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How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

Replacing Your Car BatteryIf you’re having trouble starting your car near Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Trevose, you may be starting to suspect a failed battery. If so, you may also be wondering: Just how long does a car battery last?

On average, a car battery’s lifespan lasts from two to five years. However, there are many factors to account for in addition to exceptions to the rule. At Faulkner Auto Group, we’ll help you explore them all. We’ll also give you some tips on extending your battery’s life as well as signs to look out for that may mean you need a replacement. Reach out to us with any questions!

Car Battery Life FAQs

Battery Life ConditionsUnder ideal conditions—no high temperatures, humidity, etc.—you can expect the average car battery to last roughly six years. Of course, no conditions are perfectly ideal, but car batteries will generally last longer in the northern United States where heat is less of a factor. Pennsylvania drivers can rejoice!

Hybrid batteries are a different story though. They’re much more sophisticated components, and oftentimes, they’re designed and engineered to last the entire lifetime of your car. In real-world numbers, that typically falls between five and 10 years, depending (as always) on usage, mileage, environment, and how well you care for your car.

How to Extend the Life of Your Car Battery

Obviously you want your car battery life to fall at the high end of the range. What’s the best way to make that happen, you ask? There are several tricks to extending your car battery life. These include:

  • Limit short rides: Longer drives give the battery a chance to fully charge, which is optimal for long battery life.
  • Turn electronics off: When the engine is off, turn off all lights (especially headlights) as well as the radio and air conditioner, as these systems all drain the battery when the engine isn’t running.
  • Inspect your battery often: Ensure that the battery is fastened tightly and check terminals for corrosion. You can also test output voltage level with a car battery tester.

Warning Signs You Need a New Car Battery

Dashboard Check Engine Light SymbolUnfortunately, no car battery will last forever. Even so, there are clear telltale signs when you need to replace your battery, and it’s wise to watch for them. Look out for these warning signals:

  • Sluggish start: If the cranking of the engine is continually slow and the engine takes longer than usual to start (or doesn’t start at all), you may need a new battery.
  • Visible damage: A swollen or bloated battery case (usually the result of heat) or a corroded and leaking battery is an obvious candidate for replacement.
  • Check engine light: This warning light can indicate weak battery power.

Keep in mind, many symptoms of failing batteries can also be symptoms of other unrelated problems, which is why you should always have the problem inspected by a licensed technician before assuming the cause.

Schedule Battery Tests at Our Service Centers

How long does a car battery last, you asked? Now that you have a rough answer to that question, you can more accurately judge whether yours is nearing the end of its natural life—or if it should have plenty of life left in it.

If you live near Harrisburg, Trevose, and Mechanicsburg, we invite you to contact us and schedule a battery test at any of our Faulkner Auto Group Service Centers. We’ll make sure your battery has the juice it needs for the road ahead!

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