Battery Life 101: How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

Batteries provide the necessary power to get your engine running, but they will fail as time goes by. Get familiar with how long your battery should last in the first place. Their ranges can fluctuate by years, especially when you factor in your driving habits.

Textbook Lifespan

According to Popular Mechanics, the average car battery should last around six years. There are a lot of influencing factors that may alter this time frame, however.

Every battery is constructed in a clean environment with basic, internal parts that include:

  • Specialized plates
  • Electrolyte solution

The chemical changes that occur between the electrolytes and plates are what creates a charge and discharge. Under perfect circumstances, the battery lasts for six years. Most cars, however, aren’t driven under controlled conditions.

Driving Time as an Influencing Factor

A strong influence on car battery life involves drive times. You want to prolong the battery’s life, so you think about driving long distances instead of short trips. This strategy is technically correct because car batteries rely on charging from the alternator as the vehicle moves down the road.

The problem resides in the length of time that you’d have to drive each time. Fully charge a battery after running the car for eight hours straight. Most people don’t have these kinds of commutes, which leads to less life out of the battery.

When Winter Hits

Car battery replacement tasks seem to skyrocket during the winter months. There’s a good reason why this scenario occurs. Your battery may be poised to last six years, but extreme cold strikes the region. The car suddenly has a dead battery.

The cold impacts the electrolyte solution by practically stopping its molecules from moving around. Electrical power cannot move from the battery and into the car’s electrical system. The electrolyte solution might freeze in some cases. The car battery life is immediately reduced at that point.

Being Overzealous With Rapid Charging

You may be concerned about the battery’s health, so you pull it from the vehicle. Charging car batteries on external systems is commonplace for many vehicle enthusiasts. Place the battery on a rapid charger, and you have full power in no time.

Rapid charging creates issues, however. You might be reducing the battery’s lifespan. These products are designed for slow charges so that no overcharging occurs. Battery damage is possible with too much power all at once.

Overlooking the Corrosion Aspect

How Stuff Workssuggests that a good cleaning can lead to a long-lasting battery. That white dust that builds up on the terminals can create shorts and poor charging conditions. Leave that residue in place, and the battery will fail in record time.

Mix these two items together to create a cleaning paste, such as:

  • Water
  • Baking soda

Apply the mixture with a brush while wearing protective eyewear. You might see more life out of the battery with this cleaning habit in place.

Forgetting the Maintenance

Remember that some car batteries require maintenance that involves adding water. Check the water level each month so that it’s always at an appropriate level. The battery will last longer as a result.

Cranking up the Jams

The best songs may be on the radio, but putting extra strain on the electrical system will reduce the car battery’s lifespan. All of those electrical additions, such as LED lights, amplifiers and more, will take months or years off the battery. Simply keep the stock items in the car. Enjoy the cranked up music at home.

If your car battery replacement project is causing confusion, contact Northeast Batterytoday. Our team is happy to assist you with any questions or concerns about an installation or swap. Keep any vehicle running smoothly with a reliable battery. The open road is waiting for you.