Common battery FAQ’s
The average battery life for a conventional wet cell lead-acid car battery is approximately 4-5 years, however, it can be as short as 3 years in hot climates. Battery life can be reduced if the battery is frequently run down, frequently undercharged, or frequently driven on rough roads.
There are many ways that you can accidentally drain your car battery, some of which are out of your control. These are some of the most common ways a car battery can drain and need to be replaced.
- Leaving the headlights on
- A parasitic drain due to electrical issues
- Faulty charging
- A defective alternator
- Extreme temperatures
- Excessive short drives
- Corroded or loose battery cables
- An old battery
Replace your battery with a conventional wet cell battery or AGM battery that has a CCA rating that is the same or higher than your old battery.
If you need help determining what type of battery to install, bring your vehicle into Automotive Hospital and let our experts point you in the right direction. Better yet, let us do it for you!
Most stock production 12-volt batteries are lead-acid; however, some racing batteries may be comprised of lithium-ion. Hybrid batteries can be nickel-metal hydride, but most are high voltage lithium-ion.
Not sure which battery your vehicle uses? Bring it into Automotive Hospital and we can help you figure it out!
Car batteries contain lead, which is highly toxic, and acid. They need to be recycled at facilities that accept old batteries for recycling. Most facilities that sell new batteries will accept your old battery for recycling. Do NOT dispose of your battery in your domestic waste as this is harmful to the environment.
There are a few symptoms that may indicate that your battery needs attention.
- Slow engine crank: When you attempt to start the vehicle and the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start.
- Check engine light: Sometimes the check engine light will appear when your battery is weak.
- Low battery fluid level: Batteries typically have a part of the casing that is translucent so you can keep an eye on the battery fluid level. If the fluid falls below the lead plates, it is time to have the battery and charging system tested.
- Swelling/bloating battery case: If your battery looks like this, it is typically caused by excessive heat. This swelling decreases the life of your battery.
- Battery leak: Leaking causes corrosion around the posts which can cause the connections to become compromised. The leaked fluid would bee to be removed or it could compromise the entire battery and your car may not start.
- Old age: Your battery can last well beyond 3 years, but you should at least have the current condition inspected annually once it reaches that 3-year mark as batteries tend to last no more than 5 years.
Batteries oversee a lot of functions on your vehicle and do a lot of things when we are not paying attention. The most common way a battery will drain overnight is due to a light being left on or a power adapter plugged in that is zapping all your battery power. Faulty electrical components or wiring can also lead to a battery drain.
Schedule a battery inspection with Automotive Hospital and see what may be going on with your vehicle and if you need a battery repair or replacement.
The year-round climate and your driving habits will have a major impact on your car battery. If you take many short trips, your battery will not have enough time to fully recharge, which will shorten its overall life expectancy. Extreme temperatures can kill batteries quicker. Scorching hot or freezing cold temperatures can shorten battery life.
Most new car batteries are sealed and come fully charged. Furthermore, the charging circuits in modern cars are much better at avoiding excessive charging. Unless you have an outdated model that is at least 40 years old you do not have to worry about charging a new car battery. Put your new battery in the car, check that the voltage is at least around 14, and you are good to go!