How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Auto Mechanic Replacing Car Battery


Wondering how often to replace a car battery? Curious about how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced? If so, you likely have many questions like, “How much is a replacement car battery,” and, “How to test a car battery?” We’ll cover these topics and more in our guide below. However, most experts agree that a car battery must be replaced every 4-5 years. Learn more about car battery replacement and more with our service team below!

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

If you’re asking how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, the following signs will indicate that your battery is reaching the end of its useful life:

  • 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: A warm climate causes the liquids inside a car battery to evaporate. So, if you drive through hot weather, your battery life will be inevitably shorter.
  • Vibrations: If you frequent rough terrain or your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, the vibrations will cause your battery to wear down faster.
  • Needing a Jump: If your battery was drained and you need a jump, this can significantly shorten your battery life.
  • Time: A car battery offers a finite number of charge cycles, so the eventual need to replace your battery is unavoidable. However, proper maintenance can help you get the most out of your battery.

How to Test a Car Battery

When you schedule service with us, we can test your battery when you schedule service at our auto service center near Camp Lejeune. However, if you’d like to learn how to test a car battery in your own Richlands driveway or garage, you can try the following methods:

The Headlight Test: 

  1. Start the engine but keep the car in park. Make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and note any difference in the headlight brightness.
  3. If the lights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to power the lights to the normal capacity while the car is idling.
  4. Visit our service center to have this issue addressed.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Once you pop the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Next, make a connection between the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red).
  4. Have someone help by turning on the headlights while you check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or signifies that your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts indicates a 75% charge. 11.8 volts or lower is a sign that your battery holds a 25% charge or less.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

How much is a replacement car battery? In most cases, a new battery will cost anywhere from $75 to $120 depending on the size and quality. A premium battery may cost a bit more, right around $200. However, if you drive a hybrid vehicle, the replacement cost for a new battery is much higher. Since hybrid batteries have a greater workload, they can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000. Keep in mind that this extra cost will most likely be recouped in fuel savings!

How to Remove a Car Battery

On average, car batteries should be replaced every three to five years, depending on your vehicle’s make and model. Notably, factors like driving habits, weather conditions in Camp Lejeune and the surrounding areas, and car usage can influence the battery’s lifespan.

Before you start taking out a car battery, ensure you are wearing protective gloves and eyewear. Keep the vehicle off and remain in a well-ventilated space. Following safety precautions can prevent accidents while you are removing the car battery.

  • Locate the negative battery terminal (usually black with a minus sign).
  • Use a wrench to hold the bolt head of the negative terminal steady while you remove the nut.
  • Detach the negative cable and place it away from the battery.
  • Repeat the steps for the positive cable, ensuring the cables do not touch.
  • If the battery has a securing bracket, remove the screws and bolts holding it.
  • Lift the battery straight from the bracket, noting it might be heavy.

Although you now know how to remove a car battery, it’s also important to recognize when to seek professional help. If the process feels too risky or complex, our team at Marine Chevrolet is ready to assist. We not only offer battery removal services but also provide free battery checks to ensure your vehicle is always in great condition.

Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape at Marine Chevrolet

As you can see, the question, “How often to replace a car battery,” doesn’t have a one-size-fits all answer. The good news is that our service center is located right near Sneads Ferry, so reliable car care is just around the corner. If you have any questions about how you can take home a new car battery, contact us online.

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