How Long Does the Average Car Battery Last?

Written by russell huebsch
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Eventually, every automobile owner has to deal with a dead car battery. How long a car battery lasts can vary by several years, but owners can take preventive steps to make sure their battery lasts as long as possible.

Average Lifetime

According to Scott Manna of the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois, the average car battery lasts 4 1/2 years, give or take a year.

Short Trips and Temperature

Taking mostly short trips (less than 20 minutes) that do not give the alternator a chance to recharge the battery will reduce its life. In addition, very hot or cold weather degrades battery life.

Testing and Precaution

Car battery testers can provide a fairly accurate view of how much life a battery has left; however, drivers may want to pre-emptively replace batteries they suspect are dying to guard against getting stranded.


When replacing a car battery, never leave off the protective cover that comes with it. This insulates the battery from temperatures changes in the surrounding environment.


Whenever testing or charging a battery, always wear gloves and safety goggles to prevent battery acid from corroding the skin.

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