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When to replace car battery

If you live in a very cold climate, I would replace it every 5 years. Better to be safe than sorry.

asemaster raises a good point on the goal. Not everyone has the same goal.

If the goal is to see how long you can get your battery to last, that’s easy. Just keep driving till it dies. It may or not be the least expensive depending on where and when it finally dies. You may be at the mercy of paying big $$$ to get a new battery.

If the goal is to make sure the car starts every time, then be proactive and follow the tips given in the previous replies. This approach can often be the least expensive, since you’re in control of when and where you replace your battery, and how much you pay for it.

All my Toyota batteries lasted 5 or 6 years. My 99 Camry battery went 7 years.

If all batteries have a typical age (my car batteries usually last about four years), when should you buy a booster pack for jump starting the car when its battery is dead? I just bought a new battery for my car, so should I buy a booster pack now or in two years?

Thank you everyone for the reply. I went to a Tires Plus this morning and asked them to test the battery. This time I asked to see and for a printout of the test.

They said the battery is fine. Here is what the printout says: 2014 Toyota Corolla LE Group 35 battery. The car was shut off. No key in ignition when they did test.

I think the other place that told me 356 CCA may have been reading something off the battery itself. Because I thought I saw 356 CCA on the battery itself as well as group 35.

Measured 401 CCA
Rated 355 CCA
Temp: 53 degrees
Voltage 13.03V

The person performing the battery test must enter the correct CCA value to get accurate results. I don’t know what the CCA rating is on your battery but the Toyota replacement batteries are either 525 or 550 CCA. Your test results of 401 CCA may be acceptable.

after 4-5 years to be safe

The original battery in my Matrix was still going strong at 9 y.o., but I only drive ~5000 miles per year; and I charge it fully every 3 months in the winter.
I changed it because I didn’t trust it to make it through a 10th winter.

In the Rio Grande Valley, think McAllen, my son-in-law says batteries typically fail after around 2 or 3 years. But, when I lived in the snow zone, I also normally never replaced a bad battery, but did replace at five years as stated. I could buy on sale; miss no work; and not need to pay a taxi to buy a new battery and install it at -20 degrees F…

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Coincidentally, this morning it was a chilly 62 degrees (F), and my motorcycle (my 2003 Honda Nighthawk 750) wouldn’t start. I noticed when I tried to start it, it was cranking a little slow, and before I could get it to start, it ran out of juice. It usually fires right up.

I’ve never had to push start this bike before, but thankfully, it fired right up on the second try. I didn’t have to get it moving very fast. I left the choke off, and once I got it running, I slowly activated the choke so it wouldn’t flood. It fired right up the rest of the day, but I’m really lucky I was able to push start it before setting out. I had a big day today ahead of me, getting routine blood work in the morning and I had a job interview 100 miles away with two hours and fifteen minutes to get there. Fortunately, I made it with time to spare, and the interview went really well. (I’m not unemployed - just looking for the next step in my career.)

I just checked and the battery can’t be more than three years old. I guess I’ll get it tested tomorrow.

I hope you get that job . . . !



I hope you get the job, too, @Whitey. That’s a long commute. Will you move to keep the commute under 2 hours? My commute is usually 54 miles, and that is about my upper limit, especially in the afternoon when traffic adds about a half hour to the time.

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Thank you both.

If I get the job, I’ll definitely want to shorten my commute. The job is in Boca Raton, FL, and I really don’t want to live there. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with parking on campus either, so I would be looking for an apartment somewhere close to the Tri-Rail line, somewhere between West Palm Beach and Delray Beach. I miss commuting by mass transit, where I can relax with a good book rather than stress out in South Florida traffic.

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Helpful battery information:

The problem with CR is that you have to belong to get the ratings and sign in.

4-5 years be safe

I’ve lived in cold climates most of my life. I’ve never had a battery fail under 7 years. Most last to 8+ years.

When you compare cold to warmer climates then everything else needs to be equal. But in general batteries last longer in colder climates. Usually MUCH longer.

Batteries sometimes do fail with no warning. But from what I’ve seen that’s pretty rare. They usually show signs - like slow cranking. I’d wait til it starts to show signs.

As for the low reading??? Does the place that checked the battery also sell batteries?? If so it’s highly probable they’re just looking for a sale.

I have had failure with no warning twice in the last 3 years. On one I started the car 5 times while running errands and stopped to talk to neighbor and went to leave-dead battery.

People should take this as they like. Some car batteries come with prorated warranties. For example, Costco/Kirkland ones have 100% refund for the first 36 (or possibly 42?) months and then reducing amounts over longer periods until reaching zero.

So if one returns their battery by the 100% refund mark, one might ONLY have to pay any price difference that might have happened. But that’s about it other than the work of swapping the battery.
I actually had this happen on a battery that started to act weird after about 2 1/2 years. So I returned it to save the trouble of figuring out the problem and save on cost.

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Yeah I’ve pretty much had them fail without much warning and there you sit, and had them fail so bad they wouldn’t take a charge at all enough to even start the car.