How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Wondering how often to replace a car battery and how much a replacement car battery is going to cost? If you’re like most Fremont car owners, you will probably need to replace your car’s battery every 4-5 years. The Lexus of Pleasanton service team provides more information in the guide below, including two methods for how to test a car battery so our customers can more easily determine whether it’s time for replacement.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced Soon

Thankfully, it’s usually pretty apparent when your car battery is dying. Warning signs you may pick up on when you’re running errands in Dublin include:

  • Strange fluctuations in power to the radio, instrument cluster, interior lights, etc.
  • It takes a while for the engine to turn over when you turn your key or press the push-start button
  • Your headlights are noticeably less bright
  • You find yourself needing to rev the engine or jump-start the car to make it start

Why Do Car Batteries Deteriorate?

  • Excessive Heat: When exposed to high temperatures, the liquids inside a car battery can evaporate, causing it to deteriorate more rapidly.
  • Rough Roads: Frequent traveling on rough roads can jostle the internal battery parts around, causing them to break down faster. The hold-down clamps could also be loose, leading to even more shaking and damage.
  • Frequent Jump-Starts: Jump-starting your car can take a toll on the battery life. Frequent jump-starts may speed up deterioration even more.
  • Time: No matter what type of car battery you have, it can only withstand a certain number of charge cycles and will eventually succumb to time. With proper maintenance, however, you can ensure your car’s battery doesn’t die prematurely.

Your owner’s manual will tell you how long your car battery is predicted to last with proper maintenance, as well as when that maintenance should take place.

Learn How to Test a Car Battery at Home

Your car battery should be tested by a professional technician about twice per year. In-between appointments, there are two simple methods you can follow for how to test a car battery at home in Livermore:

How to Test a Car Battery Using Your Headlights:

  1. Turn your car on and leave it in Park. Turn your headlights all the way on.
  2. Press the gas pedal to rev the engine, observing your headlights’ brightness as you do so.
  3. If revving the engine makes your headlights brighter, it means the current isn’t strong enough to maintain normal brightness when idling.
  4. If your car doesn’t pass the headlights test, schedule a service appointment for further inspection.

How to Test a Car Battery Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Ask a friend to sit in the driver’s seat while you carry out the next steps.
  2. Reset the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  3. Pop the hood of your car. Place the negative meter probe (black) on the negative battery terminal (also black).
  4. Place the positive meter probe (red) on the positive battery terminal (also red).
  5. Ask your friend to turn the headlights on, then check the voltmeter readout.
  6. At a temperature of 80℉, a reading of 12.5 volts or higher indicates a fully-charged battery. 12.3 volts indicated a 75% charge, and 11.8 volts or lower indicates 25% or less of a charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery Going to Cost?

You may pay anywhere from $75 – $120 for a standard new car battery, or potentially up to $200 for a premium car battery.

Hybrid car batteries tend to range from $1,000 – $6,000. Why the significantly higher price tag? Hybrid batteries must operate at a much higher level than batteries in gas-powered vehicles. Keep in mind, the gas savings you accrue can help offset the hybrid battery price.

Car Battery Replacement in Pleasanton

At Lexus of Pleasanton, we’re proud to offer a rotating assortment of Lexus service specials that can make the answer to “how much is a replacement car battery?” more budget-friendly. Take a look at what’s available before you schedule service, and if you have any additional questions for us, we welcome you to contact us online or call us at 925-401-3565!

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