How Long Do Car Batteries Last? The Ultimate Guide

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On average, it costs a person around $6,000 per year to own a car. This covers the basics like gas, insurance, and interest rates of your loans if you still haven’t paid it off. It also includes the cost of maintenance, but this can vary because of the various parts of your car.

Among these parts, your car’s battery stands to be the most volatile. How often you change it will have a significant impact on how much you spend maintaining your car.

So, how long do car batteries last, exactly?

Learning all there is to know about car batteries will help you answer that question. Read what’s below and learn how long you can expect your car battery to last, and what you can do to extend it. Optimize your battery use to minimize expenses as much as you can!

Types of Car Batteries

The primary factor that determines the lifespan of car batteries is their type. Different types fit the functions of your specific car model and make. If you install an inefficient battery, expect major internal damage to your car and its electrical systems.

Lead-Acid

Lead-acid batteries are the oldest power core designs for cars. Because of the design’s age, they’re among the cheapest and most abundant in the market. The catch for its cheap price is that you’ll have to replace these every three to five years.

Their lifespan also depends on how much fluid they’re holding. Open wet cell batteries are susceptible to spillage as you turn corners or hit bumps along the road. You need to top it off with an electrolyte solution lest it suffers a 50% reduction in its battery life.

At a full charge, these batteries supply a voltage of 12.6V. It’s enough to provide enough power to start most vehicles and provide basic electrical features.

There’s a sealed version of the battery so that you need not worry about topping it up anymore. AGM batteries also immerse power cells in an electrolyte solution but are more efficient than their unsealed counterparts. These are perfect for cars that demand a stronger power source.

Gel

Gel batteries are an enhanced version of lead-acid batteries. They won’t spill their contents, so you need not top it off. Their electrolyte solution also includes silica, which turns it into a gel-like substance.

It makes the average gel battery more efficient than its liquid counterparts. It’s more resistant to shock and can supply energy at a faster rate. On average, these batteries will last at least seven years before degradation takes place.

Lithium-Ion

There are 5.6 million electric cars around the world to date. People prefer them nowadays because they’re lighter, which means they travel further than traditional cars would. Electric cars are also efficient with their power management; a feature further boosted by their lithium-ion batteries.

These are among the best car batteries in the market today because of how long they last. Manufacturers will guarantee that these batteries will last up to 8 years. With good care, though, lithium-ion batteries can last between 10-20 years.

Nickel-Metal Hydride

Hybrid cars often use NiMH batteries to meet their energy needs. Some electric cars swap out their batteries, too, so long as their build accommodates NiMH batteries.

On average, these batteries last longer than most batteries in the market. They last up to 8 years with no issue, but they take longer to charge than lithium-ion batteries. NiMH batteries have a high discharge rate, making them susceptible to burnout if pushed to their limit.

Factors Affecting Car Battery Lifespan

Now that we know how long the most common types of car batteries last, know what else can affect their lifespan. Many things can cause your battery to be less efficient. Some factors can even damage your battery outright.

One such factor is time. Battery degradation happens whenever you run charges through your battery. The more this happens, the further your battery’s overall capacity drops.

Vibrations can also affect your battery’s lifespan. These can dislodge smaller parts in your battery and cause unexpected breakdowns. In unsealed liquid batteries, vibrations can cause the electrolyte solution to spill over.

How you charge your battery also factors into how long it will last. Overcharging your batteries causes fluid leaks, while undercharging speeds up battery drainage. Letting your battery completely drain also takes a lot off of its lifespan.

Heat also affects battery longevity. Extreme heat evaporates battery fluid, which can cause major internal damage. This speeds up degradation, increasing maintenance costs in the long run.

Signs Your Car Battery Is Failing

Do you think your car’s battery has suffered from the factors mentioned above? What’s great is that there are telltale signs that tell you whether this is the case. One such sign is having long cranking times.

If the engine won’t start right away, it means your battery is close to failing. Starting up your engine from this state will already be a miracle.

You can also check how bright your headlights are to tell your battery’s condition. If it’s dim, it means the battery doesn’t have as much power to supply throughout your car.

Is it too bright for you to tell? Start your car at night to have a more accurate read of the situation. Rev the engine, too, to see if the lights become brighter.

Failing batteries also give off a strange odor when close to failure. These odors are because of the corrosion happening in the battery terminal. It can also be a sign that your battery leaks somewhere.

If you detect any of these signs, consider buying car batteries to replace your current one. You can shop around your area or check out reliable online stores like www.rbbattery.com.

How Long Do Car Batteries Last? Know the Answer Today

You need not worry about any unexpected battery swaps by knowing the general timetable for your battery. How long do car batteries last? Read the guide and find out today!

Do you want to learn more about car maintenance? Check out more of our guides and posts to see what you stand to learn today!

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