Car Care Tips

Tips to keep your car on the road.

Maintenance August 16, 2018

How Long is a Car Battery Supposed to Last?

How long is a car battery supposed to last?

Your battery is your vehicle’s lifeline. If your battery isn’t in working order, your car won’t be, either. 

So, how long is a car battery supposed to last? It depends on a variety of factors. Given the important role your car battery plays in your vehicle’s ability to function, it’s important to first understand how it works.

How Does a Car Battery Work?

Your car battery powers the electrical components of your vehicle. It filters, produces, and sustains power for the ignition and electrical lighting.

By converting chemical energy into electrical energy, your battery delivers voltage to your vehicle’s starter – thereby, powering your car. In order to keep your engine running, your battery keeps the electrical current steady by stabilizing the voltage.

Read: Vehicle Battery Maintenance

Now that you know how a car battery works, let’s talk longevity.

How Long is a Car Battery Supposed to Last?

The average car battery lasts between three and five years. However, there are a variety of factors that can affect your battery’s lifespan. These factors include:

  • Driving habits:  Short trips — less than 20 minutes — can shorten the lifespan of your battery. Why? Because each time you start your car, it uses your battery’s power. Do your car battery a favor and try to consolidate your errands as best you can.
  • Weather conditions: The more extreme the elements your vehicle is exposed to, the tougher it is on your battery. Cold weather can be harsh on car batteries — that’s why it’s best to park in a garage or place an insulated blanket over your battery during the winter months.
  • Maintenance Routine: Do you clean your car battery? Corroded batteries weaken the charge and drastically decrease its lifespan. It’s also wise to check the battery’s charge level to ensure that it’s able to hold a constant charge between 12.5 to 13 volts. Lastly, we recommend checking your battery’s water level indicator and filling it with distilled water when necessary.
  • Battery Position: A loose or misplaced battery can release battery acid over your engine, resulting in loose wiring or a disconnection.

Read: How to Clean Your Car Battery Contacts in 4 Easy Steps

Signs You Need a New Car Battery

No matter how much maintenance and cleaning you do, a car battery will inevitably conk out at some point. Look for the following signs to indicate that it’s time for a new battery:

  • Corrosion, or white build up around the positive, “+,” and negative, “-,” connections.
  • Slow engine crank
  • Check engine light
  • Swollen or bloated battery case
  • Battery leak
  • Low battery fluid level
  • Age: Older than five years

Read: How to Maximize Your Car’s Battery Life

Keep Your Battery in Check with Virginia Tire & Auto

If you’re having car battery trouble, let our expert technicians diagnose the issue. After we test the car battery, we’ll either provide the necessary repairs or replace it with a quality, long-lasting Interstate battery.

Our tried and true car battery installation process guarantees that your navigation, radio, and other electronic presets stay locked in.

Bring your vehicle into Virginia Tire & Auto for all your car battery needs. Schedule an appointment at one of our 14 locations today!

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