How Long Does A Car Battery Last?
Car Battery Life: A car battery is an essential component of any vehicle, providing the necessary power to start the engine and keep all your electrical systems running smoothly. Unfortunately, like all parts and components, a car battery also has a finite lifespan and will eventually need replacing. So, how long does a car battery life last? What is the average battery lifespan?
These are common questions customers ask our vehicle technicians and in this guide, we share some valuable advice on how batteries work, why they go flat and some essential battery maintenance tips.
How Do Car Batteries Work?
Without a battery, your car can’t start which means taking good care of it is essential, especially considering the inclement weather in the UK. When you turn the key in your car’s ignition, it sends a signal to the battery that initiates an electric conversion inside its black box.
This transformation creates the power which then activates the starter motor and forces your engine into action. However, if your vehicle’s battery is weak or drained of energy, both the lights and engine may be unable to start due to the lack of electricity being generated by this reaction.
How Much Voltage Should A Healthy Car Battery Have?
Using a multimeter, a healthy battery should show nothing lower than 12.6V when the engine is off, also referred to as a resting battery. However, this can fluctuate between 13.8V and 14.4V when the engine is running.
- If the reading on a resting battery is less than 12.6V, your battery may be partly depleted
- If it is below 12V, your car battery is considered completely discharged
When it’s depleted or discharged, it’s important to get it charged as soon as possible and perform another test. In the event your battery has failed completely, the problems will continue and it’s time to buy a new car battery.
What Is The Average Battery Lifespan Of A Car Battery?
The average battery lifespan for car batteries is anywhere between three to five years. However, it often depends on several factors, such as the quality of the battery, the climate in which it is used, and your driving habits.
To ensure that your car battery lasts as long as possible, it is important to follow the right battery maintenance, including
- keeping the battery terminals clean and free of corrosion
- checking the fluid levels (where applicable)
- making sure that the battery is securely fastened in its tray
We highly recommended testing your battery at least once a year to ensure it’s still in good condition. To avoid breaking down with a flat battery, book a free battery test at Elite Garages. We only use the latest diagnostic equipment to identify issues and recommend the best solution.
Why Did My Car Battery Only Last Two Years?
Your driving habits can have a huge impact on the average lifespan of your car battery life. Short trips, such as daily commutes to and from work, place additional strain on the battery due to stop-start conditions that don’t allow it to charge properly.
Failing to drive frequently enough can also be detrimental as this reduces the amount of time the battery has to charge. So, it’s important that you ensure that your car is driven regularly and for longer distances if possible, at least a 15-minute drive at motorway speeds every few days should do the trick.
How Do I Know If My Car Battery life Is Dying?
The most common sign of a failing car battery is when your engine fails to start. Other tell-tale signs include:
- flickering or dimming headlights
- electrical problems
- the engine struggles to start even in warmer weather
- a clicking sound when you turn the ignition
- the “Check battery” light on your dashboard appears
- if you already jump-started it several times before
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to have your car battery checked by an experienced technician to avoid being stranded with a flat battery at the side of the road. They will run a few tests and if it doesn’t have sufficient charge, they will more than likely recommend a battery replacement and that is something Elite Garages can help with.
Why Do Car Batteries Go Flat?
There are several reasons why your battery might go flat. One of the most common causes is simply an old battery that has reached the end of its lifespan. Another cause is that the battery is not being charged properly, which can happen if the alternator or voltage regulator is not working properly.
Leftover sulfate deposits or corroded battery terminals and connections can also prevent the battery from charging. Leaving your lights on when the engine is off and extreme temperatures are other known factors associated with reducing a battery’s charge over time.
What About EV Batteries?
Though electric car batteries are wonderfully efficient, they will eventually need to be replaced due to deterioration. Exposure to hot temperatures and the use of fast chargers can reduce their lifespan; however, many brands have improved their battery technology so that it can withstand any and all conditions. Most electric vehicles made today will have a battery life of around 100,000 miles but sometimes more depending on how you drive.
For more accurate details about your EV battery, consult your vehicle owner’s guide or contact your vehicle manufacturer. You can also book EV services at all of our Elite Garages, including Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Shaftesbury, Newport (IoW) and Haywards Heath among others. You can find the addresses and contact information of all our branches on the Locations Page.
Where Can I Buy A New Car Battery?
When it comes to replacing car batteries, Elite Garages can help. Our team of experienced technicians can test your battery, diagnose any problems, and replace it if necessary from a wide range of high-quality batteries to suit all makes and models of vehicles.
So, if you think your car battery is failing, please don’t hesitate to contact Elite Garages near you. Simply open your web browser and type into the search bar, “Elite Garages near me”. Or, you can be more specific by adding your location, “Elite Garages Maidstone” or “Elite Garages Horsham”.
For expert advice on how to look after your battery and avoid inconvenient and expensive problems later on, book a free battery check today.
FAQs on Car Batteries
To find the answer to some of the questions we often get asked, simply click the + symbol or visit our FAQ page to review the most frequently asked questions across all our Elite Garages Locations.
If you click on a ‘Category’ or ‘Tag’ link, the page will ‘refresh’ and reload the page showing the top of the page first, you’ll then just need to scroll down to the FAQ section to see the results for the Category or Tag you selected.
Common signs of a car battery that is running low include dim or flickering lights, difficulty starting the engine, rapid clicking when turning the key and the battery warning light appearing on the dashboard. If you notice any of these symptoms, we highly recommend getting an expert to look at your battery and find out whether it needs replacing.
While several things can drain a car battery, the most common cause is leaving the lights or the radio on after the engine has been switched off. Other causes of battery drainage could be a faulty alternator, corroded battery cables and parasitic drains caused by an electrical short in the system. If you are concerned about your battery, book a FREE battery check at Elite Garages!