How Often Should I Replace My Car Battery?

November 25th, 2018 by

car technician holding the wrench

How often should you replace your car battery? While answers vary, most experts agree that the right interval is between 4-5 years, but that will vary widely based on several factors. Explore all the things that affect car battery life at Sunrise Volkswagen so you can continue to drive around Rockville Centre without issues! Our service center is here to help.

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How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Some warning signs to watch out for to know if your battery is reaching its end:

  • Dimming headlights
  • More frequent need for engine revving or jump starts
  • Takes longer to start the engine when you turn the key/push the button
  • Unusual power fluctuations

What Are the Causes of Deterioration?

  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve done something like left your lights on overnight or let your engine idle for too long and require a jump start, this can shorten battery life significantly.
  • Time: A car battery can only go through so many charge cycles, so the death of your car battery is unavoidable, but proper care can prevent the battery from dying on you early.
  • Heat: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside a car battery, so if you live in a more consistently hot climate your battery life will be inevitably shorter.
  • Vibrations: If your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, or you drive over rough roads frequently, vibrations will cause internal battery parts to break down faster.

To get the most accurate answer, visit your owner’s manual!

How to Test a Car Battery

You can have your car battery tested during regular maintenance at your Rockville Centre-area service center twice a year. If you want to test it between that time many retailers offer free tests, or you can test the battery at home with a few easy methods.The Headlight Test:

  1. Turn on the engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlight brightness changes.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling.
  4. To take your car to a service center at this point for further assessment.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red)
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less charge.

Learn More at Sunrise Volkswagen

For more information, stop by Sunrise Volkswagen! While you are here, be sure to explore the many new and pre-owned vehicles in our inventory. Contact us for more information, like why to choose the Sunrise Volkswagen parts center and how often to replace brake fluid!

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