One of the most persistent rumours about car batteries is that they have a specific lifespan. Whilst your car battery provider might be able to give you a general idea of what to expect in terms of longevity, many factors come into play. Read on to learn about the factors that impact your car battery's longevity -- and how you can know when it's time for a replacement.
"But It's Brand New!". . . And Why That May Not Matter
Many people assume that a new (or hardly used) battery should be in perfect condition and that it should last for a long time. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, as several external factors can impact the battery's longevity even if it's practically new. These factors include the following:
Whether the battery was installed correctly
It's always best to have car batteries installed by a professional car battery service provider, rather than trying to do it yourself. An improperly installed battery won't supply power in the right way, and it won't last as long as a correctly installed one.
The climate where you live
Extreme temperatures can affect battery longevity. Very hot weather can cause the battery to deplete more quickly, whilst very cold weather can slow the battery, eventually making it unable to hold a charge.
How often you drive your car
If your car isn't used very often, the battery's lifespan may be shortened. Regular driving allows your car's alternator to recharge the battery, but if you don't drive for long periods of time, the battery may lose its ability to recharge.
Is it Time For Replacement?
There are several indicators that a new battery might be needed. These can include:
- Car engine is slow to crank: if your car cranks slowly -- or if you have to attempt to start it a few times before it finally cranks -- the battery may not be at full function.
- Dashboard light: your vehicle may show a battery light or a "check engine" light when battery power is low.
- Damaged battery case: the battery case, which can easily be checked when you look under the car's bonnet, may reveal corrosion from a battery leak or swelling due to heat, both of which can impact battery life.
- Old age: if you've had the same battery in your car for years, it's best to have it checked at least a few times a year. The older the battery gets, the less power it has.
Think your battery may be nearing the end of its life? See your auto battery service provider as soon as possible to avoid being stranded whilst you least expect it!