How Often to Replace a Car Battery

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Automotive experts generally recommend replacing your car’s battery roughly every 4-5 years or so. But that estimate relies largely on various factors staying the same, like temperature, climate, vehicle usage, or lack thereof. Learn all about how much a replacement car battery is, how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, and how to perform this maintenance task yourself in Bismarck with the automotive experts here at Ryan Buick GMC! And don’t forget to contact us with any questions you may have along the way!

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

How do you know if your car battery is getting old and likely needs to be replaced? Here are just a few common signs and symptoms of an aging car battery that’s on its way out:

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

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

  • Heat: Do you live in a relatively hot area of Bismarck or New Town? Heat affects your car battery adversely, decreasing its useful life over the years.
  • Needing a Jump: Though jump-starting your car can get your battery back up and running, in the long-run, it actually can also reduce the useful life of your car battery.
  • Time: All batteries can only be charged so many times before they eventually die. Such is life. Accordingly, if it’s been 4-5 years since you last replaced your car battery, it’s a good idea to schedule a service appointment now to get your battery tested!
  • Vibrations: If the clamps that hold down your battery are loose, or you drive over rough roads often enough, vibrations can cause internal battery parts to break down faster.

How to Test a Car Battery

Regular Buick, GMC maintenance includes getting your battery tested every so often. And at our New Town-area service center, we recommend having this done twice a year. If you want to test it between that time interval to be safe, you can perform one of these two tests:

The Headlight Test:

  1. Turn on your car’s engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and have someone check to see if the headlight brightness changes as you do that. You can also use a mirror placed in front of the car if alone.
  3. If your car’s 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 diagnostics.

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.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

Most car batteries for sale around Bottineau cost somewhere between $75 and $120. That said, your particular vehicle’s battery could cost up to around $200. Meanwhile, hybrid car batteries tip the monetary scales between $1000 and $6000, but this is usually offset by the much lower gas consumption and less frequent need to have the battery replaced.

Schedule Battery Service Now at Ryan Buick GMC

Whether you know it’s time to buy a new battery, or you’re just looking for somewhere you can trust near Williston for battery diagnostics, Ryan Buick GMC can help! So give us a call at (701) 852-1126 now for further assistance, or visit our Minot location when convenient!

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