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An Important Message from Hendrick

How Often to Replace a Car Battery

It is generally recommended that you get a battery replacement service every 4 to 5 years. That being said, there are a number of factors that can affect how often your car battery will need to be replaced. The service team at Hendrick Dodge Cary has prepared the following guide to help Apex-area drivers find out how often to replace a car battery, how to tell when the battery is due for replacement, how much a battery costs, and more.

How to Know if Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Not sure how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced? Here are a few warning signs that you’ll want to look out for:

  • Your headlights are dimmer than usual.
  • You frequently need to jump start your car.
  • The engine doesn’t start up right away when you turn the key in the ignition or push the button to start.
  • You notice unusual fluctuations in electrical power.

Factors That Influence Battery Life

While you can usually depend on your car battery to last 4 to 5 years, there are a number of factors that can have an impact on the battery lifespan:

  • Heat: A hot climate tends to wear down the battery more quickly than cooler temperatures. This is primarily because excessive heat causes the liquids within the battery to evaporate at an accelerated rate.
  • Vibrations: If the battery’s hold-down clamps are loose or if you regularly drive over rough terrain, the vibrations can break down internal battery parts at a much faster rate.
  • Jump Starts: You shorten battery life with every jump start you administer.
  • Time: Over time all batteries will eventually lose their charge.

The best way to get the most out of your car battery is to follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual.

How to Test a Car Battery

The certified technicians in the Hendrick Dodge Cary Service Center will routinely test your battery whenever you bring your car, truck, or SUV in for service. However, there are a couple of ways that you can test the battery yourself between services:

Headlight Test: 

  1. Start your car, keep it in park, and turn on your headlights.
  2. Rev the engine and watch to see if the brightness of your headlights changes.
  3. If the brightness varies, it could be an indication that the current from the battery isn’t strong enough when idling.
  4. Schedule service with Hendrick Dodge Cary to have our experts inspect and text the battery.

Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts, open the hood of your car, and attach the negative meter probe (black) to the negative terminal (also black).
  2. Then attach the positive meter probe (red) to the positive terminal (also red).
  3. Have someone turn on your vehicle’s headlights, and check the voltmeter reading.
  4. At a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit: 12.5 volts or higher indicates a full charge; 12.3 volts indicates a 75% charge; 11.8 volts or lower indicates a 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

If it turns out that you need a new battery, your next question may be, how much is a replacement car battery? Typically a new car battery in the Carrboro area costs between $75 and $120, with premium batteries priced as high as $200. Note that batteries for hybrid models tend to be more expensive. To find out how much a new battery for your car will cost, check with our Parts Center. We carry a great selection of high quality batteries, and we offer service and parts couponsthat can help you get the best deal possible.

Rely on the Service Professionals at Hendrick Dodge Cary

Whether you need battery service or replacement, a quick oil change, or more extensive auto repair work, the service team at Hendrick Dodge Cary is here to help. We’re happy to offer a variety of service tips and tricks along with service specials and coupons to make caring for your Dodge, RAM, or Fiat more affordable. Feel free to contact our Service Center if you have any questions.

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