How Long do Car Batteries Last?

Have you ever been prepared to start your day when you got into your car or truck, engaged the ignition, and find it won’t start? Yeah, we’ve been there too. Casey’s team in Chantilly, VA, is here to help you be aware of a dying battery! But first, let’s cover how automotive batteries work and what affects their lifespan.

How Does a Battery Work?

A battery is a device that stores electrical energy in the form of chemical energy and converts that energy into electricity. Most vehicular batteries rely on a lead-acid reaction, which falls under the category of SLI (starting, lighting, and ignition) by providing short bursts of energy to power the different parts of your vehicle: lights, engine, etc.

Once the battery sends an initial jolt to the engine, it starts the alternator. Following that jolt, the alternator powers the engine.

Batteries Degrade Over Time

Like the batteries in your television’s remote, use and time is not its friend. Degradation happens with time and can be affected by the season. Heat causes the chemicals within a battery to vaporize. Given the need to produce maximum amperage, a battery must work harder to start in the winter months since the engine is so cold. Extra demand on an already weakened battery can cause it to lose its efficiency.

Warning Signs of a Dying Battery

So, other than having a diagnostic check done in a Chantilly, VA, auto shop, how do you know if your battery is losing its efficiency? There are a few tell-tale signs.

  • The engine is slow to start
  • Battery connectors are damaged or corroded
  • Check engine light has turned on
  • The battery case is warped or misshaped
  • Lights are dim and other electrical issues
  • The battery is old
  • There is a burning smell from the engine

How Long Do Car Batteries Last?

The battery can last between 3 and 5 years when a vehicle is regularly driven. And while there are usually warning signs for one on its way out, as listed above, there can also be no warning. Having the battery checked three years after it was initially installed can help combat needing a jump start.

Knowing you have a healthy battery can help prepare you for other electrical issues. Let’s say you know your battery is a year old, yet your vehicle won’t properly start. Well, at that point, it could be your alternator or starter motor.

Battery Diagnostic Tests at Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, Virginia

Knowing is half the battle in automotive repair and maintenance, and Casey’s is always here to help. If your vehicle has shown any of the symptoms we listed above, get it in for a diagnostic test. Every vehicle that comes into Casey’s is subjected to a complementary diagnostic test, so we’ve always got you covered! Contact us so that you’re not left on the side of the road!



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