How long do car batteries last? Signs that its time

The battery of a car is essentially the car’s lifeblood. A battery is essential for starting your car’s engine as well as for powering all of the electrical parts of the vehicle. You won’t be going anywhere with no music on the radio if your battery is dead. But the question is how long do car batteries last? Well, some car batteries can last up to five or six years, while others must be replaced just after two. Generally speaking, your car’s battery needs to be replaced every three to four years. One further aspect of regular maintenance is changing your car’s battery.

 How long do car batteries last? Signs that its time

While turning a key or pressing a button to start a car is simple, your battery is actually performing all the work. When the ignition is turned on, the battery receives a signal that starts a chemical reaction inside the small, black box. The reaction produces electrical energy, which ignites the starter motor and starts the engine. Your lights may flicker if your battery is dead, but your engine won’t be able to start. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be discussing the answers to the following questions:

  • How long do car batteries last?
  • What are the signs that it’s time to replace your car batteries?
  • How long does it take to charge car batteries?
  • What’s the cost to replace a car battery?
  • How can you maintain a car battery?

Read more: Battery terminal corrosion: causes, signs & how to clean it

Alright then, let’s get to it!


How long do car batteries last?

Batteries progressively lose their ability to start an engine, at which point they must be replaced. The rate at which a battery age depends in part on the way a vehicle is used, which could take three to five years. Heat speeds up the chemical process that automobile batteries utilize to produce power, but it also quickens the rate at which batteries deteriorate. A car battery will normally survive about three years in hot southern regions, although it may live up to five years in cooler northern areas.

Under the hood, where temperatures can often reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit in warm weather, batteries are located in a hostile environment. In order to reduce this heat, automakers may put the battery in a secluded location, cover it with a heat shield, or move it outside the engine compartment, frequently under the back seat or trunk floor.

Another aspect of routine maintenance is changing your car battery. Even if you haven’t needed to replace your battery yet, getting it checked and inspected is typical for your service visits every three years. There are several factors that might affect your battery life, which makes it challenging to provide a definitive answer for how long your battery lasts. Batteries in cars that are mostly used for short trips might not fully recharge, and batteries in automobiles that are left parked for a long time will naturally deplete. Using a maintenance charger, such as AAA’s Battery Tender, will maintain the automobile battery completely charged and increase its lifespan in any situation.

Read more: Duralast batteries: what you need to know about them

What are the signs that it’s time to replace your car batteries?

Here are the most common signs that it’s time to replace a car battery:

  • The car battery is older than three years
  • Difficulty starting the engine
  • Corroded battery terminals
  • Electrical issues and dim lights
  • The check engine light is illuminating
  • Bad unusual smells
  • A misshapen battery cases

The car battery is older than three years

It goes without saying yet after a while it’s easy to forget when you last got your car battery examined. When was the last time you had your battery changed? Car batteries typically last 3-5 years under optimal circumstances. Your battery’s life depends on a variety of factors, including the climate, electronic demands, and driving practices. Whenever your battery is getting close to the 3-year mark, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and get its performance checked on a regular basis.

Difficulty starting the engine

Your battery’s internal parts will deteriorate and lose efficiency over time. When this occurs, the engine won’t start right away since the battery needs more time to build up a charge for the starter. Usually, a battery’s final effort before dying is a slow start.

Corroded battery terminals

Have you noticed a whitish, ashy substance on your battery’s metal components? You have a corrosion problem. Corroded terminals — the positive and negative metal connections on the top of the battery — can lead to voltage difficulties and trouble starting your vehicle.

Electrical problems and dim lights

All of the electronics in your car, including the lights, radio, and dashboard computer, are run by the battery. Some devices won’t operate as efficiently if the battery is depleting its charge. Your battery will discharge more quickly the more devices you plug into your car while driving, such as your phone charger.

The check engine light is illuminating

The check engine light may illuminate when your battery is close to running out of power in the majority of vehicles, and it might signal almost anything. To make sure your battery is operating at its maximum potential, check your manual and have a mechanic examine it. If not, you ought to have it changed.

