Car Battery Life Expectancy

toyota
matrix

#1

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.


#2

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.


#3

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.


#4

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.


#5

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 …at least from temp taken in isolation.


#6

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.


#7

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.


#8

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.


#9

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.


#10

Our Dealer Tech Rep here in Tucson said the average lifespan was 23 months, kind of short lived I thought.


#11

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.


#12

Our 1999 Sienna still has the original battery (garage kept)
Our 2004 4Runner still has the original battery (stays outside)
Our 1991 Camry… well, it gave out about 2001 or 2002. Since then, we’ve gone through several batteries.

As long as you keep the connectors clean and never run the battery down, and it’s a good battery to start with, it could last a long time. If you don’t maintain it, or you let it run down, or it’s cheap, it won’t last long at all.

Once it gets old, you may or may not get any warning signs. If it’s not giving you any indications and the acid level stays normal, I’d keep it. If the acid level is low or you have added water to it, I’d consider replacement. Loss of acid is an indication of constant charging and that can mean the cells are getting weak.


#13

I have had a car with a four year old battery go kaput, but I have also had a car with the original battery that we had in the car 13 years and still use as a back up battery. Get a good battery, I know an engineer and he said the best batteries are walmart’s and sears diehard. I have used walmart’s for years now and they are great.

I had an interstate battery and that thing lasted three and a half years. I guess it all depends on the battery itself, every battery is different. But some manufacters are better than others. I also heard that auto parts stores batteries are crap. The choice is yours


#14

Impala, on this board, you will find that different people have made different decisions on common issues. Though they often differ from my decisions, they usually have a logical reason, at least in their own minds, and it generally works for them. So far.

Battery issues is one of many such issues.

As you noted, some test and keep driving a battery. I need high reliability because at times, I am in isolated places. So, I replace my batteries at 5 years and don’t care how it tests. Others do the same. My son-in-law lives in Southern Texas, and he normally gets less than three years out of his batteries.

So, you will need to read what people suggest, almost all viewpoints have their own merits, and then make up your own mind.

My viewpoint was based on living in the Snow Zone, and batteries tended to fail when it was very cold, and I needed a battery more than usual. By the time I bought a new battery at maximum price, and missed work, and maybe had to pay a taxi, I said to heck with it, that cost more than a new battery would cost in the first place.

Or, if I called a tow truck to start me, there was hours of waiting, because all old batteries seemed to fail that day.


#15

Play it safe and replace it today.


#16

Then have battery load tested and the charging system tested. The best time to do it is when night time temps start hitting freezing or below. As for the “replace at five years rule-of-thumb” as preventive maintenance, it’s up to you and it’s your money.

OR you can check it yourself. Griot’s Garage makes small, handy easy to use piece of test gear that will run several tests on the battery and the charging system and tell you if the system is optimum, weak or near death and it tests under load.

Of course if it’s a Volvo, replace after 5000 miles or 5 months, whichever comes first.The cost will be about $200 for the battery and $465 for changing the battery and $175 to reconnect the cables :frowning:

Al