Learning how often to replace a car battery can save you a major headache down the road. Although most batteries last between four and five years, we can teach you how to know if a car battery needs to be replaced today! Since several factors can have a significant impact on your battery’s total lifespan, it’s important to know how to test a car battery at home in Sicklerville or Sewell.
How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced
It’s relatively easy to tell if your battery is nearing the end of its lifespan. Here’s what you need to watch out for:
- Headlights are dimmer than usual
- You require frequent jump starts
- Your vehicle is slow to start after turning the key
- You’re experiencing power fluctuations with your devices
Since some of these issues may also be due to problems with your alternator, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection or test your battery at home before you pick up a new one at our parts department.
How to Test a Car Battery
There’s no harm in having your battery tested regularly, for example, as part of your regular scheduled maintenance appointment. However, if you’re in a bind or can’t make it into the shop, there are a couple easy ways to test a car battery at home.
The headlight test can be performed without any specialized equipment at all:
- Start by turning on the engine. Double check to make sure that the car is in park, and then make sure that your headlights are on.
- Press down on the gas pedal gently. If the headlights get brighter when you rev the engine, your battery isn’t strong enough to provide the necessary power. Your alternator is picking up the slack.
If you’re willing to visit our parts department and pick up a digital multimeter, this tool can give you an even more accurate view of your battery’s capacity:
- Set your voltmeter to 20 DC volts, and open the hood.
- Touch the negative meter probe to the negative terminal on your battery. Both should be colored black.
- Touch the positive meter probe to the positive battery terminal. These will be colored red.
- Turn on the headlights and check the reading. At 11.8 volts or lower, your battery has no more than 25% of its charge remaining.
What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?
All car batteries deteriorate with time. That’s why those wondering how often to change a car battery usually get the same answer: four to five years. But this is just a general guideline, and it won’t apply in all circumstances.
Whether you’ve just installed a new battery or you just want to stretch your current battery to its limits, you’ll need to watch out for the following factors:
- Temperature: Extreme heat can cause the liquids inside your car battery to evaporate, and extreme cold can extract the last remaining charge from a battery that was running low on power. Get yours replaced before the next winter hits Williamstown.
- Vibrations: Excessive vibrations–whether caused by the quality of the road or the quality of your suspension–can put an extra strain on your battery. The components inside will break down more quickly.
- Jump Starts: A jump start can get you moving in a pinch, but letting your battery drain all the way to 0 isn’t good for its long-term lifespan. Take care to protect your battery, or you might end up replacing it before its time.
How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?
How much is a replacement car battery? You can expect to spend between $70 and $120, although some long-lasting batteries can cost as much as $200. Hybrid batteries are another story, but they are usually protected by extensive warranty coverage. In any event, we offer service and parts specials to help you save on whatever you require.
For Service and Parts, Chevrolet Of Turnersville Can Help!
For all things related to Chevrolet service, rely on Chevrolet Of Turnersville to set you up for success. Learn more about what we can do for you or schedule an appointment online!