We’ve all been in that situation where our car battery dies and we have to jump-start it. Oftentimes, this happens because we left a light on the inside of the car.
While a jump start will usually take care of the problem, it’s important to keep in mind that car batteries do eventually need replacing. How can you tell when your car battery needs to be replaced?
Check out this guide to learn about the typical lifespan of a car battery.
What’s the Typical Lifespan of a Car Battery?
Most car batteries last around three years. If you’re driving in ideal conditions (aka, no humidity or extreme temperatures), then your car battery can sometimes last as long as 6 years.
But, even in the most ideal conditions, chemical reactions can cause your car battery to break down, and then you’ll need to replace it promptly. Luckily, there are some signs you can look out for that will indicate that you need a new car battery. We’ll dive into those next.
Top Signs It’s Time for a New Car Battery
So, how can you tell if you need a new car battery? Here are the top signs to look out for:
If your engine is slow to start, that may be a sign that your car battery is on the way out the door. Over time, the components inside your car’s battery wear out and become less effective.
When this happens, the battery takes longer to create a charge for the starter. This is why you end up having to wait a few extra seconds for your engine to rev up. Typically, a slow start means the battery is on its last legs.
The Check Engine Light is On
The check engine light is one of the most frustrating things, as it could indicate a number of different things are wrong with your car. In some cases, this light even turns on accidentally.
However, the check engine light turning on may also be a sign that your battery is dying. If the light goes on, have your car looked at by a mechanic and check your manual to make sure your battery is running at full capacity.
The Battery Case is Misshapen
Living in a climate with extreme temperatures can do a number on your car’s battery. Exposure to the cold and heat can actually cause the battery to crack and swell.
If your battery isn’t a perfect rectangular shape, there’s a good chance that it’s about to stop working.
There’s a Bad Smell
A bad smell inside of a car can mean a number of different things. However, if there’s been damage to the battery, then it can cause it to leak gas.
If you smell rotten eggs when you open the hood of your car, then a leaky battery is likely the culprit. You should take your car in ASAP to get checked out and replace the battery if necessary.
You may want to opt for a maintenance free battery when purchasing.
Car Battery Lifespan: Is it Time to Replace Your Car’s Battery?
Now that you know the average car battery lifespan, it’s time to decide if it’s time to replace your car’s battery. If it’s been about three years and everything is looking fine, you should still probably have it looked at just in case.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more automotive tips and tricks.