What is the Lifespan of Your Car Battery?

October 27, 2019

Your battery is a vital piece of your vehicle. It helps provide power for starting your car, running your radio and charging your cell phone. This is why it’s a good idea to understand its lifespan and when it’s time to buy a new one. Most car batteries will last somewhere around two to five years. Let’s look at some of the factors that affect your battery’s lifespan.

The Weather

Weather plays a critical part in how long the battery will last. Operating your vehicle produces heat. Living in a hot climate and running your car on very hot days puts even more stress on the battery.

Hot weather causes damage to the internal structure because the battery’s fluid evaporates more easily. This internal damage works to shorten the lifespan of a battery. Keep this in mind if you happen to live in an area with severely hot summers.

Cold weather is a factor, as well. Extreme cold affects a battery’s ability to produce the energy required to get the engine started. Cold weather also works to make your engine oil thicker. The combination of thicker oil and extreme cold requires the battery to work harder. Hot weather is still more harmful than cold weather for a battery, however.

Your Driving Habits

You don’t have much control over what the weather does. You do have control over how you drive your car.

Short trips done on a consistent basis will shorten your battery’s life expectancy. Doing a lot of stop and start driving will do the same thing. The reason is that the battery’s power is used while the alternator isn’t allowed the time it needs to recharge. The result is that your battery gets drained consistently to lower levels and its lifespan is lessened.

When You Know it’s Time to Change Your Battery

Pay attention to when it might be time to get a new battery. Do you notice your headlights flickering? Is it hard to start your car each morning? Are your dashboard lights are getting dimmer over time?

All of the above situations are signals that it might be time to replace the battery. Another smart thing to check for every six months is any rotten egg smells coming from the battery. You might also see that the battery is visually swelling. Both of these conditions indicate a failing battery.

Every battery will come to the end of its life expectancy at some point. A good time to start paying close attention to your battery’s condition is three years after you bought it. You know the best part about replacing a battery? It’s one of the easiest things to replace inside your car.

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