Car Battery Replacement
Your vehicle won’t move if it can’t start, and how well your vehicle starts is, in part, up to its battery. That makes inspections and car battery replacement a critical part of vehicle care.
About Your Battery
In most cars, the battery is located beside the engine in the front of the vehicle. Some cars, especially European cars are in much more difficult areas, hidden in secret compartments. As part of the starting system, your battery not only gives your car the power it needs to get the engine going, it also powers electrical systems like the GPS, wipers, lights, and more.
When to Replace Your Car Battery
Replacement depends on a variety of factors, including the type of battery, your vehicle’s environment, and the way you drive. Knowing the life expectancy and symptoms of bad batteries can help you anticipate when it might be time for a replacement.
What can shorten the lifespan of a battery?
All batteries die at some point, but there are a few factors that can quickly reduce a vehicle’s battery life.
Extreme temperatures are hard on batteries. While cold temps can make your vehicle harder to start, hot temperatures are even worse for battery life.
Vehicles are meant to be driven. Letting a vehicle sit still for extended periods is hard on many car components, including the battery. Avoid stop-and-start driving behaviors when possible.
Tips: While your daily commute and climate aren’t in your control, you can take steps to keep your battery in top shape. Try extending your commute at least once a week to give your alternator time to recharge. In cold months, park your vehicle in the garage when you can, and in the summer, try parking in the shade when available.
Symptoms of an old or damaged battery
- Swollen battery case
- Bad smell
- Slow engine start
- Electrical issues
- And sad, sometimes there are no symptoms at all (see note below)
Each of these symptoms are a sign of a battery issue like casing cracks, dirt, connector corrosion, cable damage, and more.
Did You Know?
When your battery is in trouble, the check engine light is the warning sign that will appear on your dashboard. If the battery light comes on, it’s usually a sign of a bad alternator.
No symptoms? Think of your tv’s remote control. Often times the remote has 4-AA batteries. A car battery is chambered with seperate cells as well. Once one cell goes bad the car won’t start with absolutely no warning. It’s best to change a battery every 4-5 years.
Battery Misconceptions and FAQs
Do Vehicle Batteries Expire? How Long Do They Last?
While the lifespan of your car’s battery might vary, all batteries do have an expiration date. Most batteries in a new vehicle last between four and five years.
Aftermarket batteries have a lifespan ranging from five to eight years, and certain luxury cars may give you up to a decade of use.
In most circumstances, though, it’s best to replace a battery that’s five years old.
Is My Battery Dead? Or Does It Need To Be Replaced?
Accidentally leaving your car lights on can cause your battery to drain. In this case, your battery may not need replaced, but will probably need a charging boost from another vehicle.
Do Cold Temperatures Kill My Car’s Battery?
No. Cold temperatures don’t hurt your car’s battery. In fact, heat is usually what kills your battery.
A battery in southern Texas lasts on average about 18 months. A battery in Alaska lasts on average about three and a half years. So the cold is not necessarily what kills battery. It's more the heat.
So the heat will kill your battery over the summertime. And that first cold snap is when your car doesn't start. And it wasn't the cold that killed your battery. It was the heat through the summer.
Does My Battery Do Anything Besides Start The Car?
Your battery is responsible for powering many of your vehicles functions. In most cases, it powers the air bags and other safety features, your headlights, tail lights, and interior vehicle lights, and keeps your modern car electronics operational.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace?
Battery replacement varies vastly from car to car. Check with the TMT experts for the right quote on your car. And please, have it professionally installed! With today’s modern electronics, installing a battery incorrectly can short out components and cause major issues.