Car batteries typically last between three and five years. However, hot weather and frequent short trips can shorten a battery's lifespan. If your car's battery is more than three years old or if it isn't holding a charge as well as it used to, it may be time for a replacement. You can test your car battery at home with a voltmeter or take it to a mechanic for a professional diagnosis.
Annual battery testing on batteries older than five years is a safe idea and helps you know the condition of your car's battery, which rules out other issues.
Why the age of the battery matters
The age of your battery is important because it can give you an indication of how long it will last. Batteries have a limited number of charge and discharge cycles, so the older the battery, the closer it is to the end of its lifespan.
Hot weather and short trips
Hot weather and taking lots of short trips can also shorten the lifespan of your car battery. That's because both heat and cold can accelerate the chemical reactions inside the battery, which causes it to degrade faster. If you live in a hot climate or if you frequently take short trips, you may need to replace your car battery more often than someone who doesn't.
How to test your car battery at home
If you're unsure whether your car battery needs to be replaced, you can test it at home with a voltmeter. To do this, simply connect the voltmeter to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. If the reading is 12.6 volts or higher, the battery is still in good working order. However, if it's 12.4 volts or lower, it's time for a replacement.
You can also take your car battery to a mechanic for a professional diagnosis. They will be able to tell you definitively whether or not it needs to be replaced.
If you need a car battery replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Ocala Auto Repair today!