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Car Battery Life Expectancy

How many years should I go with my original battery? Next month it'll be 5 yrs. Don't want to wait til completely fails.


  • edited August 2010
    Have it load tested at a battery shop. This will tell you better than anything how healthy it is. If it's putting out what it's rated for, I'd keep it. That said, many batteries pack it in around the 5-year mark. The battery in my vehicle is over 7 years old now and I just had it load tested because I wondered. They said it was still "excellent" and they're the ones that sold it to me. (local company called Battery Wholesale) No warranty left on it, so no reason they'd BS me.

    Long story short, you can get a new battery that will fail in a few years or a good one that will last 7 or more. If yours still meets specs, keep it a little longer. If you plan on crossing the Klondike or the Sahara with it, maybe a new battery would be in order.
  • edited August 2010
    Funny thing about car batterys,it is hard to convince someone they need a new one when it does everything it is suppose to do, but the wrong numbers are displayed on a testing device when the battery is tested.
  • edited August 2010
    I've seen batteries last 3-8 years on a typical car driven daily.
    I had a friend who drove 1/2 a mile to work every day and his battery lasted barely a year.
    I've seen batteries gradually get weak and I saw one suddenly go completely dead with no warning in the hot desert in Arizona.
    If you're in a hot climate I recommend you just change it and not rely on testing because they're more prone to sudden failure in the heat.
  • edited August 2010
    If not for my wife insisting that the dome light (door switch) fuse be pulled on her jeep (it also disables the headlight warning chime), he would probably still be using her OEM battery from 1999. She left the lights on one too many times. The battery didn't fail, but started cranking the engine a bit slower. I just changed mine in my 02 not too long ago. As others here said, lots of factors. Trip length is what I'd attribute it to with my wife's and my case. Longer operational minutes per cranking event. Heat is also a factor, more so than cold least from temp taken in isolation.
  • edited August 2010
    The original battery in our Nissan lasted 7 years of normal driving in an area with severe winters. As staed, get it load tested and you might get a few more years out of it. A battery failure is not the end of the world, and they seldom fail so completely that you can't charge them up enough to get to the garage.
  • edited August 2010
    Do you have, and know how to use, a good set of jumper cables? If so, and if getting stuck somewhere isn't a big deal, have it tested and go on your way. Batteries typically last 3-6+ years, so you might get one or two more years out of it. But replace if that's a worry.
  • edited August 2010
    I replace my battery every 4.5 years, but usually it shows signs of decline first. I live in a hot climate. Many auto parts stores will test your battery for free. As long as it tests fine keep it.
  • edited August 2010
    Despite what others are saying here, the average battery lasts less than 4 years in the US. Of course crappy batteries bring the average down.
    A lot depends on where you live. Hot weather beats a battery down, but you might not see the problem until it can not deliver the CCA in the winter.
    If yours is getting on 5 years, i woudl change it before winter hits.
  • edited August 2010
    Our Dealer Tech Rep here in Tucson said the average lifespan was 23 months, kind of short lived I thought.
  • edited October 2010
    I lived in Phoenix for 20 years. A 60 Month battery with regular maint. got me between 18 to 20 months before it needed replaced. Though with a 60 month battery, I rarely had to pay a cent for the replacement.
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