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How Often to Replace Car Battery

Car Battery with Tools

You might know how often to replace your motor oil and how often to replace your tires, but knowing how often to replace your car battery is a little trickier. Most Nickerson drivers get around 4-5 years out of a car battery on average, but this will vary quite a bit depending on your particular vehicle and your driving style. Figuring out how to know if you car battery needs to be replaced can help you avoid catastrophe on the Buhler roads, so let’s dive into the basics of how often to replace your car battery and how to test a car battery.



How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

If you want to avoid a headache in Newton, it’s good to learn how to know if you car battery needs to be replaced. Your battery will give off subtle signals that it’s getting weaker over time, so pay attention and head to the service center if you notice any of the following:

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

Why Does a Battery Weaken Over Time?

  • Heat: Hot weather causes the liquids inside a car battery to evaporate quicker. If you live in a hotter climate, your battery will simply wear down faster.
  • Vibrations: Vibrations can also cause harm to your battery, which is why your battery is held in place with hold-down clamps. If these clamps are loose or broken, your battery life will be shorter.
  • Needing a Jump: A jump start is sometimes necessary to get back on the roads, but every jump start will weaken your battery a bit. The more jumps you’ve had, the quicker you’ll need a replacement.
  • Time: No matter how well-maintained your battery, it will need to be replaced over time. Proper care can go a long way toward a long battery life, buta car battery can only go through so many charge cycles before it is done for good.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery? 

If your battery is on its last legs, how much is a replacement car battery? A standard auto battery will run between $75 and $120. If you opt for a premium battery, expect to spend up to $200. What if you have a hybrid car? Hybrid models use much larger batteries with much higher capacities, which means they’re even more expensive to replace – anywhere between $1000 and $6000. However, hybrid cars also have specific battery warranty plans to offset the cost.

How to Test a Car Battery

If you’re concerned about your battery’s longevity, did you know that you can test your car battery? Not only can you get a battery check professionally at a service center, but you can also learn how to test a car battery at home. Here are two ways to do it:

The Headlight Test: 

  1. Turn on the engine and keep your car in park with the headlights on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlights get brighter or not.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness at an idle. That means your battery is not as powerful as it could be.
  4. Visit a service center at this point for additional testing.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive 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. 

Get Expert Car Service at Allen Samuels Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Whether you need to schedule a service or pick up a new battery, visit Allen Samuels Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram for all of your automotive needs. You’ll find us in Hutchinson, a short drive from Newton, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us online with your questions!


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