Battery

How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Most car technicians recommend getting your car battery replaced every four to five years. However, a variety of factors influence how long your car battery will last. Depending on what you use your vehicle for, you may have to get it replaced sooner than that. It’s important to keep track of your battery’s health so you can commute from Oak Ridge to Sevierville without any unexpected delays. Our service center can guide you through the process of coming in for a replacement service. See below for tips on how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Your car presents warning signs of a dying battery in a number of ways, and it’s important to watch out for them, especially if your planning to use your vehicle for a long trip. Here are a few warning signs that will help you know if your car battery needs to be replaced:

  • 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: Heat causes the liquids in your car battery to evaporate, which means you’ll have to get your car battery changed more often if you like in a hot climate.
  • Vibrations: If you use your vehicle for off-roading and are often driving over rough terrain, the vibrations will cause the battery to break down sooner. You’ll need to have your battery replaced more frequently than drivers who only drive on paved roads.
  • Needing a Jump: Jump-starting your car will shorten the lifespan of your car battery.
  • Time: No matter what you use your car for, you’ll need to have the battery replaced every few years.

Consult your owner’s manual for how long your battery should last, and adhere to any guidance it provides on what may impact the lifespan of your battery. Our service center provides an online service scheduler if you need to have your battery replaced.

How to Test a Car Battery

There are a few ways to check your battery. A car technician can check it for you during regular maintenance, or you can check it at home. Below you’ll find instructions for how to test your battery.

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?

How much a replacement car battery costs depends on what kind of car you own, but the typical range for a regular vehicle is between $75 and $120. If your car runs on a premium battery, it could cost upwards of $200. Hybrid cars batteries cost more because they need much more battery power than a normal car. A battery for a hybrid ranges between $1,000 and $6,000. Contact our service center in Knoxville for an estimate.

Contact Our Service Center at Ole Ben Franklin Motors in Knoxville

Now that you know how often your car battery needs to be replaced and how to know if it needs replacing make sure to check your car battery regularly to ensure proper functioning. At-home maintenance is easy with our step-by-step guides! Use our guides to change your battery, motor oil, jump-start your car, or rotating your tires at home. Contact us for more information on our service specials to save on professional maintenance!

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