • The headlight test is quick and easy. Just turn on the car, keep it in park, and turn the headlights on. Rev the engine. If the brightness changes, your battery is most likely nearing the end of its life. Corrosion could also be weakening its power output.

For a more precise test, pick up a digital multimeter at our parts department. Then take the following steps:

  1. Make sure that the voltmeter is set to 20 DC volts. Then open the hood and locate the battery.
  2. Touch the black negative meter probe to the black negative terminal. Do the same with the red probe and the red terminal.
  3. Switch on the headlights. The outside temperature may impact your reading, but a reading of 12.5 or higher means that your battery is fully charged.
  4. Readings of 12.3 and 11.8 indicate charges of 75% and 25%, respectively.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

Unless you drive a hybrid car or an all-electric vehicle like the I-PACE, a replacement battery will most likely cost between $75 and $200. That’s a significant margin, but in general, it’s worth it to opt for the most dependable, OEM-recommended battery over unreliable, aftermarket competitors. Take advantage of our parts specials to save on an OEM-recommended battery today!

Have Your Battery Replaced at Jaguar Englewood

Although it is possible to replace a car battery at home, these are high-voltage components that need to be handled carefully! For many of our Fort Lee and New York City neighbors, scheduling service and letting us take care of disposal ensures a better experience from start to finish.

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