Bad unusual smells

The battery may start to leak gas due to damage or an internal short. When you open the hood, the smell of rotten eggs can be coming from a leaking battery. Bring it in to be examined. The mechanic will inform you of the following procedures and whether the battery needs to be replaced.

A misshapen battery cases

Your battery’s longevity may suffer from the harsh prairie climate. A battery case may bloat and shatter if exposed to temperatures that are too hot or too cold. Your battery may not be functioning properly if it is not rectangular.

Read more: How long does it take to charge a car battery? What you need to know

How long does it take to charge car batteries?

A standard automotive battery can be fully charged in 2 to 4 hours with a 20 Amp charger and in 12 to 24 hours with a 4 Amp charger. You can use another vehicle to jumpstart the battery in your car. If you can start it, you can also let it idle while charging the battery. A car battery needs between 10 and 24 hours to charge completely. These chargers are efficient and fast. If you’re utilizing a trickle charger, your battery might need to be charged for three or more days. Slow charging protects the battery.

You can figure out the amount of time it will take to charge a car battery by dividing 48 by the rate of charging, depending on how many amps your charger has. For instance, if your charger charges at 6 amps per hour, charging a battery to 100% will take 8 hours. Let’s evaluate your battery’s value before you connect a charger. First off, given that battery typically last four years, replacing a battery that is older than three years may be worthwhile. However, keep in mind that a totally dead battery can be destroyed irrevocably, leaving you stranded once more.

Read more: Lists of best car battery

What’s the cost to replace a car battery?

The cost to replace a car battery ranges from $50 to $250 on average. However, the type of vehicle you drive, where you take it for replacement, and if you can make the swap yourself all factor into how much you will pay. The size of the battery you need depends on the type of car. Not every car uses the same battery. You must make sure that the type you purchase fits in the given box and corresponds to the voltage requirements of your car.

The price of a small battery will be much lower than that of a heavy-duty vehicle battery. An example price range for a Ford F-Series truck battery is between $80 and $130. A Nissan Altima battery might only cost $50 to $80 in contrast. As with any auto repair or maintenance task, doing it yourself will save you a ton of money. Thankfully, changing a car battery is not difficult. You may complete the replacement in your driveway with simple minimal tools.

But, you must be ready to pay for the service if you decide to go to a professional store. Depending on the kind of vehicle you drive and the location you choose, the work could often run you $25 to $75. You have a few options that could potentially save money if you need someone else to install the battery. If you buy the battery from an auto parts store, they’ll often install it for free. And if you don’t want to pay shop fees, this is an excellent option even though the battery may cost a bit more. If you also decide to go to a garage, an independent neighborhood shop will typically cost less than a dealership. Fortunately, there’s no need to pay an outrageous labor price because this job doesn’t call for a lot of skill.

Read more: Best battery testers

How can you maintain a car battery?

Here are a few battery maintenance tips for you:

  • Don’t leave your car unused for too long.
  • Clean your battery on a regular basis.
  • Regularly test the car battery voltage.
  • Don’t use electronic accessories when your car’s engine isn’t running.
  • Get your car serviced more often.

Don’t leave your car unused for too long.

The battery won’t have enough time to recharge if your car sits idle for extended periods of time (or if it is only used for short excursions). If you utilize your car frequently, it will operate at its optimum. If you can, take your car for a 30-minute drive once a week to warm up the engine and circulate the fluids.

It’s likely that your car battery may need maintenance when you use it again if it will be idle for a few weeks. The ideal course of action is to make sure it is completely charged and to confirm that the electrolyte levels are appropriate (if it has removable caps). If unsure, get further guidance from the RAC or a car shop.

Clean your battery on a regular basis.

A car battery’s grime, dirt, or moisture can create leakage over the battery case, resulting in a short circuit that could flatten your battery. A sponge and a dry towel work well to remove this surface-level grime. To prevent buildup, perform this at least once every month. Sadly, rust frequently develops on battery terminals and battery lead clamps.

