How Often to Replace a Car Battery

man changing battery

Though experts believe you should replace your battery every four to five years, that estimate can vary wildly. Just like other auto parts, many factors affect the life of your battery, from the weather conditions your car is driven in to your driving habits, which makes it difficult to determine the life of your battery. Do not fret, with these Allen Samuels Direct tips, you should be able to get a handle on how often to replace a car battery, along with how to test a car battery, and other battery-related tidbits.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

If there is no definitive lifespan for your battery, how do you know if your car battery needs to be replaced? There are a few tell-tale signs that your battery might be on its way out:

  • More frequent need for engine revving/jump starting your car
  • Dimming headlights
  • Takes longer to start the car when you turn the key/push the button
  • Unusual power fluctuations

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

Your car battery is not impenetrable—many factors can affect how it works. Keep the following factors in mind as you cruise down Ft Worth roads:

  • Heat: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside a car battery. If you live in a consistently hot climate, your battery life will be shorter.
  • Needing a Jump: We’ve all left lights on overnight and ended up needing a jump. Do this too often, necessitating more jump starts, and you may find the life of your battery shortened.
  • Vibrations: Vibrations from loose battery clamps or rough drives will cause internal battery parts to break down faster.
  • Time: A car battery can only go through so many charge cycles. Therefore, the circle of life dictates that the death of your car battery is inevitable. Reach out to Allen Samuels Direct when it’s time to complete that circle of life with a new battery.

As with anything related to the inner-workings of your car, truck, or SUV, consult your owner’s manual for more precise battery-related information.

How to Test a Car Battery

Though it’s best to have your car battery tested with a certified technician, there are a few ways you can test how it’s holding up at home. We suggest these two methods:

The Headlight Test: 

  1. Keeping the car in park, turn on the engine. Turn the headlights on.
  2. Rev the engine—did the brightness of your headlights change?
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling.
  4. Take your car to a Irving-area service center at this point for further assessment.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative battery terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive battery terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red)
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

Battery costs range between $75 and $120, but premium batteries can be as much as $200. This is for gas vehicles, hybrid car batteries have a much larger role to play, which means they are significantly more expensive—anywhere between $1,000 and $,6000. With that said, the lower gas cost of hybrid vehicles easily offset this price jump.

Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape at Allen Samuels Direct

At Allen Samuels Direct, we want to help you ensure your car, truck, or SUV continues to run as efficiently as possible and for as long as possible on Arlington roads. That’s why we offer this parts tip guide, and have also provided car care tips, tire wear guides, and a guide on your car’s maintenance schedule. And when the circle of life has dictated that you need a new-to-you used car for sale in Euless, we hope you’ll consider our used vehicle specials and cars, trucks, and SUVs under $10,000.