When Should I Replace My Car Battery?

Auto Mechanic Replacing Car Battery

How often should you replace a car battery? Most experts say you should replace your battery about every 4-5 years, although this number depends on a number of factors. Let the service department at Kia of Muncie tell you how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, and what to do if it does, so you can get back on the Marion roads. 

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

To help you avoid getting stranded in Marion, here are some warning signs your battery may need replaced: 

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

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

There are several factors that contribute the deterioration of your car’s battery, but here are some of the most common factors: 

  • Heat: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside a car battery, so if you drive in a hotter climate, your car battery’s lifespan may be shorter. 
  • Vibrations: If your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, or you drive over rough Anderson roads frequently, vibrations will cause internal battery parts to break down faster.
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve left your lights on overnight or let your engine idle for too long and you require ajump start, this can shorten battery life significantly.
  • Time: Your car battery won’t last forever, so it will eventually need to get changed. Proper care and maintenance can help your car battery last longer, so you can get the most out of your battery. 

To get a better idea of how often to replace your car battery, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. 

How to Test a Car Battery

You can have a service center in the Fishers area test your battery to see if it needs replaced. Many places offer free testing, but if you don’t want to test the battery at a dealership, here are some methods of how to test a car battery yourself at home: 

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.

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? 

Car batteries are relatively expensive and a replacement can range from $75 to $120 for a new battery. If you have a hybrid car, changing the battery is a much bigger job and can cost up to $1,000 to $6,000. You can also purchase a battery from our parts store if you choose to install one yourself.

Let Kia of Muncie Take a Look at Your Battery

Now that you know how much a replacement car battery is, you can take the necessary steps to getting your battery changed. Contact us to schedule a service, help you determine how often to replace your car battery, or help you with anything else, so you can get back on the Muncie roads.

Schedule Battery Replacement Service with Kia of Muncie

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6732 W. Hometown Blvd. • Muncie, IN 47303

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Open Today! Sales: 9am-6pm

Open Today! Service: 8am-1pm

Open Today! Parts: 8am-1pm

Kia of Muncie 40.2184945, -85.4645136.