A car battery is permanently dead when it can no longer hold a charge. If the alternator in your vehicle cannot charge up the battery, it is time to replace it. There are tons of different things that can affect the total life of your battery. When you take the time to learn about some of these things, you will have an easier time maintaining your vehicle.
Average Battery Life
Car batteries typically last anywhere from two to five years. If your battery is over two years old, you should get it tested at least once each year. This can help you determine whether or not you should start thinking about replacing it. Any mechanic will be able to do this for you very easily. It could save you from getting stranded on the side of the road.
Shopping for the Right Battery
The overall quality of the battery itself plays a big role in roughly how long it is going to last. There are a number of things that you should pay attention to before buying any battery in particular.
Size of the Battery
You will need to make sure that you buy the right size battery for your vehicle. If you unsure of which one to get, you can always refer to the owner’s manual. This information will help you avoid buying the wrong battery, which can be very frustrating. If you put the wrong size battery in your car, it could cause all sorts of serious problems.
New vs. Used
Some people decide to buy used/recycled batteries because they tend to be much cheaper. These batteries cost about half of a new one, but it doesn’t mean they are worth your money. It is pretty much a crapshoot in the sense that the battery could last a few months or a few years. This is a pretty big chance to take, so you’ll want to think twice about it.
The manufacturer of the car battery can indicate whether or not it is a quality product. There are some companies that have a better reputation than others in this industry. Some of the top names when it comes to these batteries include NAPA, Kirkland, Optima, and Odyssey. You definitely want to take this into consideration before buying anything.
Make sure that you get a decent warranty with your car battery. This warranty should last at least two or three years. This will provide you with peace of mind, which is something you just cannot put a price on.
Battery Care Tips
There are certain tips you can follow to extend the life of your car battery as much as possible. These tips can help you save quite a bit of money over the years.
Clean off the Corrosion
It is important that you keep corrosion off your car battery to keep it in good condition. You’ll want to use a spray product that is designed for this specific task. Battery cleaner can get the corrosion off very quickly and without much effort. When corrosion starts to build up, your battery can get damaged, shortening its lifespan.
Get a Charger Device
If there are extended periods of time when you aren’t driving your car, you should get a charger to keep it juiced up. You want the battery to keep a decent charge even when it is not in use. This will drastically decrease the chances of it suddenly dying.
Check its Seating
You also want to occasionally check your car battery to confirm that it is firmly seated under the hood. Your battery’s seating can loosen over time through everyday driving, so you’ll want to do this once in a while. If it is not firmly in there, you’ll want to make sure it is nice and snug.
Signs Your Battery is on its way out
It is a good idea for you to be aware of the more common signs that you need to replace your battery. This can help you prevent having your car die while you are on the road, which can be a massive inconvenience and even dangerous.
Clicking Noise from Ignition
If you get into your car and hear a clicking noise when you try to start it up, there is a good chance the battery needs to be replaced.
Fluctuations in Headlight Brightness
Another sign of an old battery that needs to be replaced is headlights dimming when the vehicle is idling. If the lights go back to their normal brightness when you accelerate, the battery is most likely to blame.
Your Battery is over three years old
If you haven’t replaced your battery for three years, it might time to do so. You should make a point of getting it tested before spending any money on a new one. Not all batteries need to be replaced after three years, but there is always a chance.
Common Reasons for Battery Dying
Just because your battery died on you doesn’t mean it is at the end of its life. It could be due to a number of things, including exposure to extremely hot or cold weather. There is also a possibility that you accidentally left your headlights on overnight. You should rule out some of these things before deciding to run out and buy a new battery for your vehicle.
A vast majority of car batteries don’t make it past about five years. If the battery in your vehicle is older than three years, you should get it tested every several months. This will give you a good idea as to what sort of condition it is in. You probably don’t want to wait until your battery dies to get a new one. Pay a visit to your local dealer or independent mechanic to get your battery tested and/or replaced. You also want to make sure that you follow the tips listed above so you get the most out of your battery.