Does your car is hard to start on a cold morning and sound like it is on its last legs? Is the check engine light flash or stays on constantly? These signs are indicating the battery is possibly running out of juice and your car will need a battery replacement very soon.
While starting a car is as easy as pressing a button or turning a key, your car battery is doing all the heavy lifting. Car batteries are the important components that store electricity in amounts sufficient to run various appliances and deliver power for starting the engine. Therefore, if your battery is dead or about to go bad, your lights might flicker but your engine won’t have sufficient energy to turn over.
Here are tips you need to know about your vehicle’s battery, as well as some signs of a bad battery, and how to do a car battery replacement.
How long does a new car battery last and how much it costs?
In general, car batteries typically can last anywhere from four to six years, depending on the battery type, climate and vehicle. For example, if you are always driving in ideal conditions, such as no extreme temperatures or no excessive humidity, then a new battery could last up to six years.
The cost of a car battery varies based on the manufacturer and model of your vehicle.
A standard car battery cost around $50 to $120 while a premium type cost around $100 to $200.
How can I tell if the battery in my car is dead?
Besides common signs like dim headlights, a slow starting engine, the check engine light flashes that you should notice, you should pay attention if your car battery is old. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the health of your battery so you won’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a car that can’t start. Run some simple checkups like locating the battery and visually inspecting the battery can also help you to know if you should replace your car battery.
How to check your car battery?
It’s always good to test your battery and electrical system regularly, not just when it’s starting to show signs of weakness. Firstly, using a brush and some baking soda remove any traces of corrosion and other contaminants on battery posts.
The next step is to check the voltage, which will reveal the condition of the whole charging system. For this test, you will need a battery tester or a voltmeter. Fully charged automotive batteries should be measured at 12 volts or above. When the engine is running, this measurement should be around 14 volts. Start by measuring the voltage between positive and negative battery posts while the car is not running. Readings at around 12 Volts indicate a battery is in good shape and able to hold the charge. Then repeat the measuring procedure while the engine is running, the alternator is in good shape if the values are around 14 Volts. Any significant voltage below or above this level is a sign of an alternator related issue.
Is a car battery replacement hard to do?
Dealing with a dead battery isn’t a difficult issue to address. You can replace a new one easily as long as you take some cautious steps. However, be careful when removing the old battery if it’s damaged or leaking, it’s better to have a professional do the job instead.
Loosen the battery cables, connectors, and fasteners that secure the battery in place, and lift the old battery out. Before you add the new battery, try to remove dirt, corrosion, or debris from the clamps. You can also clean the battery terminals from any build-up issues. Put the new battery into the holder and secure it, then reconnect the battery cables. Test the car after the battery replacement. You can try to crank up the engine or turn on the electronics to see if everything is power up.
Diagnosing and replacing a dead battery is not a difficult job. However, there can be some inherent risk for a car battery replacement. Cracks and corrosion from the old battery can cause some dangerous battery acid leakage. The battery can also still produce a charge, even when the car is off. If you don’t have the right tools for the replacement, or just don’t feel up to the job, consider hiring a professional.
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