How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Auto Mechanic Replacing Car Battery

Tyically, you’ll want to replace your car battery about every 4-5 years. This depends on several factors though as battery life can vary widely. Learn more about car batteries and when you should replace them with our service team at Bettenhausen Automotive near Orland Park.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Some warning signs to watch out for to know if your battery is reaching its end:

  • 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: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside a car battery, so if you live in a more consistently hot climate your battery life will be inevitably shorter.
  • Vibrations: If your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, or you drive over rough roads frequently, vibrations will cause internal battery parts to break down faster.
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve done something like left your lights on overnight or let your engine idle for too long and require a jump start, this can shorten battery life significantly.
  • Time: A car battery can only go through so many charge cycles, so the death of your car battery is unavoidable, but proper care can prevent the battery from dying on you early.

For the best idea of how long your car battery should last with proper care, consult your owner’s manual or maintenance schedule.

How to Test a Car Battery

During a regular maintenance appointment, we can check your battery for you. If you’d like to test your battery yourself, there are a few easy methods you can use to test your battery at home in Tinley Park. These include:

The Headlight Test: 

  1. Turn on the engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlight brightness changes.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling.
  4. Take your car to a service center at this point for further assessment.

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.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

A typical car battery cost ranges from $75 to $120. If you have a premium battery, the price could reach up to $200. Hybrid car batteries have a much larger job to do meaning they tend to be more expensive. These hybrid car batteries can cost anywhere between $1000 and $6000, but this is usually offset by the much lower gas consumption.

Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape at Bettenhausen Automotive

When the time comes to replace your battery, schedule service at Bettenhausen Automotive near New Lenox. Also be sure to check out our service specials to save more.


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