How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to be Replaced

Car Battery

You should typically replace your battery every 4-5 years. Different factors can affect how often it actually needs to be replaced though. At Green Dodge we are here to provide you with information and any help you may need regarding your car.

Is It Time?

Here are a few signals that your battery is fading out and may need replacement: 

  • Dimming headlights
  • Frequently requiring engine revving or jump starts
  • Your engine takes a long time to start when you turn the key/push the button
  • Unusual or intermittent power fluctuations

What Leads to Deterioration?

  • Heat: In a hot climate liquids can evaporate inside your car battery, shortening it’s lifespan. 
  • Vibration: Vibration caused by loose clamps or rough roads can cause part-break down.
  • Jump Starts: Things like leaving your lights on or letting your car idle long enough that it needs a jump start. 
  • Time: Batteries aren’t meant to last forever, and normal wear down will occur over the lifespan of your vehicle. 

Your owner’s manual or a maintenance expert can give you a more detailed idea of how long your battery should last. 

How to Test a Car Battery

Get your battery tested at your local Rochester dealership twice a year during your maintenance. Many places will test your battery for free or you can test at home on your own. 

Headlight Test: 

  1. With your car in park, turn on the engine and keep the headlights on. If you shine them against a wall you can see the lights from the driver’s seat.
  2. When you rev the engine, observe whether the brightness changes.
  3. If you notice the headlights getting brighter, you’ll know the current isn’t strong enough to keep the lights at a regular brightness while the car is idling. 
  4. You can take your car to get serviced if this test shows a positive result. 

Use a Digital Multimeter:

  1. First, set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Pop the hood, and touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Then, touch the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red)
  4. Have someone turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less charge. 

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery for Your Vehicle?

The range of car battery costs is typically $75 to $120, and premium batteries can cause upwards of $200. Hybrid batteries can cost $1000 to $6000. 

Test and Replace your Car Battery at Green Dodge

When you’re driving around Rochester and Decatur you want to make sure your car is in tip-top shape. Visit us in Springfield to make sure your battery is ready to take on the road. Look into our parts and service coupons and get yourself a great deal!

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