It’s common for many people to neglect the battery in their vehicle until the engine no longer starts, leaving them stranded. Knowing when you should replace your battery can help prevent this from happening.
How often should I replace my car battery?
Most car batteries will last an average of three to five years, though some can last a couple of years longer. The lifespan of your battery will depend on several different variables, the most important of which are:
- How often the car is run
- The climate you live in
- How secure the battery is
Frequency of driving
Every time you drive your car, the battery gets charged. If you are only driving very short distances on a day-to-day basis, your battery is unlikely to reach full charge by the time you return home.
A parked car’s battery will also slowly discharge. If you rarely take your vehicle for long spins, you may shorten your battery life.
In scorching hot and freezing cold climates, battery life is likely to be shortened. Extreme heat will cause the battery to degrade, while cold weather means your battery will have to work much harder to turn over the engine.
If you live in one of these climates, install a heat shield or a battery blanket to protect your battery and prolong its life.
A battery that is not tightly secured will rattle around, causing vibrations. These vibrations will physically damage your car battery over time. Make sure your battery is bolted down securely to prolong its life.
The existing battery
Did you purchase your car used, or last replace your battery with a budget option from the local hardware store? It’s best practice to replace your battery with the same one it came with – from the manufacturer. These may cost a little bit more, but they’ll last longer and save you money in the end.
What are the signs of an aging car battery?
If it’s been three years – or more – since you last changed your car’s battery, you may be wondering if it’s time to switch it out for a new one. While the most foolproof way to check it is by testing it, some other signs of degradation include:
- The engine turns over slowly
- You’ve had to jump-start it recently
- If you own an older vehicle, the headlights appear less bright
How can I replace my car battery?
The easiest way to get your battery replaced is by contacting a collision repair shop in Salt Lake City. Alternatively, if you have the expertise, visit a dealership and place an order for a battery from your car manufacturer.
Once you receive the new battery, remove the old one and clean the battery connectors. Identify the positive and negative ends of the new battery, pop it into place, and reconnect the cables. Ensure you properly recycle the old battery according to the laws in your area.
Now that you have a shiny new battery take steps to prolong its life. By making sure it gets charged regularly, protecting it from the elements, and properly securing it, you can avoid having to replace it prematurely.