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The car battery is one of the most important parts of your car. Without it, you won’t go anywhere. Your battery will eventually let you down and leave you stranded if you don’t take care of it.
Most car batteries last between three and five years. A battery may last shorter or longer, depending on the way you drive, the weather and other factors. If your battery is 3 to 5 years old, it’s a good idea to test it.
Most manufacturers recommend that you get your battery tested at least twice per year. You should test your car battery in autumn and again in spring because extreme hot and cold weather are the most common things that wear your car battery down.
Cold weather makes a car battery work harder to start your car’s engine. Plus, the cold slows the chemical reaction in your battery and causes it to lose voltage.
Hot weather causes battery acid to evaporate slowly, which eventually lowers the amount of acid in the battery, which causes it to stop taking a full charge and keeps it from producing as much power as it should. It can also cause battery corrosion on your posts and cables.
What other factors will affect the life of my car battery?
Short Trips: If you take many short trips (less than 20 minutes), your battery won’t have enough time to fully recharge, shortening its overall life expectancy.
Slow engine crank: When you attempt to start the vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start.
Check engine light: The check engine light sometimes appears when your battery power is weak. Strange system indicator lights – such as check engine and low coolant lights – could mean there’s a problem with your battery. (It could also just mean you need more coolant).
Low battery fluid level: Car batteries typically have a part of the casing that’s translucent so you can always keep an eye on your battery’s fluid level. If the fluid level is below the lead plates it’s time to have the battery and charging system tested. When fluid levels drop, it’s typically caused by overcharging (heat).
Swollen case: If your battery casing looks swollen, this could indicate a battery gone bad. You can blame excessive heat for causing your battery case to swell, decreasing your battery life.
Battery leak: Leaking also causes the corrosion around the posts. You may notice a pungent, rotten egg smell around the battery. The gunk may need to be removed; otherwise, your car may not start.
Old age: Your battery can last well beyond three years but, at the very least, have its current condition inspected on a yearly basis when it reaches the three year mark. Driving habits, weather and frequent short trips can drastically shorten the actual life of your car battery.
It might be time to get your battery checked to see if you need a new one or if it just needs some charging and maintenance. Either way, we have all the testing equipment needed to test batteries and our expert team can offer the right solution for your needs. If your battery doesn’t pass the test we can also advise on the best and most economical battery replacement.
Take advantage of our Free Battery Testing offer and have your battery tested today.