How Often to Replace Car Battery

Close on blue car battery with red clamp attached to it

Most experts say you should replace your battery every 4 to 5 years, but that’s not a solid figure that applies equally to every vehicle. We want you know all the ins and outs of how often to replace a car battery and when that should happen, so simply read on to explore:

  • Signs You Should Replace Your Car Battery
  • Causes of Car Battery Deterioration
  • Ways to Test a Car Battery
  • Cost of Car Battery Replacement

Signs You Should Replace Your Car Battery

4 to 5 years is a good rule of thumb for battery replacement, but there are a few signs your battery is getting to the end of its life that you shouldn’t ignore even if it hasn’t yet reached that age.

Just a few of those signs include:

  • Slow Starting Engine: The components inside your battery wear down and become less effective over time, which means it takes the battery longer to create the charge needed for your starter. If you’re having to wait longer and longer for the engine to turn over, your battery probably needs replacing.
  • Dim Lights: The battery powers all your vehicle’s electronics, so they’ll start to struggle when your battery is on its last legs. The most noticeable change will usually be that your headlights start to become dimmer.
  • Check Engine Light: There are plenty of reasons your Check Engine light might come on, including a battery that’s almost out of juice.
  • Unpleasant Odor: Sometimes the battery can be damaged and start to leak gas. That should be a tough problem to ignore since a smell of rotten eggs will start emanating from under your hood.
  • Corrosion: If you take a look at the metal parts of your battery and notice a white, ashy substance, you’re got corrosion problems.
  • Misshapen Casing: Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause battery cases to swell and crack. If the case looks misshapen, the battery probably isn’t working properly.

Causes of Car Battery Deterioration

Time is only one of the factors that can lead to battery deterioration. Other causes include:

  • Heat: Heat causes the evaporation of liquids inside a battery. If you live in a hotter part of the country, your battery will probably have a shorter than average life.
  • Jump Starts: These put added strain on your battery, so if you have lots of jump starts you’ll need a replacement sooner.
  • Vibrations: Your battery’s hold-down clamps can loosen if you frequently travel over rougher roads, and that means your battery’s internal parts will break down faster.

Ways to Test a Car Battery

While the service center at your local Capital Region Honda dealer will be happy to inspect your battery for you, there are a couple of ways you can do that yourself, including the headlight test and the digital multimeter test.

The Headlight Test

  • Turn on your engine while keeping the car in park, then turn on your headlights.
  • Rev the engine and take note if the brightness of your headlights change.
  • If your headlights get brighter, the current isn’t strong enough to maintain normal brightness at idling, so bring your vehicle in to a service center for further assessment.

Digital Multimeter Test

  • Once you have the digital multimeter, set it to 20 DC volts.
  • Pop the hood and touch the negative battery terminal with the negative meter probe. Both should be black.
  • Touch the positive battery terminal with the positive meter probe. Both should be red.
  • Have someone else turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  • If it reads 12.5 volts or higher at 80℉, your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts shows it’s at around 75%, while 11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less.

The Cost of Car Battery Replacement

The typical Honda car battery will cost between $75 and $120, although a premium battery may run up to $200. If you have a hybrid, you should expect to pay between $1000 and $6000 since they need to do so much more.

Our Team Can Help with All Your Battery Replacement Queries

The team at your local Honda showroom will be happy to answer any questions you have concerning Honda car battery replacement, and we also have plenty of special offers to help you save on that kind of maintenance. For any further assistance with other service or parts issues, such as how to change your Honda key fob battery, feel free to get in touch today.

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