How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Car Battery

Whether you’re a new car owner or you’re simply taking on car care for the first time, it’s natural to have lots of service questions. That’s why it’s critical to have a partner like Sid Dillon Chevrolet Fremont to help you through your service needs. One question we hear a lot at our Fremont service center is, “How often to replace a car battery?” Generally, most experts agree that 4-5 years is the standard lifespan for a car battery.

However, there are a number of factors that can impact the longevity of your car’s battery that goes beyond age. So, it’s important to learn how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced. Below, you’ll learn how to test a car battery and other service tips from our battery service pros!

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

If you’re curious how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, keep an eye out for the following warning signs as you commute from Omaha to Columbus:

  • 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

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

  • Heat: Warm weather takes a toll on your car’s battery. Excess heat can cause the liquids inside your battery to evaporate. If you live in a warm climate, chances are you’ll replace your battery sooner than other drivers.
  • Vibrations: If the hold-down clamps that steady your battery are loose, the vibrations will cause your battery to break down at an accelerated rate.
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve left your lights on overnight or drained your battery in some other way, you’ll see a reduced battery lifespan.
  • Time: Every battery only has so many charge cycles, so the demise of your battery is a given no matter what. However, proper care can prevent your battery from dying too quickly!

How to Test a Car Battery

Having your battery tested during your regular maintenance visits is a smart way to ensure your vehicle remains road-ready. However, if you want to test your battery at home in the interim, you can learn how to test a car battery with the following methods:

How to Test a Car Battery Using the Headlight Test: 

  1. Start your engine, but leave your car in park. Turn on your headlights.
  2. Rev the engine. Note any changes in the brightness of your headlights.
  3. If the headlights get brighter when you rev the engine, that means the battery isn’t strong enough to keep your lights at the proper brightness while the car is idling.
  4. Have your battery serviced and inspected to see if a replacement is needed.

How to Test a Car Battery Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set your voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. On your car’s battery, 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 helper turn on your headlights. Check the voltmeter reading as they do it.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher indicates your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts is a sign that it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower signifies that you have 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

How much is a replacement car battery? Typically, a new car battery will run between $75 and $120. Premium batteries are a bit more expensive, usually around $200. If you drive a hybrid, you’ll spend significantly more if you need a battery replacement. Since hybrid batteries take on the role of powering your vehicle’s drivetrain, they can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000.

Service Your Vehicle at Sid Dillon Chevrolet Fremont

Now that you’re aware of how often to replace your car battery, you can keep your vehicle in tip-top shape for years to come. In addition to answering questions like, “How much is a replacement car battery?” we’re here to help you learn how to jump-start your car battery to ensure you’re never stuck on the Blair streets waiting for a roadside assistance team. Whether you need battery tips or major repairs, turn to our Fremont team!

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