You have to replace your car’s battery every once in a while. Knowing when it’s time to replace is extremely important. You don’t want the car to suddenly stop working in the middle of nowhere or during a moment of urgency. In this article, we will talk about when it’s time for a battery change.
In this article we will cover
How Long Do Car Batteries Last Normally?
The lifespan of the battery also depends on the make of the battery. Some brands are more expensive and basically, you get what you pay for. However, other cheaper brands may only last not even a year. Make sure you check the warranty on the battery when purchasing a new one.
At Mega Wreckers, we sell used batteries and other used auto parts at very affordable pricing. Batteries are something we cannot ship so if you need one you will either have to visit our car wrecking yard in Hamilton or see our Onehunga-based wreckers in Auckland.
If a car is maintained well, the battery might live up to four, even five years. But usually, around the three-year mark, the battery starts to deteriorate so much that it affects the normal functioning of the car.
That’s when it’s time to replace the battery. It’s wiser to replace it before it’s too late. After five years, the battery becomes unusable. Many times, batteries need replacement.
How To Know It’s Time To Replace Your Car Battery?
If your battery is dying, it will let you know before it does. But you have to know the signs to listen. Here are some of the common signs of a dying battery that needs replacement:
- The engine takes a long time to start: This is a clear sign that something is off. If your car engine is slow and takes multiple tries to start, then that “something” might be a dying battery. There will also be clicking noises when you try to start the car.
- The battery light is on: There is a small battery light (also known as the “Check Engine” light or “warning” light) on your dashboard. It being on doesn’t mean anything good. It can turn on a faulty charging system, indicating a faulty battery.
- The battery case is bloated: This can happen when the battery is overcharged or exposed to high temperatures. So if you find the battery swollen or in a weird shape, it’s time to change it.
- The headlights are not as bright: If they don’t get the power from the battery they need to shine brightly, they will dim. This means the battery is weak.
- Battery fluid leaks: Overcharging and damage can cause fluid to seep out from the car battery. This sign also calls for a replacement.
What Factors Can Reduce the Lifespan of Your Car Battery?
Just because you aren’t noticing any of the above symptoms in your car doesn’t mean you are free of worry. If your car is subject to any of these factors, get ready to replace it before three years:
- Hot climate: If you live in a city predominantly characterised by extremely hot weather, the heat can cause the evaporation of the water in your car’s battery acid. It can lead to corrosion, thus reducing the lifespan.
- Cold climate: Extreme cold climate can also affect the battery. The battery will need to work harder in a cold temperature to generate energy. It can also thicken the engine oil, which puts additional strain on the battery.
- Driving habits: If you drive too often with fewer intervals between every drive, the battery will be overworked. Or, if you keep the car unused for long periods, the battery continues to drain passively.
Where to find batteries?
However, you must know a few things before you go out battery shopping.
- Battery Size: In this case, one size does not fit all. The car batteries have size categories which are based on the length, width, and height of the battery. To know what size battery your car needs is to take a photo of the battery and take it to the battery seller. It usually has the required information or consult a mechanic or see the manual of your vehicle.
- Reverse Capacity: The higher the better, it means you can leave your car headlights on longer.
- Power Requirement: This is not so much in New Zealand however if you are way down south, you may want to go Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rather than Cranking Amps (CA).
- Type and Position of Terminals: This is the most important one, cars have different positive and negative terminal locations. Some have a positive terminal on the right others have one on left. The type of terminals also matters, some have thinner and smaller and others have bigger (ahem).
- Warranty: Most batteries come with a warranty of 3 years and some with 5. Some cost more than others for this reason.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not it’s time to replace your car battery. If you’re not sure whether you need a new one yet, check with your mechanic so they can advise you on whether or not it’s time for a replacement. If you need reliable batteries for an unbelievable price, reach out to us.