How Often to Replace a Car Battery

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A car battery generally will last somewhere between 4 to 5 years. However, there are a number of factors that affect how often you’ll have to replace a car battery. Learn more about how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, how to test a car battery, and how much is a replacement battery in this guide from the experts in the Standard Motors Service Centre.

How to Know if Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

The following warning signs will let you know if your car battery needs to be replaced:

  • Your headlights are dimmer than usual.
  • Your battery often needs a jump start.
  • Your car’s engine doesn’t turn over right away when you start it.
  • Your car experiences unusual power fluctuations.

Factors That Influence Battery Life

  • Climate: Extreme cold or hot temperatures in the Saskatoon area cause a car battery to wear out more quickly.
  • Vibrations: If the battery hold-down clamps are loose or you drive over rough terrain, the vibrations can break down internal battery parts at a much faster rate.
  • Jump Starts: Battery life is shortened every time you jump start the car.
  • In-Car Electronics: Features such as windshield wipers, headlights, heating/AC, car stereo, infotainment systems, backup cameras, driver-assist functions, and more all rely on the battery. Using any of these with the engine off will drain the battery.
  • Time: Car batteries won’t hold a charge forever, so it’s inevitable that your car battery will die over time.

The best way to ensure that you get the most out of your car battery is to keep up to date with your maintenance schedule. Proper battery care, as recommended in your owner’s manual, will help make your battery last as long as possible.

How to Test a Car Battery

While you can always stop by our Service Centre near Regina to have our certified technicians test your battery for you, there are a couple of ways that you can do it yourself at home.

Headlight Test:

  1. Start your car, keep it in park, and turn on your headlights.
  2. Rev the engine and watch to see if the brightness of your headlights changes.
  3. If the brightness fluctuates, it’s an indication that the current from the battery isn’t strong enough when idling. Schedule service with Standard Motors as soon as possible for further assessment.

Digital Multimeter:

  1. Open the hood of your car, and set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts. Then touch the negative terminal (black) to the negative meter probe (also black).
  2. Repeat this step by touching the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red).
  3. Have someone turn on your vehicle’s headlights, and check the voltmeter reading.
  4. 12.5 volts or higher indicates a full charge; 12.3 volts indicates a 75% charge; 11.8 volts or lower indicates a 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

So, how much is a replacement car battery? In general, a standard car battery in the Kyle area costs anywhere from $80 to $400. Check with our Parts Centre to find the exact cost of the battery your vehicle needs. We carry a fine selection of high-quality batteries, and with our parts specials, you’re sure to get the best deal possible.

Get Expert Auto Service at Standard Motors

Looking to get your car battery tested or replaced? The professionals at Standard Motors are here to help. We can handle all of your auto service needs, from oil changes and tire rotations to brake repair and transmission work. Make sure to take advantage of the savings offered in our service specials and coupons, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Service Centre.

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