How Often to Replace a Car Battery


Lemon Grove drivers may find themselves wondering what the recommended frequency is for battery replacement service. Most experts will say around every 4-5 years, although how often your battery should be replaced can depend on several other factors. Luckily, the service department at San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has put together a handy guide to help you know if you’re due for a replacement. 

Signs You Need to Replace Your Battery

If you’re on the El Cajon roads, and you notice these signs, it may be time to replace your vehicle’s battery: 

  • Headlights are dimming
  • Frequent need for jump starts
  • Engine starts slowly when you turn the key
  • Unusual fluctuations in power

If you’re still not sure how often to replace a car battery, consider the following driving habits that can impact your battery’s performance: 

  • Driving in excessively hot weather can evaporate car battery liquids
  • Constant vibrations from rough roads can loosen the hold-down clamps and cause internal damage 
  • If you need a jump start from leaving your lights on overnight, this can shorten the battery life. 

Ultimately, your car battery can only go through so many charge cycles and you’ll need to replace your battery eventually. When you do, you can easily schedule a service with San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

How to Test a Car Battery

You can have your car battery tested when you visit a service center near La Jolla. If you want to test it yourself at home, here are some ways you can go about seeing if you need to replace your battery: 

Headlight Test: 

  1. Turn on the engine and see if the headlights turn on. 
  2. When you rev the engine, see if the headlight brightness changes. 
  3. If the headlights get brighter after revving the engine, this means the current isn’t strong enough to keep lights at normal level while idling. 

Here is another test you can try at home: 

Digital Multimeter Test:

  1. Set the voltmeter at 20 DC volts. 
  2. Open the hood, locate the battery, and touch the negative (black) terminal with the negative (black) meter probe. 
  3. You’ll then want to touch the positive (red) terminal with the positive (red) meter probe. 
  4. Have someone else turn on the headlights so you can check the voltmeter reading. 
  5. If you see 80º F, and 12.5 volts or higher, this means your battery is fully charged. Anything lower will probably mean you want to take it into a service center. 

If you need to replace your battery, most car batteries typically run between $75 to $120, depending on your vehicle make, model, and year. Hybrid vehicles have a more complicated system, so it’s tougher to reach the battery. The cost for a hybrid vehicle battery replacement could fall anywhere between $1,000 to $6,000. 

Stay on the San Diego Roads with San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

If you’re unsure of how often to replace a car battery, you can always consult your owner’s manual to try and get a specific number. Contact us to help you keep your battery charged, and apply our rotating service specials to get the most out of every visit.

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