How often should you replace your car battery?
People frequently ask us how often a car battery should be replaced. There is not one answer we can give as it really depends on how and
where the vehicle has been driven. Usually, most car batteries last anywhere between 3 to 4 years in conditions that are not extreme. We recommend having the battery inspected twice a year and when a three-year mark is reached, consider purchasing a new battery. If the mechanic says it is good to use, there is no need to buy one.
What affects the lifespan of the battery
- A poorly working car alternator. Car battery works in conjunction with the alternator and on some occasions people confuse battery breakdown for the breakdown of an alternator. When there is an issue with the power generator it affects the battery by not charging it properly. In time, the car can breakdown while on the road and you may need to use roadside assistance. Even if the car battery is still fine, it will be damaged by the lack of power generated throughout the time when using an old, poorly working alternator.
- Rarely driving long distances. And this is really important to people living in the cities as the distance driven with the car is usually pretty short. When a car is rarely taken out on a long-distance drive, the battery will not be able to reach a “full” charge. This will cause something that is referred to as acid stratification – a process when electrolyte concentration is heavy on the bottom and light on top. This will then accelerate corrosion as the electrolyte concentration on the upper part of the batter contains poor quality acid. And as a result, this will reduce the batteries longevity.
- As this is inevitable for most of us, using additional electronics can drain your battery. Making it a habit of turning off any electronics that are not being used while driving will prolong the battery life. And if you do have any devices connected, make sure to turn off all your electronic devices before turning off the engine. If left turned on, your electronics will keep draining your battery. If you find yourself with a flat battery, contact a mechanic nearby or call mobile battery replacement service for your car or other vehicles.
- Leaving the vehicle stationary for a long time can damage the battery. Batteries have an internal chemical leakage or natural self-discharge. As cars nowadays are filled with electronics, cars draw a small amount of power from the battery when stationary to keep all the electric-powered systems “alive” and going. If left for a long time, the battery will be slowly drained to the point when it goes flat. If you know that the car will be left unused for a longer period of time, connect it to a maintenance charger. It will keep the power supply for your vehicle in good condition.
- Driving on gravel-covered or bumpy roads, the clamps on the battery get damaged due to regular and frequent vibrations. This reduces the lifespan of the battery. If you find yourself on such a road around the Brisbane area and the battery is no longer working, contact mobile battery replacement, Brisbane.
- For those who are driving on bumpy or gravel-covered roads, occasionally inspect the battery clamps that hold down the battery. Due to vibrations on a daily basis, clamps can get damaged and reduces the life of the battery.
- High temperatures shorten the lifespan of the batter due to the water loss, heat distortion and an increase in corrosion. All RACQ batteries are maintenance-free batteries, with a larger electrolyte reservoir to combat water loss. They are ideal for Queensland’s hot climate
To learn more about car battery maintenance, read a blog on our website. We have some great tips on how to get the most out of your battery.
Signs to look for
As you will mostly find that the battery is dead when it is actually dead, there are signs to look for that can help you prevent this.
- Age – as previously mentioned, after around 3-4 years the battery reaches its critical point when it can break down depending on the maintenance and driving habits.
- Look at the battery itself. Corrosion or stains mean it could have a leak, which means that the battery may fail in the near future. To make sure, have a mechanic to inspect it.
- Smell the battery – paying attention to rotten egg odours (sulfur) or the smell of the battery overheating. If you sense the smell, the battery is on the edge of breaking down.
Battery usually lasts for 3-4 years if properly maintained and driving habits were not harmful. If you find yourself stuck on the road with a dead battery, call roadside assistance to replace the battery for your car or other vehicles.