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How long do/should batteries last?

Have a 04 Acura TSX. Currently on my fourth battery. Being replaced approx. every two years. Number one, replaced as “free replacement” did not actually fail, but was noted to “sound weak” at service visit, “verified” by testing and replaced under warranty. Second battery dead one morning. Since was only two blocks from dealer, wife called, they collected her and car. Put in new batt, old one dead. Charged lots of money (dealer pricing) cause replaced batt was now over four years old(from time original purchase). About 28 months later, told during servicing, batt was now problematical, could fail at any time. Cost of new one would be “pro-rated” but, to me, still expensive since the cost was so high to begin with. Since this represented a third battery going out at approx. two year intervals, I asked the service rep what is going on. He responded, with an absolutely straight face. “It’s not unusual, in fact perfectly normal for batteries to give out at two years or so. Every and multiple checks of the cars’ electrical and charging system showed it to be in excellent working order. In fact, he routinely replaces his, and especially the battery in his wife’s car at two year intervals.”

I went to a major retailer and got a battery. The service guy said that the battery they pulled out was problematical and possibly going to fail soon. No known reason or guess as to why a 28 month old battery was “going.” Did I miss some major change in the way cars now work? Is there some major regression in batteries going on here. The problem is I’ve asked many friends, relatives and others and surprisingly find many who have no problem with and/or believe in the two year rule. The normal commute is 15-20 miles each way. We have no (extremely rare) weather extremes, especially in temperatures here in Hawaii. Is this the new norm, or is the rest of the automotive world nuts?

Heat is a battery killer. Batteries in my neck of the woods (northeast snow belt) routinely last five years or more. If you live someplace very warm your battery life will be much shorter. I would want to have your alternator tested as well since a weak alternator can put a lot of stress on your battery.

Two years is a ridiculously short time for a top level battery to last. My 2004 PT Cruiser was totaled in a wreck at 7 1/2 years old with the original battery and my 2002 Town and Country has a NAPA 75 that is 6 1/2 years old. I have seen 10 year old Toyotas with original batteries.

I had my last battery in my 94 LHS last almost 8 years. I live in a climate where the summers are 90+ and winters are often below zero. But that’s the longest I’ve gotten from a battery. Typically I get about 5 years. 2 years is not good. I would say that either the brand of batteries you’re getting should be changed, you have a charging system fault, or perhaps the design of your car subjects the battery to excessive heat and/or vibration. Also, nothing kills a battery faster than a few total discharges, so if you accidentally leave your lights on, need a jump, then don’t fully recharge the battery, don’t expect it to last very long. Not sure if this applies to you, just sayin’

My Acura battery was four years old and still testing about 80-90%. I don’t like going more than four years but have made six on Delco. Some Walmarts have only gone two, but I think you should get 3-4 on original equipment but I think Bloody_knuckles hit on it that the heat over there can be a lot worse on batteries than the cold in Minnesota.

About 4-6 years in my area (SW CT), sometimes longer.
I usually replace them after around five years, at the first sign when the cranking just isn’t as fast as it normally was. It tends to happen after cold nights in winter.

your car takes a small battary and your car is an acura (lots of toys)
and the high temps where you live dosn’t help ether. i think you should be getting about 4 years of life but this is a small battery its asked to do a lot. i would have the cars charging system tested to be on the safe side.

Two years sounds way too short to me. I’ll disagree with some of the other posters who think that you live in a hot climate, as obviously you see nothing like the folks in the Southwest.

I’d check for a parasitic drain that’s causing your battery to repeatedly end up running low, which isn’t good for it.

I agree with Lion…Have a “Parasitic Load Test” performed on your car…Quality batteries should last 5-7 years…

It would be interesting to know exactly how they’re doing the battery tests and how problematic is being defined.

It gets brutally hot here in OK during the summer and batteries are generally good for 5-6 years or more in most cases.

Maybe there’s a parasitic draw and someone is performing a battery test on a battery that is not in a full state of charge and the bad battery diagnosis is incorrect.

I woud certainly question someone such as the service rep who claims he routinely replaces batteries in his cars every 2 years. It’s possible that he’s just flay lying and using that spiel to sell batteries… :slight_smile:

In the Great Plains, we’re having a lot of battery failure due to the extreme heat this year. It was over 100 every day for 5 weeks, and sometimes reached 108. Both my vehicles batteries failed load tests. The voltage was normal (full charge) but they couldn’t produce more than a few hundred amps less than they were supposed to. It’s still early enough to get some batteries on sale.

BTW, Consumer Reports just rated batteries. I am very suspicious, because group 78 scored very low for several brands, while 34 scored high. So far as I know, these are the same battery with side terminals versus top terminals.

