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How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Battery

It’s recommended by experts that you should replace your car battery about every 4-5 years, but this range can differ based on several factors as battery life can vary widely. Learn more about car batteries, how to know when it’s time to have the battery replaced, and more with the Platinum Volkswagen service team near Bayside.



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 Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

  • 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.
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve done something like left your lights on overnight or let your engine idle for too long and require ajump 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. 

For a better idea of how long your car battery should last with proper care, consult your owner’s manual or contact our service team to learn more about your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

How to Test a Car Battery

You should have your car battery tested during regular maintenance at your local service center twice a year, but if you would like to test it in between that time, there are many retailers that offer free tests. You could also test it yourself 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. 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. 

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery? 

The typical car battery cost can range between $75 and $120, and if you have a premium battery it could be up to $200. If you own a hybrid model, the battery will be more expensive as it has a much bigger job to do. These can cost anywhere from $1000 to $6000, but this is usually offset by the much lower gas consumption.

Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape at Platinum Volkswagen

Ready to replace your battery? Choose the service center at Platinum Volkswagen. Our technicians will have it replaced in no time. We also offer service coupons and parts specials to help you save on the parts and services your vehicle needs. Have questions? Contact us today!

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