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.

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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.

Tip

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.

Warning

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

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