How Often to Replace a Car Battery

a technician installing a battery in a clients car

If you’ve been driving your vehicle around San Antonio for a few years now, you’re probably starting to wonder how often to replace a car battery. According to the majority of experts, a car battery should be replaced every 4-5 years, although your battery may need replacing sooner or later than that based on a few factors. Aston Martin Houston provides tips for how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced in the guide below! 



How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Generally, it’s not difficult to determine when your car battery needs to be replaced. Here are some common warning signs:

  • Dim headlights 
  • The vehicle can’t start without the help of engine revving or jump-starts
  • When you turn the key in the ignition or push the start button, there’s a delay before the engine fires up
  • The dashboard, interior lights, or other cabin technologies are experiencing power fluctuations

Why Do Car Batteries Wear Out? 

The answer for how often to replace a car battery can vary between car owners in Sugarland. There are a few factors that can cause a battery to wear out faster, including:

  • Extreme Temperatures: The high temperatures in Houston can cause the liquids inside a car battery to evaporate, which can have a negative effect on battery life. 
  • Loose Hold-Down Clamps: The battery is held in place by hold-down clamps that can become loosened while driving on a rough surface or after hitting a curb or pothole. When the hold-down clamps aren’t tight, the battery can jostle around as you drive, causing vibrations that can damage internal components.
  • Jump-Starts: When you jump-start a car battery, the overall battery life is shortened. One jump-start if you accidentally leave the lights on all day won’t have too large an impact, but the effect of multiple jump-starts can start to add up. 
  • Time: Inevitably, a car battery will eventually succumb to time. Just like any battery, it can only withstand a certain amount of charge cycles.

How to Test a Car Battery: Two Methods

Wondering how to test a car battery? You can schedule an appointment to have it tested at a service center, or follow one of the simple at-home testing methods outlined below! For the second method, you will want to have a friend with you for assistance. 

How to Test a Car Battery Using the Headlights:

  1. Turn on your engine and leave the car in park. Turn the headlights to full brightness. 
  2. Rev the engine, noting any changes in the headlights’ brightness. 
  3. If the headlights grow brighter when you rev the engine, it’s a sign that the current is too weak to maintain that brightness when idling. 
  4. If your car fails the headlight test, you’ll want to have it inspected by a technician for further assessment. 

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set a digital multimeter to 20 DC volts. 
  2. Pop the hood. Connect the negative meter probe with the negative battery terminal (both of these are black).
  3. Connect the positive meter probe with the positive battery terminal (both of these are red). 
  4. Have your friend turn the headlights on. Check the voltmeter reading when they do so. 
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts indicates about 75% charge, while 11.8 volts or lower indicates 25% or less battery charge. 

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery? 

If you’ve determined that your battery needs to be replaced, just how much is a replacement car battery going to cost? The average car battery cost ranges between $75-$120, or up to $200 for a premium battery. For a hybrid vehicle, the cost of replacement is higher, between $1000-$6,000. Hybrid batteries are more expensive because they have to provide more power than standard batteries. 

Schedule Battery Service in Houston

Looking for trusted battery service near The Woodlands? The service center at Aston Martin Houston is a top destination for luxury car owners. Whether you drive an Aston Martin or another type of exotic vehicle, we can help you learn more about battery replacement and the associated costs. Contact us for more information.


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