How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Do you suspect your car battery needs to be replaced soon? Generally, the recommendation for how often to replace a car battery is every 4-5 years. Under the right conditions, however, your battery may last longer on Lawrenceville roads. Join our service team for more information below, where we’ll discuss how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced and how to test a car battery.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Usually, you’ll experience some telltale signs if your car battery is on its last leg. If you experience these issues while out in Suwanee, it’s time to visit our service center for further inspection:

  • Power fluctuations in the cluster display
  • Faint headlights
  • Turning your key or pushing the start button elicits a slow engine response
  • You have to rev the engine to get it going
  • You’ve had to jump-start your car once or more in recent weeks

What Causes Car Batteries to Die?

If you own your vehicle for long enough, it’s inevitable that the battery will die at some point. There’s only a certain number of charge cycles it can withstand, and it has to reach the last one at some point. However, the factors below are known to be bad for battery life and can cause it to wear out faster:

  • Outside temperature: It can get pretty hot in Johns Creek! On a blistering day, the outside temperature can cause the liquids inside a car battery to evaporate, negatively affecting battery life.
  • Loose clamps: Driving on unstable surfaces or hitting a bump a little too hard can loosen the hold-down clamps that hold your car battery in place. If this happens, the battery can jostle around while you drive, and the resulting vibrations can exacerbate wear on the internal components.
  • Jump-starts: Jump-starting your car one time shouldn’t affect the battery greatly, but multiple jump-starts can shorten battery life quite a bit. Remember to double-check that all your lights are off when you leave the car!

How to Test a Car Battery

You’re always welcome to schedule an appointment to have our service experts inspect and test your car battery, but there are also ways you can test it at home! One way–the headlight test–can be done by yourself. The other way–a digital multimeter–requires a partner to help.

How to Test a Car Battery Using the Headlights

  1. Start your engine and leave your car in Park. Turn the headlights all the way on.
  2. Lightly press the gas to rev the engine.
  3. If the headlights shine brighter when you rev the engine, it’s a sign that the current is weaker than usual and it can’t maintain that brightness when idling.
  4. If your car doesn’t pass this test, have it inspected soon to determine if you need a battery replacement.

Test Your Battery with a Digital Multimeter:

  1. The voltmeter should be set at 20 DC volts. Once it’s set, pop the hood of your car.
  2. Connect the negative (black) meter probe to the negative battery terminal (black).
  3. Connect the positive (red) meter probe to the positive terminal (red).
  4. Ask your partner to turn the headlights on at this point.
  5. Check the voltmeter reading. At 80℉, 12.5+ volts signals a full charge. 12.3 volts signal approximately 75% charge, while 11.8 volts or less indicates 25% or less of charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery Likely to Cost?

If your battery is on its way out, how much is a replacement car battery going to run you? The cost to replace a battery is typically between $75 – $120 or up to $200 for a premium battery. Driving a hybrid? These batteries supply a lot more power, and their price reflects this. Hybrid battery replacement may fall anywhere between $1000 – $6,000.

Learn More About Car Maintenance at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth!

Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth is here to answer all of your car maintenance questions. Whether it’s how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced or how often to rotate tires, you can count on us for trusted answers!

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*APR and cash allowance vary by model. Length of contract limited. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 7/5/22.

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