How Often Should I Replace My Car Battery?

changing car battery

Is there a rule-of-thumb for how often to replace a car battery? Many automotive experts recommend replacing a vehicle’s battery every four to five years or so, but that amount of time will vary depending on a variety of factors. Learn more about car batteries with Biggers Chevrolet. If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact the car battery experts at our Schaumburg service center! In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about car batteries.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

These are all indicators that your car battery might be running low on power and will need to be replaced sometime in the near future:

  • Your car’s headlights seem dimmer
  • Your car takes longer than normal to start or has trouble turning over
  • Your car requires a more frequent need for engine revving or jump-starts
  • You experience unusual power fluctuations in your car

Common Causes of Car Battery Deterioration

  • Heat: Most car batteries contain internal liquids. Heat can make these liquids evaporate more quickly. If you live in a place that’s consistently hotter throughout the year, this will likely decrease your car battery’s life.
  • Time: Like most rechargeable batteries, car batteries only last through so many charge cycles. That said, proper care can help make your battery last longer.
  • Requiring a Jump: Maybe you’ve left your lights on overnight, or left the door open. Whatever the reason, if you’ve recently needed to jump start your car, that can shorten battery life.
  • Vibrations: Your car battery’s parts can break down faster if its clips aren’t fastened on tightly, causing bad vibrations.

Want to learn more about how long your battery should last with the right maintenance? Consult your owner’s manual or vehicle maintenance schedule, or check out our service tips and tricks.

How to Test a Car Battery

You can get your battery tested during routine maintenance or service at your Streamwood-area service center twice a year. In-between service checkups, you can also conduct the following at-home battery tests.

Try The Headlight Test

  1. With your car in park, turn on the engine, and make sure the headlights are turned on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the brightness of your headlights increases or decreases.
  3. If your headlights get brighter when revving your engine, that indicates the current is not strong enough to keep them at normal brightness while the car is at a standstill.
  4. It’s a good idea to take your car to a service center for more battery diagnostics.

Try a Digital Multimeter

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Get under the hood of your car and touch the negative (black) terminal to the negative (black) meter probe.
  3. Next, touch the positive (red) terminal to the positive (red) meter probe.
  4. Get a family member or friend to turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, a reading of 12.5 volts or higher indicates your battery is completely charged. 12.3 volts means it’s roughly 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have around 25% or less charge remaining and should visit a local service center.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

A new car battery usually costs anywhere from $75 to about $120. If your vehicle requires a premium battery, it could cost you up to $200. Hybrid and electric vehicle batteries have a much bigger job to do, which also means they’re usually much more expensive, (often between $1000 and $6000), but this cost, remember, is usually offset by significant fuel savings over time.

Get Your Car into Top Mechanical Condition with Biggers Chevrolet

Ready to replace your car battery in or around Bartlett? When it’s time to have a new car battery installed, contact the Biggers Chevrolet parts center and check out our parts and service coupons ahead of time so you don’t miss out on parts savings.


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