It’s a Monday morning, and your alarm didn’t go off. You managed to wake up, but now you’re running late.
When you get in your car, you find that it won’t start. So you call a cab and wonder, “When should I replace my car battery?”
No one wants a dead battery, and knowing when you should replace yours can help you avoid this situation in the future.
Keep reading to learn what can affect your battery’s life and when you may want to replace it.
How Long Do Car Batteries Last?
Regardless of how you use and maintain your car battery, it will have a shelf life. Most car batteries last about two years, but some can last up to five years.
Different things can affect how long your car battery will last, so it’s important to do what you can to extend the battery life. You won’t always be able to control the lifespan.
Whether you’ve been having problems with your car battery or you just got your car, consider what your car goes through. Think about how much you drive it and where.
And determine what environment the car is in when you don’t drive it. In some cases, you can change the environment to improve the battery life.
How You Use It
While you may not be able to extend your car battery’s life, you should consider how you use your car. Starting your car can use a lot of battery power, which your car will attempt to recharge as you drive.
So if you primarily take short trips in your vehicle, the battery won’t always be able to recharge. If you want to make the battery last a little longer, try to use it for longer trips so that the battery has time to charge.
You should also use your car regularly to maintain the battery. Cars that sit for a long time can lose some of the battery’s charge.
Your car battery will go bad after a few years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to improve its lifespan a bit.
How It Sits
Most cars, the battery has a special case to protect it from other parts of the engine. But still, not all car companies do this.
Whether your battery is in its own compartment or not, the way it sits is essential. Consider if the battery has any ability to move while you operate your vehicle.
Unless the battery has no chance to move or vibrate, the motion can damage the internal parts of the battery. If your battery isn’t stable, you can get hardware to hold the battery and keep it from moving.
How Hot It Gets
Another factor that can cause a normal car battery to die more quickly is the temperature. At both extremely hot and cold temperatures, the car battery has to work harder.
This is especially true if you live in a warmer climate. The bonnet of the car can reach up to 93 degrees Celsius, which can take a toll on the battery.
If you live somewhere with long, hot summers, you should consider a battery that comes with a heat shield. It can protect the battery, but you may still need to replace it sooner.
Damage and How Often to Change Car Battery
While many things can affect the lifespan of a normal battery, damage can also come into play. You might be wondering, “When should I replace my battery due to damage?”
Depending on the battery problem, you may need to replace it immediately. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had the battery for a few months or a few years.
Consider these common problems so that you can recognize the signs. Then, you can replace the battery before it dies.
Sometimes, your car battery may have issues while charging. If your car has loose belts, that could cause problems for the alternator.
Worn tensioners can lead to a similar issue, and the alternator is what charges the battery and helps your car run.
The overall charging system might be the problem if you find your car dies when you’re on the road. Also, a weak battery can be the culprit behind charging issues.
If you don’t have any issues with the alternator, think about how well you’re maintaining the battery.
Corroded Battery Connections
If the battery connections are loose or have corrosion, that can keep the battery from charging properly. Corrosion can happen if electrolytes leak or if your battery charges too much.
Believe it or not, batteries can corrode due to their age.
Luckily, you can use a cleaning solution to get the corrosion off the battery. But when it comes to a loose connection, you should let a professional handle the issue.
Depending on the severity of the corrosion or looseness, you may want to change the battery. When you do, you can have the new one installed correctly.
If you’ve ever left your headlights on overnight or for a long period, you may have noticed that your car wouldn’t start after the fact. It may be an innocent mistake, but leaving your headlights on can drain the battery.
As you lock your car, make sure you turn the headlights off. If you have automatic headlights, wait until they turn off before you leave.
And if the lights don’t turn off, you will know there’s a problem. You can call a mechanic to help you turn the lights off so that they don’t drain your car battery.
Whether you’ve left your lights on or not, make a habit of double-checking them, especially if you’ll be gone for a while. You can also use the automatic system if you have one, but you need to make sure the automatic lights turn off.
When Should I Replace My Car Battery?
Whether it’s been a while or you’ve just started having issues, you may wonder, “When should I replace my car battery?” The lifespan is about three to five years, but you may need to replace it sooner. To decide this, consider the conditions your battery is in and if it has any damage.
Do you need a new car battery? Check out our stock to find one you like.