As a car owner, one of the biggest sources of anxiety is the car battery. How long does it last? How often should you change it? And how can you tell when your car battery is going bad? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know, including how you can test your car battery to be certain.
Let’s begin with: how often should you change your car battery? Like it or not, no batter can last forever. As a rule of thumb, you should probably replace your car battery every three years, however, there is a chance that you may need to replace it sooner (or similarly, it could last you longer).
There are a number of different factors that can influence the life of your car battery, for example, climate and the way that you drive – these can contribute to how close to that three-year mark you can get away with.
In order to ensure that you are replacing your car battery regularly enough, you should check your manufacturer’s recommended service intervals to be on the safe side.
No matter where you live, whether it be hot and humid, or cold and dry, the climate can affect your battery in a negative way. Extreme temperatures, either way, will influence your car battery life—in different ways certainly—but the outcome is always the same; a shorter than usual lifespan.
So, if you live somewhere either especially hot OR cold, we recommend changing your battery ahead of time so that you don’t end up with a car unable to start in the middle of nowhere! Not ideal.
That said, there are things that you can do to resist some of the harsh weather effects on your battery – e.g., selecting the ideal batter time that is specifically designed for the climate in question.
What are the signs that your car battery is going bad? Well, fortunately, they’re quite easy to spot so you should know in advance when it’s time to get a replacement.
Cars are typically very good at letting you know when something is up. This could be anything from illuminated dashboard lights, strange odours and sounds, and anything that is typically out of the ordinary.
Here are the warning signs of a weak battery:
If you experience any of the above symptoms, then it’s time to get your motor down to the auto repair shop. That being said, even if you haven’t noticed any of the above, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your car battery is in working order. Some of the symptoms might not be so obvious until it is too late. Testing your car battery is a good way to find out, which we will cover shortly.
What happens when a car battery is low? Well, for one thing, you may notice either the car battery light come up on the dashboard. In addition to that, you may notice that either your headlights are dimmer than usual, or the electronics in your car (e.g., radio/dashboard) are especially weak. Other signs include your engine backfiring, the engine being slow to start, or the engine failing to turn over entirely.
Without the proper equipment, ultimately the best bet is to get down to your local garage and have them check the car battery out for you. However, there are a few home tests that you can try, for example:
The fact is, even if your car is not displaying any of the signs mentioned above, that doesn’t mean that your car battery isn’t near the end of its life. If you are having doubts, either take your car into the local garage or contact an established car battery dealership like G7 Battery for expert advice on what steps to take next.