How Long Does a Car Battery Last? Car Maintenance Makes Easy

How Long Does a Car Battery Last

There are many common questions people have about their cars. Some of the most common questions include “What oil filter do I need?” or “How long does a car battery last?” In terms of the latter, the answer for most cars will be about four years.

Most Common Question: How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

However, every vehicle is different. You need more information so that you never have to worry about your battery dying when you are on the road.

How to Charge a Car Battery?

While it may seem a simple task such as simply hooking up a charger and charging your car battery, but its more than this if you want to do it safely. You must keep in mind basic things (many people forget surprisingly) such as knowing to remove the right terminal and which to connect first to the charger. Especially, if you are doing it for the first time, make sure:

  • You have the right tools to remove the battery from your car.
  • Turn off the lights, otherwise, it will cause the arc while you are preparing to charge.
  • Remove the negative cable first- the black cable with a negative (-) sign; and the power cable with a positive (+) sign.
  • You have to clean the battery terminals using a brush with a mixture of baking soda and water. This mixture neutralizes the acid in the battery.
  • Also, wear a mask and eye protection to prevent the corrosion from contacting your eyes. And don’t forget to wash your hands before you touch your face.
  • In case your car’s battery has removable caps, check the level of water. If it’s low, fill it with distilled water only, and don’t overfill it.

To Hook up the Charger:

  • Turn off the charger
  • The positive cable will connect with the positive terminal on the battery.
  • The negative cable has to be connected to the negative terminal
  • Be careful while setting the charge rate- keep it to the slowest
  • Finally, turn on the charger and set the timer.
  • To remove the charger, first, turn it off and then remove positive cables first then a negative one.

Replace the Battery Every Few Years

No matter what type of car you drive, you can expect the battery to last between four and six years. At the six-year mark, you are better off going to the nearest auto parts store and replacing the battery before something happens. However, you can get more out of your battery if you know how to take care of it.

Practice Good Driving

There are several practices you can implement to get the most out of your battery such as limiting your drive to short rides. When you only drive your car for a couple of minutes, you prevent the battery from getting charged all the way. Additionally, if you do not drive your car often, then you may want to invest in a portable battery charger. That way if the battery needs a jump-start, you can do it on your own.

You also need to turn off the headlights when you stop your car. Leaving the lights on will drain the battery, and you may not be able to start your car when you get back. In this case, you should scrub the battery terminals often-you can do this easily with a toothbrush. By limiting corrosion, you can ensure your battery will stay healthy for years.

Car Battery Durability

Some car batteries are better than others due to quality and cold crank amps (CCA) rating. Batteries lose power as temperatures drop, so CCA, measured at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, indicates performance in cold conditions. Over time, batteries lose power, so a higher initial CCA helps maintain starting power. Additionally, batteries degrade even while sitting on a shelf, meaning a “new” battery might have already lost some life if it was built months before. Thus, a battery with a higher CCA rating initially can still start your car effectively as it ages, unlike one with a lower CCA.

Varieties of Car Batteries

The common car battery has traditionally been a lead-acid battery, containing lead plates in sulphuric acid. Recently, absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries have become popular. They use fiberglass mats to contain the acid and offer higher power density, more charge cycles, resistance to deep discharge, no leaks, faster charging, and better vibration resistance. AGM batteries are often used in cars with stop-start technology, which frequently starts and stops the engine to save fuel. If your car doesn’t have an AGM battery, you might upgrade, but ensure compatibility and consider professional installation due to potential alternator issues.

Impact of Climate on Car Batteries

Warm weather puts more strain on car batteries than cool weather. High temperatures speed up internal corrosion and cause the liquid electrolytes to evaporate. This reduces the battery’s charge capacity and weakens its starting power.

Similarly, extreme cold can also damage your car battery and shorten its life. When temperatures drop below 32 degrees, car batteries can lose up to 35% of their power and need to work harder to start your car.

Get Help When You Need It

if your car’s battery breaks down more often, consider purchasing a new battery. There is always a risk of getting stranded while traveling. Find a nearby auto parts store where you can get everything you need in one place. For tasks involving metal fabrication or working with complex electrical systems, it’s best to consult a qualified mechanic to avoid potential hazards.

In case of a serious car accident, especially one involving damage to the battery or electrical system, focusing on what to do after a car accident should take priority. This includes ensuring your safety, exchanging information with other drivers involved, and contacting emergency services or your insurance company. Once the immediate situation is under control, a professional mechanic can assess any damage to your car’s battery or electrical system.

When you are aware of how long does a car battery lasts, it becomes much easier to predict when you should think of replacing your car’s battery.