I never have had this problem. Often I get 5-6 years on a battery. 2 years would send me screaming to the battery company about false claims personally. The drains on a battery have no bearing on the LIFETIME of the battery. That has to do with the construction of the battery plates. A well built lead acid battery should be able to be dead drained hundreds of times. Cheap ones overheat in this condition and warp the lead plates. My guess is just poor quality in the batteries.

I have a 2011 Toyota Sienna and I am having problems with corrosion around the positive battery terminal. The dealer cleaned the terminals a couple of months ago, but the terminal is blue with corrosion again. My guess is that the battery is sulfating and I may need to replace it before the winter season begins. Since this is an early 2011 that I bought in April of 2010, I suppose the battery is 3 years old. The battery in our 2003 Toyota 4Runner lasted 6 years. I had it tested and it was still starting the car just fine, but a load test showed that it wasn’t putting out the rated amperage so I replaced it. This is the vehicle my wife drives, so I didn’t want her to be stuck somewhere with a bad battery in the middle of the winter.
I’m a little disappointed with both the battery and the tires on the Sienna. I have 35,000 miles on the Sienna and the tread depth on the tires is down to 3/32"-4/32". I have kept the tires inflated and rotate them every 5000 miles. I’ll probably have to replace the tires and the battery before winter. I won’t replace the tires with the Firestone brand that came with the Sienna. My Sienna is not an all-wheel drive, by the way. I got 60,000 miles out of the GoodYear tires that were on my previous minivan, a 2006 Chevrolet Upander. My son now owns the Uplander and it still has the original battery. The Uplander now has about 100,000 miles and is wearing a new set of Michelin tires.

Has anyone tested your charging system? I live in hot and sunny Florida, and my batteries last about four years, whether I buy the cheap one or the expensive one.

BTW, I think paying someone to install a battery is a waste of money. Most auto parts stores will install the battery for free (of labor charges). The only downside is that the person installing it is sometimes not a mechanic, but just an auto parts store clerk. You’ll want to check the employee’s work to make sure the battery is properly secured. Personally, I just remove and install the batteries myself. It’s not that hard to do, and I don’t have to worry about it being done wrong.

Triedaq wrote:

I have a 2011 Toyota Sienna and I am having problems with corrosion around the positive battery terminal.

We have the same problem with our Toyota Venza. Normally that’s a sign of a seal breakage where the terminal post goes through the body of battery, and that seal breaks from excessive twisting force with the battery clamp bolts. I’ve been very easy on the twisting force when cleaning the terminals. I wonder if Toyota’s stock batteries have a weakness for this.

Anyways, I finally stopped the corrosion. After cleaning the terminals, I installed one of those felt pads (to help stop the fumes leaking from the broken seal), reinstalled the clamp, and then sprayed the completed assembly with battery terminal paint.

I’ve rarely used battery terminal paint in my life, but it worked this time.

@JoeMario–thanks for the sugestion. The terminal clamp had never been removed before this past summer when I noticed the corrosion and had the dealer take care of while I had the Sienna in for an oil change. I’ll install a felt pad this week and spray the terminal with battery terminal paint.
THe battery in our 2011 Toyota Sienna probably came from a different supplier than the battery in our 2003 4Runner. I know that the tires came from different manufacturers. The 4Runner came with Dunlop tires that did give me more mileage. Unfortunately, one tire had a blowout on the interstate. I replaced it with the full size spare and bought a used Dunlop tire of the same type for the spare. Another tire suffered a puncture and lost air–again on the interstate. However, it was repairable.

Are these Acura/Honda OEM replacements? The recent ones have a short life apparently like what you are stating.

My 4 year old Acura battery was quite weak and the dealer actually directed me to another place on the phone when I described the numerous electrical gremlins the vehicle was having. He said battery was their first fix.

I generally average 5-7 years on a battery. I just replaced a 7 year old battery on my F-150. My Mustang has had the same battery for almost 7 years now, I’ll probably have to replace that one sooner rather than later.

first off, don’t listen to the “sounds weak” crap. That’s dealerspeak for “I want to sell him a battery no matter what.” My TL’s battery “sounded weak” to the dealership 3 years ago and, surprise surprise, is still starting the car just fine.

When I lived in the Midwest, I replaced my battery at around 5 years of age, to avoid failure at 30 below in the winter.

Here in McAllen where it is hot most of the year, my Son-in-law says he normally has to replace his batteries every 2 years, and this has been on different makes of cars, and different battery companies.

Though my car is often driven in Mexico, where it is substantially cooler than here, the last one was a high-priced brand name, and it only lasted 2.5 years.