Nothing is worse than walking out to your car in the morning only to find a dead battery. In this guide, we’ll tell you exactly why car batteries die.
A dead car battery can put a damper on just about anyone’s day. Whether you’re heading out of the house first thing in the morning or ready to go home after a long day at work, you never want to try turning your car on, only for nothing to happen. Not only is it annoying, but it can also be expensive to get a new battery installed. But why do they even die in the first place?
Car batteries are just like any other type of battery that you use around the house. They eventually run out of charge and need to be replaced. Some things that cause car batteries to die even faster include leaving lights and accessories on, cold weather, and a faulty alternator.
If you’re into doing a bit of car maintenance on your own, you’ve probably wondered why car batteries die in the first place. In this article, we’ll talk about how long car batteries last, and then go over which types and brands of batteries tend to last the longest.
We’ll also explain why car batteries lose their charge and some ways to make them last longer. Finally, we’ll discuss what it means if your battery keeps dying and how you can tell if it’s the alternator that’s causing the problem.
To make sure that you’re getting nothing but the best content on the web, we’ve researched and thoroughly vetted everything there is to know about car batteries. That way, when you’re done reading this article, all of your questions about this vital part of your car will be answered.
Know exactly why batteries die, how long they last, and what you can do to maximize the life of yours!
How long do car batteries last?
If you just bought a new car (or at least one that’s new to you), the last thing on your mind is when parts are going to start failing. But unlike many other parts of a car, the battery is going to eventually go bad no matter what!
You can take perfect care of it and do everything in your power to make it last, but it will eventually run out of charge. That much is inevitable.
So no matter how new your car is or what kind of condition it’s in, you can be certain that the battery will eventually die. But how long will it last?
That’s a tricky question to answer because it depends on a lot of different factors. In general, though, you can expect most car batteries to last between three and five years.
That may not seem very long, but keep in mind that batteries are designed to be used for only a fraction of that time. The rest of the time, they’re sitting idle, waiting to be called into action.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some batteries last much longer than five years, while others die after just a few years.
It all depends on the type of battery, the brand, how well it’s been maintained, and a whole host of other factors.
Which car batteries last the longest?
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of buying a new car battery, then you know that there are usually a few different choices (and also a few different prices). And if you haven’t had to buy one before, now you know!
While it differs from car to car and brand to brand, there are usually a few different tiers of battery that you can choose from, with the more expensive ones typically lasting the longest.
But even if you buy the most expensive battery on the market, it’s still only going to last for a few years. So what’s the point of spending all that extra money?
Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, even though batteries don’t last very long, they’re still one of the most important parts of your car. They’re what keep it running, after all!
So it’s important to get a good one that will last as long as possible. Secondly, the longer a battery lasts, the less often you’ll have to replace it. And since batteries aren’t exactly cheap, that can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Of course, there are other factors to consider as well. For example, if you live in a cold climate, you might want to get a battery that’s designed to withstand the cold weather.
Or if you do a lot of off-roading, you might need a battery that can handle being bounced around a lot. There are all sorts of different factors that can come into play, so it’s important to do your research and figure out which battery is right for you.
Why do car batteries lose their charge?
We’ve talked about how long car batteries last in general, and we’ve gone over some of the factors that affect how long a particular battery will last. But what actually causes batteries to lose their charge in the first place?
There are a few different reasons, but the most common one is simply that the battery gets old. As we mentioned before, batteries are designed to be used for only a small fraction of their overall lifespan.
The rest of the time, they’re just sitting there, slowly losing their charge. You can think of your car battery like any other battery you use around the house. The ones in your TV remote, for example, also go bad, right? It’s the same thing for car batteries!
Other reasons for battery discharge include leaving lights on or other electrical accessories running when the engine is off, as well as short trips where the engine doesn’t have a chance to fully charge the battery.
Extreme cold weather can also cause batteries to lose their charge faster than usual. This is why it’s so important to make sure you get the right battery for your situation and climate.
How can you make your car batteries last longer?
Now that we’ve gone over how long batteries typically last and why they eventually die (all batteries do!), let’s go over some things that you can do to make them last as long as possible.
After all, they’re expensive to replace, so anything you can do to extend their lifespan is worth it!
The most important thing you can do is to make sure you’re using the right battery for your car. Different cars have different power requirements, so it’s important to get a battery that’s designed for your specific make and model.
If you’re not sure, just ask at your local auto parts store!
It’s also important to keep your battery clean and free of corrosion. This can build up over time, especially if you live in a humid climate, and it can cause all sorts of problems.
If you see any corrosion on your battery terminals, just clean it off with a wire brush or some other type of cleaner.
Finally, try to avoid short trips whenever possible. We know that’s not always easy, but starting and stopping the engine puts a lot of strain on your battery.
If you can, try to combine errands into one longer trip instead of making a bunch of shorter ones.
How do you know that your car battery is dead?
We’ve talked a lot about car batteries dying in this article so far, so it’s important to explain how you can actually tell when your car’s battery is dead. After all, you don’t want to potentially spend a couple of hundred dollars buying a new one or having yours replaced if it’s not actually bad.
So how can you tell if your car battery is dead?
The most obvious way is if your car won’t start. If you turn the key and nothing happens, or if it takes a long time for the engine to finally turn over, that’s a pretty good sign that your battery is dead or close to it.
Often, when you turn the key, a light will pop up on your dash that’s in the shape of a car battery. That’s a pretty good indication that the battery is causing the issues!
Another way to tell is if your electrical accessories are acting up. If your headlights are dimming or flickering, or if your radio keeps cutting in and out, that’s another sign that your battery is dying.
If you’re not sure whether it’s the battery or something else, you can always take it to a mechanic or even an auto parts store like AutoZone and have them check it out.
They’ll be able to tell you for sure what’s going on and whether you need a new battery or not.
What does it mean if your car battery keeps dying?
If your car battery keeps dying, that’s definitely a sign that something is wrong. It could mean that there’s a problem with the battery itself, or it could be something else like a faulty alternator.
If your battery keeps dying, the best thing to do is take it to a mechanic and have them take a look. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and let you know what needs to be done.
Most mechanic shops have access to a tool that can check both the battery and the charging system at the same time.
By using this tool, they can quickly identify if the battery is losing charge too rapidly or if there’s another problem. If your battery keeps dying and you’re not sure why – take it to a mechanic and have them check it out.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
The most common issues, as alluded to above, are a bad battery itself or a bad alternator. We’ve talked in detail about the batteries so far in this article, so let’s give you an idea about the alternator so you can understand why it’s so important in terms of your battery.
In short, the alternator in your car is what keeps the battery charged. It does this by converting the mechanical energy from the engine into electrical energy.
This electrical energy then flows through the car’s electrical system and charges the battery. If the alternator is failing, it won’t be able to properly charge the battery and that’s when you’ll start having problems.