If you don't want to be left stranded, it is important to know when your car needs a new battery.
While many of its components are essential to the operation of a motor vehicle, nothing works at all without a functioning battery. Knowing this, it's only natural to wonder how long a car battery lasts. These marvelous compact power sources don't last forever. Over time, their ability to hold an electric charge wanes, and they eventually 'die'. Sure your warranty might last long enough to cover any early malfunctioning, but after it expires, you should know how to spot when your car needs a new battery.
When buying a new battery, it will be helpful to your planned maintenance schedule to know how long a car battery should last. After all, it's not a cheap purchase, and you don't want to have to buy a replacement too often. However, there is always the possibility that something may go wrong and you may need to replace it before it reaches the end of its lifecycle. Batteries are not something that one can repair. That said, the average life of a car battery is usually in the area of three to five years. Naturally, it is possible to extend this by taking good care of your car. This timeline is only relevant for regular batteries for internal combustion engine cars.
With EVs like the Tesla Model S becoming more popular, lithium-ion battery technology is advancing quickly and these units can last a lot longer than their ICE counterparts. Apart from being built differently, they also rely on a different type of charging system. How long does an electric car battery last exactly? Well, most manufacturers will provide a five- to eight-year warranty, but the best electric car battery should last for around 10 to 20 years. These batteries aren't the same as the traditional batteries found on regular gas-fed cars, though.
No matter how long the life of a car battery should be, there is no guarantee that it will meet expectations. There are several warning signs that your battery might be failing before its time, and if your warranty, you should be even more vigilant. These include:
While it isn't a permanent solution, there are ways to prolong the life of a battery. These are stop-gaps, and once they stop helping, you will have no choice but to replace the battery. Nevertheless, here are some tips to buy you time:
Nothing lasts forever and, eventually, your battery will need to be replaced. You can use the provided tips to try to extend its lifespan, and hopefully the guide to the warning signs will ensure you know when to get a new one. Luckily, car batteries aren't exorbitantly expensive, with the average 12V unit costing between $50 and $200. They are also quite easy to install, so you won't need to pay service fees.
Theoretically, it is possible. Driving a vehicle frequently, over long enough trips to keep the battery healthy and charged helps. And taking steps to trickle charge or safely store the battery when not in use, too. However, the average lifespan of a car battery is between three to seven years, and an aging battery can be a hazard. We don't recommend using batteries past their official shelf life.
If your battery is in good condition, it should be able to retain enough charge to start your car for around two weeks of inactivity. High-end cars like a Mercedes S-Class with plenty of onboard electronics and gadgets, often suffer from greater loss of charge over time. If you plan on going any longer, it would be wise to connect your battery up to a charger.
Ideally, you don't want to start and drive your car just to charge the battery. A battery charger is the smarter choice if that's your goal. However, if you don't have one, you should start your car around once a week and take it for a drive. Simply starting it to check if the battery is still working will only deteriorate the charge if you don't take it for a spin, too.
Disconnecting or removing a car battery is not complicated. Simply ensure that vehicle is turned off then loosen the nut on the negative connection and remove the connector. Do the same for the positive afterward. If you plan on leaving the battery disconnected for some time, be sure to store it in a place where extreme heat or cold will not be a problem, and possible attach it to a charger to make sure it will still work properly when you reattach it.