How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Red battery stands out among regular gray car batteries

How often should you replace your car battery? How much does a car battery replacement cost? In general, it’s a good idea to replace your battery once every 4-5 years, but since battery life can vary widely, you should consider other factors before making an appointment. Find out how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, and learn the estimated costs with Kareem Auto Sales Inc.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Knowing when to replace your car battery can be tough since some of the signs aren’t incredibly visible at first. If your battery needs to be replaced, one or more of the following may be true:

  • You require frequent jump-starts.
  • Your headlights are dimmer than usual.
  • You notice unusual power fluctuations.
  • You have trouble turning the engine on or notice a long turn-over time.

If you notice any of these signs or others, you’ll need your battery replaced to get you back on the Elk Grove roads as soon as possible. If you plan on replacing the battery yourself, learn how to remove a car battery properly with Kareem Auto Sales Inc.

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

A battery will last for five years or longer with proper care, but there are a number of factors that can shorten its lifespan:

  • Extreme Weather – Hot weather can cause your battery fluid to evaporate, and cold weather can drain the last bit of life from a nearly-dead battery.
  • Lights Left On – Any issue that requires you to jumpstart your car will also reduce the lifespan of your battery.
  • Vibrations – If your battery clamps become loose, the additional vibrations will cause your internal battery parts to break down more quickly.

Under normal circumstances, the alternator in your vehicle will recharge your battery while you drive. However, even the best battery can only go through so many charge cycles before it dies for good! Even if you take good care of your battery, you’ll eventually need to replace it.

How to Test a Car Battery

It’s smart to test your battery at least twice a year, and you can ask your local service center to test your battery during any regular service appointment. If you’re worried about the health of your battery and want to test it out before heading on the Roseville roads, you can also test it yourself at home using either of the following methods:

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set your voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Lift the hood and connect the negative (black) terminal to the negative (black) meter probe. Do the same for the positive (red) terminal and meter probe.
  3. Turn the key so that the headlights come on, but don’t start the car. Check the reading on the voltmeter.
  4. Measurements can vary slightly by temperature, but in general, a measurement of 12.5 volts or higher is indicative of a full charge. At 12.3 volts, you’re at roughly 75% battery. With 11.8 volts or lower, your charge is no higher than 25%.

Using the Headlight Test:

  1. Start your engine and turn on the headlights. Make sure the car is in park.
  2. Rev the engine and check to see if the brightness of your headlights changes.
  3. If revving the engine makes your lights brighter, your battery is close to dying.
  4. At this point, you should take your car to a service center for a quick checkup and battery replacement.

Knowing the condition of your battery will help you determine when to replace your battery. This simple test should help you determine the current condition of your car battery.

How Much Does a Car Battery Replacement Cost?

There is a wide variety of car batteries for sale near Folsom, and pricing varies accordingly. Most car batteries cost between $75 and $120, but if you opt for a longer-lasting premium battery, you might end up paying close to $200. Of course, replacing a hybrid car battery is a much bigger job. These components can cost between $1,000 and $6,000. For other DIY vehicle maintenance tips like how to check your oil level, visit Kareem Auto Sales Inc. You can always call your local service station and ask what a car battery replacement cost will be to get a more exact quote.

You can also learn about proper tire rotation and, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team today. Before you go, you should check out our list of the best Italian restaurants in Sacramento! You can also learn how to jump start a car yourself when you visit Kareem Auto Sales Inc.

More Tips from Kareem Auto Sales Inc

Now that you know how often to change a battery, you can learn how to install a battery yourself with Kareem Auto Sales Inc. Although our Sacramento used car dealership does not have a standalone service center, we know how to keep vehicles in top condition for years and years. Continue your research by learning about red flags for used vehicles, the best maintenance schedule for your car, or find out how many miles a good used car should have at the time of purchase.

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