How long does a car battery really last? Well, believe it or not, it is dependent on a variety of different things. Not all car batteries are made the same but for the sake on keeping things easy, the more “cells” (energy storage compartments) your battery has, the longer it will generally last. Other factors include your driving habits, how hot or cold weather is in the climate you are driving in and how well maintained the rest of your vehicle is.
In a properly maintained vehicle, under ideal weather conditions, manufacturers will generally state that their batteries will last anywhere between 3 – 6 years. But when under extreme driving conditions, some of those same batteries may only last between 1 – 3 years. Treat your car like your body, regular maintenance is critical to the longevity of your vehicle; this includes your car battery.
How many times have you driven your car until it fails to turn on and you needed to have someone provide you with a “jump start”? Hopefully that is not the first indicator you rely on before realizing you need to replace your battery. If it is, and you keep a set of jumper cables handy in order to determine when it’s time for you to replace your battery, you might benefit from reading further. Here are some symptoms to look out for which could certainly help point you towards the warning signs that your car battery needs to be replaced.
Car Won’t Start
Well, if you have waited this long and your car won’t start; needless to say, you should probably have your battery tested to see if it needs to be replaced. Yes, there could be a variety of different issues that could be causing your car malfunction, but if your car was working fine without any issue the last time you used it and now it won’t turn on, the chances are, your battery has failed on you and it’s time to replace it.
Loss of Power on Your RPM Gauge
Have you ever exited the freeway and came to a complete stop, then notice your RPM gauge revs down to almost zero or your car shuts off before picking back up to a normal idling speed? There are a few things that can cause this, but consider it being a telling indicator that you should get your battery tested.
Longer Startup Time
By now you have probably gotten use to the rhythm your vehicle makes every time you turn it on. If you start to notice it takes longer to startup your vehicle than normal, it’s also a sign that your battery might need to be tested.
Dim Headlights or Flickering Interior Lights
Do your car interior lights flicker when you turn on your headlights? It is possible that your battery is not sending enough current throughout your entire vehicle to be able to turn on everything at the same time in the manner in which it is intended. A bigger battery may be the key to resolving this issue because your car could be pulling more power than your battery is designed for and causing your current battery to fail prematurely. Are your headlights dimmer than normal? It could be the bulb, but could also be an indicator that you should get your batter tested as well.
Extreme Cold/Hot Weather Conditions
You’ll generally experience a significant decrease in your battery life in extreme weather. In fact, slower startups are predominant indicators in these climates. If you live in states with extreme heat like Arizona or extreme cold like Michigan it’s best to get your battery tested at least once a year before the extreme weather hits to keep from having an already degraded battery completely fail during extreme conditions, leaving you stranded.
Simply spoken, get your battery tested every year. No matter how old it is. Pay attention to the symptoms of a failing battery and get it services by certified technicians such as Tech Plus Automotive located in Scottsdale, Arizona.