To guarantee your battery’s longevity and effectiveness, it’s critical to remove dirt or build-up from the terminals, lead clamps, and other parts that may have corroded. These parts can prevent power from flowing through the battery. If necessary, request that your mechanic clean the terminals when servicing them.

Regularly test the car battery voltage.

You might be able to avoid a breakdown or battery failure while driving if you test your batteries beforehand. Although qualified mechanics can test your battery for you, if you need to do so in between auto services, you can also use convenient at-home equipment. Using a voltmeter to check the voltage of your battery is the simplest method. Digital voltmeters are the simplest to use if you decide to get one.

Do the voltage test at least twelve hours after turning off your car for the most precise reading. Start by connecting the positive voltmeter lead to the battery’s positive terminal, then do the same with the negative lead. The voltage reading will then be given to you. Normally, a completely charged battery will read between 12.4 and 12.8 volts. If your voltage reading deviates from these ranges, a mechanic will probably need to give your battery a thorough examination.

Don’t use electronic accessories when your car’s engine isn’t running.

Turning on the ignition to use the infotainment system without starting the engine or leaving your headlights or interior lights on can drain the battery. This is due to the fact that when the engine is turned off, your car’s alternator shuts down, causing electronic devices to draw power from the battery instead.

Make it a practice to always verify that everything is off before leaving your car to prevent this, especially your lights. Don’t forget to lock your car as well before leaving it. This isn’t simply for safety reasons; if you leave your car unlocked, the computer system may still be operating, which could be drained your battery without your knowledge.

Get your car serviced more often.

It is advisable to have your car battery professionally examined to reduce the possibility of an unplanned breakdown. Ask the mechanic to ensure that your battery is functioning properly and in good condition when you take your car in for a service.

Read more: Battery terminal corrosion: causes, signs & how to clean it


How do I know when my car needs a new battery?

Signs that your battery needs replacement.

  • Have trouble turning the engine on or starting the ignition.
  • Lighting and dashboard light problems.
  • Strange Odor
  • Bad Performance in Cold Temperatures
  • Electrical Issues.

How do I know if my car battery is low?

  • Clicking sound when you turn the key.
  • Dim headlights.
  • Needing to press the gas pedal to start.
  • Slow crank.

Can a car battery last 10 years?

Batteries eventually begin to fail until they are no longer able to start an engine. The rate at which a battery age depends on several factors, including how often the vehicle is used (this wear time could last three to five years).

What shortens car battery life?

Even if your car’s battery is relatively new, it may become weak or dead if you keep it in storage or otherwise inactive for more than two weeks. Regular deep discharges due to inactivity might significantly reduce the lifespan of your battery. If your car will be idle for an extended period of time, think about utilizing a battery maintainer.

How do I check my car battery’s health?

The positive battery terminal, denoted by a red cover or a + symbol, should receive the red lead. Then the black lead should be connected to the negative terminal. Examine the measurement. You might need to charge your battery if the reading is less than 12.4 volts.

What are the signs of a dead battery?

  • The engine Won’t Crank.
  • Dark, Dim, or Flickering Headlights.
  • Illuminated Battery Warning Light.
  • The engine starts but Immediately Dies.
  • visible Fluid Leakage.
  • The engine Is Slow to Crank.
  • No Dome Light.

How much is a new battery for a car?

Traditional batteries can cost as little as $60 for one with a short lifespan and as much as $300 for one that offers good performance, depending on what you’re looking for.

What happens when your car battery dies?

Your car’s engine will first stop working instantly. It can start to splutter out as the alternator fails. The engine shuts off once the alternator fails and the battery runs out of power.

Will a new battery make your car run better?

The EMS system of the vehicle is totally reset when an old car battery is replaced with a new one. It returns to the factory settings that were originally installed in your car. Your car’s efficient operation is mostly the responsibility of the Engine Management System (EMS). It results in the excellent performance that your car already had.

That is all for this article, where the answers to the following questions have been discussed:

  • How long do car batteries last?
  • What are the signs that it’s time to replace your car batteries?
  • How long does it take to charge car batteries?
  • What’s the cost to replace a car battery?
  • How can you maintain a car battery?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!