How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Auto Mechanic Replacing Car Battery

Savannah drivers often ask us, “How often should I change my car battery?” At Albright Buick GMC, we’re all about following up with the answers you need! In most circumstances, you should change your car battery every 4-5 years. However, how often to replace a car battery can depend on a number of other factors. Contact us for more information, and explore more about your vehicle’s battery life in the guide below.

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Your vehicle will give you warning signs that your car battery needs replacing. Here’s what to look out for while driving in Maryville:

  • Dimming headlights
  • Frequent need to rev the engine or jump-start your car
  • Engine taking longer than usual to start
  • Unusual power fluctuations


What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

  • Weather:  Liquids evaporate inside the engine of a car battery when the temperatures outside are harsh. The battery can also be strained by colder degrees, causing excess wear and tear. Additionally, make sure the vehicle does not sit too long without being driven.
  • Vibrations: If the clamps on your car’s battery have come loose or you frequently drive over rugged terrain near Cameron, the vibrations can cause the internal battery parts to break down.
  • Needing a Jump: As much as it is a lifesaver when we need it, jump-starting your vehicle can shorten its battery life.
  • Time: Your car battery can only survive so many charge cycles before it needs replacing.

You can refer to the owner’s manual for more info about  battery life, or just contact our service department to speak with an expert!


How to Test a Car Battery

Schedule a service appointment to test your battery here at Albright Buick GMC in Saint Joseph, and our service team will get your Buick, GMC vehicle in tip-top shape. In the meantime, learning how to test a car battery at home can help you to know when it’s time for service. Here are two methods we recommend for checking battery efficacy:

The Headlight Test

  1. Turn on the engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlight brightness changes.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at average brightness while the car is idling. 
  4. Take your vehicle to a service center at this point for further assessment.

Using a Digital Multimeter

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red)
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80°F, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s about 75% charged, and 11.8 volts or lower indicates a charge of 25% or less. 


Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape at Albright Buick GMC

Our team is dedicated to ensuring you have the best car parts and service available, and keeping our customers safe and satisfied! Take a look at our current parts and service coupons to see how much you could save on your next service.

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