How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Car Battery


Service experts recommend replacing your battery every four to five years, but several factors will affect the life of the battery. Learn tips like how to test a car battery and how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced by the service experts at Mercedes-Benz of West Chester. We’re here to ensure that your vehicle continues performing at its best so that it’s safe for the Cincinnati roads. 

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

There are several warning signs to look out for to know if it’s time to replace your car’s battery:

  • Unusual power fluctuations
  • Takes longer to start the engine when you turn the key/push the button
  • More frequent need for engine revving or jump starts
  • Dimming headlights

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

  • Heat: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside the car’s battery, so if the climate is consistently hot where you live, the battery’s life will be shorter. 
  • Vibrations: If your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, or you drive over rough roads often, the vibrations will cause internal battery parts to break down much faster.
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve accidentally left your lights on overnight or let your engine idle for too long and need a jump start, this also shortens the battery’s life.
  • Time: A car battery can only handle so many charge cycles, so the end of a battery is unavoidable, but with proper care, you can prevent it from dying on you too early. 

Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for an estimate on how long your car battery should last with proper care and following your maintenance schedule. 

How to Test a Car Battery

When it’s time for your regular maintenance appointment at our service center, our factory-trained and certified technicians can test your battery. This should be done at least twice a year. However, if you prefer to test it at home, there are a few easy methods.

Using a Digital Multimeter

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red)
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less charge. 

The Headlight Test 

  1. Turn on the engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlight brightness changes.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling. 
  4. Take your car to a service center at this point for further assessment.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery? 

A car battery price can range between $75 and $120, and if you have a premium battery, that price can increase to $200. Since hybrid car batteries have a larger role, they will cost more, which is anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000. Keep in mind that this is offset by lower gas consumption.

Get Additional Service Tips From the Service Experts!

If you have additional questions about how much is a replacement car battery or how often to replace your car battery, don’t hesitate to contact our service center. Where here to help make your visit with our service center as stress-free and efficient as possible. Be sure to take advantage of our service specials before scheduling your service appointment.

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