How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Mechanic Removing Battery from Car
 

Experts typically recommend a battery replacement service every 4 to 5 years. If you’re interested in learning more about how often to replace a car battery, how to tell when the time comes, and even how much a battery costs, check this helpful guide from our Wilson service team.

 

How to Know if Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

If you’re not sure how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, we have a few warning signs that it just might be time. Here’s what you’ll want to look out for:

  • Your headlights are dimmer than usual.
  • You need to jump start your car quite often.
  • The engine doesn’t start up right away when you turn the key in the ignition or push the button to start.
  • You notice unusual power fluctuations.

Factors That Influence Battery Life

  • Heat: Hot climates tend to zap the life out of batteries more quickly than cooler temperatures. That’s because heat causes liquids within a car battery to evaporate.
  • Vibrations: Vibrations often occur if the battery’s hold-down clamps are loose or if you’re traversing rough terrain frequently, and they break down internal battery parts at a much faster rate.
  • Jump Starts: You shorten battery life with every jump start you administer.
  • Time: All batteries eventually will lose their charge, so over time, it’s inevitable that your car battery will die.

As long as you keep up with proper battery care, as recommended in your owner’s manual, your vehicle’s battery will last longer.

How to Test a Car Battery

You can have your battery tested at our service center as well as do it yourself from home! If you’d like to try and test your car battery between services, here are a few methods to try:

Headlight Test: 

  1. Start your car and turn on your headlights. Keep the car in park.
  2. Rev the engine to determine whether the brightness of your headlights changes.
  3. If you notice a difference in brightness, the current from the battery isn’t strong enough when idling.
  4. Schedule service with Medlin Mazda for further assessment.

Digital Multimeter:

  1. With the hood of your car popped and the voltmeter set to 20 DC volts, touch the negative terminal (black) to the negative meter probe (also black).
  2. Repeat this step by touching the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red).
  3. Have someone turn on your vehicle’s headlights, and check the voltmeter reading.
  4. At a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit: 12.5 volts or higher indicates a full charge; 12.3 volts indicates a 75% charge; 11.8 volts or lower indicates a 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

So about how much is a replacement car battery? The cost of a typical car battery ranges between $75 and $120, but premium batteries can cost up to $200. If you have a hybrid model, the battery will be a bit more expensive. To find the exact cost of the battery your vehicle needs, check out our parts department! In addition to a quality selection, we offer parts specials to help you save more on what you need.

Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape at Medlin Mazda

When you need to replace your battery, schedule an appointment at our service center near Rocky Mount. Contact us in the meantime with any questions or to learn more service tips and tricks.

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