A car battery is the simplest and the easiest car component to maintain. You should know that car batteries are maintenance free. Whereas the primary function of a car battery is to start your car, then you should make sure that the battery has the capacity to hold enough charge throughout its life cycle. The question ‘how often to replace car battery?’ can well be answered by monitoring the CCA (Cold Cranking Ability) rating of your battery.
The higher the CCA, the higher the capacity of your battery. With time battery loses its ability to hold on to charge, you can use an array of battery testing tools that are available in the market to test the ability to start the car and hold its charge. These ratings are what should actually guide you on how long you should take before buying another battery.
How Long is a Battery Supposed to Last?
When I was writing on this topic, I realized that the life of a car battery depends on many other factors which that are dependent on how much time the car spends on the road or at the parking lot. On average it is believed that a car battery is expected to last for an average of 5 to 7 years. This longevity is based on how frequently the battery remain charged by the running engine.
Most car battery problems happen during the cold months, and some may argue that this is the best time to replace your battery. Instead of using this general statement on whether you should or should not replace your vehicle's battery. I will discuss some of the critical reasons that may force you to replace the battery even before the 5-7 year cycle is over.
Battery May Be Worn Out Sooner Than Expected
Theoretically, the 7-year battery cycle may not come to realization if you do not take care of your battery. In normal conditions on average, a car battery will last you 3 years in everyday use. The main argument here is that every time your battery gets its charge, it gradually deteriorates. The same way your cell phone loses its efficiency with usage and time. If you are lucky to use your battery in its fourth year, then you are likely to experience cold start and other reliability issues when on the road.
Does the Electrical System Respond Appropriately?
Most of the car’s electrical system are powered by the engine once it is running. So the best time to test the battery and determine if it is due for replacement is right after you switch on the engine. Try this with the headlights on and look at how strong the beam of light is. If the beam is dim and only brightens on acceleration, it is time to replace the battery. Another way to do this electrical test is to start the car, upon turning the ignition and the vehicle does not start, it’s time to head to the nearest auto shop for battery replacement.
How Sophisticated is Your Car’s on Board Accessories?
The more advanced your vehicle’s onboard computer and other add-on accessories, the more power it needs and that is an added strain on the battery. A vehicle with onboard computers working all the time even when parked may have a high battery replacement cycle rate. This can be countered if the battery used is designed to match the car’s power needs. You can also make sure that your battery gets frequently recharged by taking the car on a short drive.
Conduct routine tests on the battery to make sure you know the battery’s wear rate. The battery test can be performed by running simple analysis done at any reputable repair shop. Regular tests are vital because you can use the results to know when to replace your battery based on performance levels.
Cars With Stop-Start Technology
Modern vehicles are equipped with the technology designed to switch off the engine automatically when the car is slowing down. This puts a lot of strain on the batteries, and you either need to use a special battery designed for this kind of vehicles or you will be buying batteries after a very short time.
So When Is The Best Time To Change Your Car Battery?
Whether your car functions well or start to show signs of stalling or failing electronics, it is recommended that you replace your battery every 3-4 years to keep the vehicle running at its peak performance all the time.
How to Get Extended Car Life Battery
The most overlooked part of any vehicle routine service maintenance is the car battery. Like any other component, your battery also loses its lifespan over time. I have some tips that you may implement to get the best out of your battery performance:
- Frequent car service is recommended to make sure the engine functions efficiently. An efficient vehicle does not put a strain on the battery performance.
- Do not leave lights or the car in accessory mode when the engine is turned off.
- If you intend to leave your car in the parking lot for some time, arrange to have it taken for a short drive at least once a week to keep charging the battery.
- Check your battery connections and terminals regularly to make sure there are no loose connections.
- Make sure that the battery terminals are clean and free from dust or grit.
A flat or damaged battery is the number one reason for roadside emergency calls. This happens because batteries are too old to measure up to the demands of the car. Even if your battery shows the signs of wear and tear when the expected cycle period is not over, do not take a risk. It is time to replace the battery. The question of how often to replace car battery template is entirely relative, and it all depends on many factors discussed in the article.
It is important to note that when replacing your battery, make sure you dispose of it safely by locating the nearest waste plant or service that will take care of the battery to avoid environmental degradation.
Thanks for reading. Please share with us your experience on how often you change your car battery!