When Does Your Car Battery Need To Be Replaced?

A man unscrews a car battery mount.

You never know how long your car’s battery will last. Since every vehicle is different, it is hard to give one single estimate of how long your vehicle’s battery should or will last. What we do know is that a vehicle’s battery life is directly affected by three things: time, heat, and vibration. So, today we will take a closer look at each of these variables to help you determine when your car’s battery needs replaced.


Car batteries age over time, just like people. Even in the best operating conditions, batteries gradually get weaker until eventually, they cannot provide enough power to start your vehicle’s engine. The way you use and operate your vehicle will also determine how fast your battery ages. If you drive your vehicle mostly short distances, these types of trips may not allow the battery to fully recharge. In addition, the longer a car sits without being used, the battery will self-discharge. Using a maintenance charger will keep your battery fully charged and extend its lifetime.


Heat is an important factor in facilitating the chemical reaction that batteries need to generate electricity, but it also plays a role in the battery’s deterioration. In northern climates, the weather is often cooler even in the warm months, so batteries tend to last about five years. In the southern climates, where it is extremely hot, batteries usually last about three years. Sometimes automakers will mount the battery in an isolated area, such as the back seat of a vehicle or trunk. Installing a heat shield in the vehicle will also make it cooler and keep the battery away from the direct heat of the engine.

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Vibration is the third key factor in a car battery. Vibration causes the physical breakdown of the internal battery parts. There is special hold-down hardware that can be used to minimize vibration effects by securing the battery in place to prevent it from moving. Having a loose battery or missing hold-downs will significantly shorten your car battery life.

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