A battery powers every electrical component of a car – so it’s vital to have it checked every six months. And at some point your car battery will need to be replaced.
Depending on where you live, how you drive, your charging system and many other factors, your battery can last an average of four to six years.
Here’s what you need to know about your car battery’s health and when your battery needs to be replaced.
Signs that you need to get your battery tested
There are clear signs when your battery is running low. If it takes longer than usual to start the car, it’s a sign that you might need a new battery. Another sign is when the interior and exterior lights flicker and dim when you turn on your engine.
Keep an eye on battery fluid levels by looking through the transparent part of the battery casing. If the fluid is below the required level, it’s time to have your battery tested. Fluid that has leaked around the battery posts should also be cleaned or your car may not start.
If the battery light on your car’s dashboard is on, there’s a problem with the charging system. If it appears while you drive, it means the battery isn’t charging. The battery may still be okay, but the charging system needs to be tested.
Factors that affect battery health
Most cars have batteries that are made of lead and lead-oxide plates. Over time, a lead-acid battery loses its capacity until you won’t be able to start your car at all.
Extremely hot weather is the main culprit for shortened battery life. Batteries contain liquid that evaporates when it’s hot, which is why it’s advisable to conduct a battery check in summer months. Your driving habits can also contribute to shorter battery life. For example, frequently turning the engine on and off causes wear and tear on the starter.
If you don’t start your car for extended periods, the battery will need to be replaced sooner. Batteries last longer when fully charged, although overcharging can also cause damage.
Where to get your battery tested
If you’re not sure whether your battery is in good condition, contact your nearest Battery Centre and let the experts assess your battery free of charge. Battery Centre specialists will check and fit the exact battery made for your car. They’ll not only test the state of your battery, but also your charging and starting system.
Proactively check and test your battery with Battery Centre for free twice a year to reduce your chances of battery failure and ensure you have a smooth drive throughout the year, with no surprising hassles.