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How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Male mechanic changing car battery

Automotive experts recommend you replace your battery about every 4-5 years. However, battery life can vary widely depending on several factors. Be sure to check with your owner’s manual and take into consideration your driving habits as well. Learn more about car batteries, how often to replace them, and more with the Freeway Mazda service team in Surrey.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

When the time comes to change your vehicle’s battery, you’ll know based off of these signs:

  • Dimming headlights
  • More frequent need for engine revving or jump-starts
  • Takes longer to start the engine when you turn the key/push the button
  • Unusual power fluctuations

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

  • Heat: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside a car battery, so if you live in a more consistently hot climate your battery life will be inevitably shorter.
  • Vibrations: If your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, or you drive over rough roads frequently, vibrations will cause internal battery parts to break down faster.
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve done something like left your lights on overnight or let your engine idle for too long and require a jump start, this can shorten battery life significantly.
  • Time: A car battery can only go through so many charge cycles, so the death of your car battery is unavoidable, but proper care can prevent the battery from dying on you early.

In order to get a more exact number on how long your battery should last with proper care, check your owner’s manual or ask our service technicians about the maintenance schedule for your vehicle.

How to Test a Car Battery

As you come in for regular maintenance, you can have your battery tested at your Langley service center. Should you want to test your car battery at home, you can try these methods:

The Headlight Test:

  1. Turn on the engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlight brightness changes.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling.
  4. Take your car to a service center at this point for further assessment.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red)
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

The typical car battery cost can range between $75 and $120, and if you have a premium battery it could be up to $200. Hybrid car batteries tend to cost a bit more, tending to be anywhere in the $1000 to $6000 range. If you’re interested in saving more on a new battery for your model, use the service and parts specials at Freeway Mazda. You can get the parts and services you need at a more affordable price.

Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape at Freeway Mazda

Ready to schedule an appointment? Choose Freeway Mazda for quality services and affordable prices. Our genuine parts selection will ensure a lasting repair. Contact us today to learn more!

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