The car battery is the heart of your vehicle. It doesn’t matter how well your engine is running, if your battery is dead, you’re not going anywhere. Just like anything else on your vehicle, eventually, the battery needs to be replaced. How can you tell when your battery is failing, and how long do they normally last?
Signs of a Failing Battery
The first and most obvious sign of a failing battery is a car that won’t start. If you’re finding that your vehicle isn’t holding onto a charge and needs to be jumpstarted every few days, your battery may need replacing.
Because failing batteries lose their capacity (or ability to hold a charge), you may notice that the engine turns over more slowly than it did before – even when the battery is fully charged. You may also notice that your interior lights are flickering or dimming when you’re turning over the engine.
The battery itself may give you a few clues as to whether or not it’s failing. If you see stains or corrosion, it likely means that your battery has a leak. Buildup around the terminals can also cause issues, so cleaning them periodically is recommended.
It’s important to remember that some of these signs are similar to what you would experience if your vehicle’s alternator or starter were failing. For this reason, it’s often hard to determine if the battery is the true cause of the issue without testing it.
How Often Do Batteries Need To Be Replaced?
On average, car batteries last between 5 and 7 years. If you drive your vehicle on a daily basis, the battery will likely last longer. Vehicles that are only driven a few times a week or are parked for extended periods of time will need more frequent battery replacements.
Car batteries last longer when they’re kept fully charged, so an issue with your vehicle’s charging system may also cause you to replace the battery more often.
An internal defect can cause your battery to need replacement sooner, but issues with your vehicle’s current draw can also be the culprit.
The simplest and easiest way to determine if your vehicle’s battery needs replacement is to have it tested. Most mechanics will be able to test your battery to check its charge and the condition of your starting system. If the battery is over five years old, there’s a good chance it needs to be replaced. Call Jay’s Garage if you need any type of auto repair in Portland at (503) 239-5167!