How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Curious about how often to replace a car battery? If you’re like most car owners in the Cary and Apex area, you’ll probably need to replace your battery after about 4 – 5 years. In the guide below, the Hendrick Chevrolet Cary service department will cover how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, how to test a car battery, and more!

How to Know if Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

There’s usually no need to worry about how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced. It will likely be very clear to you, with one or more of the following warning signs:

  • Your headlights aren’t as bright as they should be
  • Your vehicle is sluggish to start when you turn the key or push the button ignition
  • You’re experiencing strange power fluctuations
  • You need to rev the engine or jumpstart your car frequently

Why Do Car Batteries Wear Out?

Here are the top causes of battery deterioration:

  • Heat: When exposed to excessive heat, the liquids inside a car battery are prone to evaporation. If you live somewhere where it is usually very hot, your battery life could be affected by this.
  • Vibrations: The battery’s hold-down clamps can become loosened, which can cause vibrations that can damage the battery. Additionally, driving on rough roads around Raleigh can shake up the internal battery parts and it may wear out at a more rapid rate.
  • Needing a Jump: If you have to jump-start your car after accidentally draining the battery, the jump can impact the battery life.
  • Time: If not for any of the above reasons, a battery will inevitably wear out after it has surpassed a certain number of charge cycles. You can’t prevent the battery from dying someday, but you can prevent it from happening prematurely.

How to Test a Car Battery

Whether you’re by yourself or you have a buddy on hand to help, it’s very easy to learn how to test a car battery! There are two common methods you can follow: the headlight test or using a digital multimeter. Here’s how both options work:

The Headlight Test:

  1. Start the engine and leave your car in Park. Turn your headlights on to normal brightness (not the high-beams).
  2. Rev the engine. Does the brightness of the headlights change?
  3. If the headlights get brighter when you rev, it indicates that the current isn’t strong enough to maintain normal brightness when you’re idling.
  4. If your car fails the headlight test, you should head to a service center as soon as possible to follow up.

How to Test a Car Battery Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Make sure you have the voltmeter set at 20 DC volts.
  2. Pop the hood. Touch the black negative terminal with the black negative meter probe.
  3. Touch the red positive terminal with the red positive meter probe.
  4. Ask your helper to go into the vehicle and turn the headlights on.
  5. Check the voltmeter reading. At 80℉, 12. 5 volts or higher means you’re good to go with a fully charged battery! 12.3 volts indicates you’re about 75% charged, and 11.8 volts or lower indicates 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

Generally speaking, a standard new car battery costs between $75 to $120. A new premium battery could take the price up to $200. What about the battery for a hybrid vehicle? Hybrid batteries are responsible for creating more of the vehicle’s power than the battery in a gas-powered vehicle. As a result, hybrid batteries cost quite a bit more: up to $1,000 – $6,000. Once you know what kind of battery your Chevrolet needs, you can find more information on how much a battery replacement costs right on our website!

Battery Replacement at Hendrick Chevrolet Cary

If you need a battery replacement in Cary, NC, you can count on Hendrick Chevrolet Cary for expeditious service and a fair price! Contact us today to get a quote for a new battery, and be sure to check out our service and parts specials before you schedule your appointment.