My mechanic installed a battery in June 2018. It has a 3-year warranty, so the warranty expired 10 months ago. But in the past two years (since the pandemic) I’ve rarely driven the car – maybe 500 miles during that time. Does the fact that I’ve driven the car so rarely mean that the battery will continue to work, or should I replace it now since it’s well past its normal life?
Most vehicles and parts live well past the warranty period. I don’t understand why you think because the warranty is up the battery is going to fail. If in doubt then have it tested.
It’s not really past its normal lifespan, although having driven only 500 miles in 10 months could well have led to a sulfation build-up that will kill the battery. But, instead of just going ahead immediately with replacement, I suggest that you have the battery tested. Auto parts stores (Auto Zone, Advance, O’Reilly, maybe Napa) will do this without charge.
Thank you, that’s very good information.
Generally the fewer times the battery goes through the discharge/charge cycle the better. So you got that going for you. On the other hand a rarely used battery can go dead, and dead, no charge remaining, is very bad for a battery. So you got that going against you.
I guess what I’d do is just drive the car on a regular basis to keep the battery fully charged, and note if there’s any electrical system problems beginning. If not, the battery is likely good to go.
If you have a charger and have driven so little, put it on a long slow charge. It’s probably going to be fine even if you don’t, but that is something you can do that might help and will not hurt.
Others of course will disagree but I usually replace batteries in the 3-4 year period. I don’t push batteries because I don’t like to have them fail on me. I don’t even know what the warranty is on mine-at least 3 maybe 5 years. Batteries like to have their charge maintained so driving them maintains their charge. Not driving means that they are discharging week after week.
Saying that though, I test my batteries at least a couple times a year and compare the readings to the baseline when new. When they become significantly less powerful than new, I just replace them. During the shut downs though, I would often put the charger on them to keep them charged.
I have a 2012 Camry that I bought in the fall of 2011. Driving a lot less these days and the car sits outside because we are in an assisted living facility and the car did not get driven even once a week this past winter/ Still starts every time with the 2011 battery. At this point I am just curious how long it will last.