How Long Does a Car Battery Last?
How long does a car battery last? Typically, they’ll last anywhere from 4-6 years. However, there are many factors that can affect how often you need to replace your car battery in the White Rock, La Cienega, and Santa Fe areas.
To give you a better idea of how long your car battery may last, the team at Land Rover Santa Fe put together this list of dead car battery symptoms as well as a quick guide on how to prolong your battery’s life and how to check your battery’s voltage. Be sure to contact us with any questions you may have!
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4 Signs You Need a New Car Battery
We recommend having your car battery tested with every oil change to help prevent the potential experience of finding your car battery dead as you’re rushing out the door to get to work in the morning.
In between checkups, however, you can keep on the lookout for these dead car battery symptoms that may indicate you need a new car battery soon:
- You see the Battery Indicator or Critical Warning Message
It’s always a good idea to watch the information display in your driver dashboard for warning and indicator lights. If you see a red light that looks like a battery, there may be an issue with your battery or charging system that needs to be addressed.
The Critical Warning Message will also indicate that there’s a general issue with your vehicle that needs your attention. This warning light looks like an exclamation mark inside a triangle.
- There’s corrosion buildup on the battery
For good measure, we recommend checking under the hood monthly to make sure that everything looks the way it should. If you notice any corrosion or swelling on the battery or battery case, your battery may be leaking or experiencing a chemical reaction that requires attention.
- You’re having electrical component issues
If you notice any issues with your electrical components—including power windows, A/C, radio, windshield wipers, or headlights—you may want to have your battery’s voltage tested.
- Your engine isn’t starting properly
It takes a lot of energy to start your car, so if your engine is sluggish to start when you turn the ignition, your car battery may be dying. Of course, this could also indicate other issues, so you should contact a certified service center to have your powertrain checked out as soon as possible.
How to Make a New Car Battery Last Longer
If you want to get the most out of your new car battery, there are a few simple things you can do:
- Keep short trips to a minimum. Frequent short trips may prevent your battery from charging all the way and can even drain your battery’s energy. If you don’t drive often, try to do all your errands on the same day to prolong driving time.
- Stick to smooth roadways. Bumpy roadways or frequent off-roading can jostle your battery quite a bit. This may speed up chemical reactions or shake your battery loose from its mounting bracket.
- Stay out of extreme heat. This is especially important for drivers in our area. Warm temperatures can speed up chemical reactions and cause your battery to heat up or wear down. To avoid this, try to store your car out of direct sunlight or in a climate-controlled garage.
These are just a few of the ways you can keep your battery healthy. To learn more about how to keep your car battery like-new for longer, feel free to contact the team at our service center.
How to check your Car Battery’s Voltage
Your car battery is made up of many cells, and often, it will start to go bad gradually before you find yourself with a dead battery. To avoid the surprise, we recommend checking your battery’s voltage regularly.
We suggest having a professional perform this procedure with every oil change to be on the safe side, however, you can also check it at home if you have the proper equipment.
Before you get started, you’ll want to grab the following items:
- Safety glasses
- Protective gloves
- Digital multimeter (DMM)
A DMM is a handheld device used to measure two or more electrical values. You can purchase a DMM at most major home improvement stores.
1. Find Your Battery
Apart from some vehicles that store their battery in the trunk, most are located under the hood and in the front, close to the fender. Be sure to check your owner’s manual in the event you’re having trouble finding your battery.
Once you’ve found it, conduct a quick inspection to look for erosion and leaking. If there are any leaks, immediately take it in to be replaced. Often, erosion can be taken care of by scrubbing with baking soda and water. Remove any metal objects, such as wrenches and screwdrivers, from the vicinity of the battery to avoid a short.
2. Attach the Multimeter
Connecting your DMM to the battery is relatively straightforward. Simply match up the multimeter leads to the corresponding battery cable color—Black with black, and red with red. It’s very important that you attach these correctly to avoid an unwanted electrical current issue.
When everything is securely hooked up, set the multimeter to DC volts.
3. Check the Reading on your DMM
Here is the key you’ll need to decipher your multimeter reading:
- 12.66 volts – 100% charged
- 12.45 volts – 75% charged
- 12.24 volts – 50% charged
- 12.06 volts – 25% charged
- 11.89 volts – 0% charged
If you get a reading of anything higher than 12.45 volts, your battery is considered to be fully charged.
Find Out How Long Your Car Battery Will Last
Of course, if you don’t want to check your battery charge at home, the professional team at our on-site service center is always happy to help.
In addition to answering questions about how long a car battery lasts, we can also help you replace a dead battery so that your car is energized and ready to take on your drives around Santa Fe, White Rock, and La Cienega.
Schedule a service appointment at Land Rover Santa Fe today!