How Often to Replace Car Battery

Close on blue car battery with red clamp attached to it

Conventional wisdom says you should replace your battery every 4 to 5 years – however, that can vary depending on what, where, and how you drive. Read on to learn more about:

  • Signs You Should Replace Your Car Battery
  • Causes of Car Battery Deterioration
  • Ways to Test a Car Battery
  • Cost of Car Battery Replacement

Signs You Should Replace Your Car Battery

While 4 to 5 years is a good rule of thumb for battery replacement if all else seems normal, there are a few signs you shouldn’t ignore that mean your battery could be getting near the end of its life. A few of those signs include:

  • Slow Starting Engine: Your battery’s internal components wear down and become less effective over time, meaning it takes the battery longer to create the charge needed for your starter. If you find yourself waiting longer for the engine to turn over, you probably need to replace the battery.
  • Dim Lights: If the battery is nearing replacement time, you may notice dim lights inside and outside of your vehicle – especially the headlights.
  • Check Engine Light: If your check engine light comes on, and it’s been a while since you changed your battery, that may mean it’s time. Confirm with your owner’s manual to see what this light being on means.
  • Unpleasant Odor: A damaged battery may leak gas that smells like rotten eggs. If you notice this inside your vehicle or under the hood, get that battery replaced ASAP.
  • Corrosion: If you see a white, ashy substance on your battery, that means it has corrosion problems and should be replaced.
  • Misshapen Casing: If you live in extreme temperatures, the battery cases can swell and crack. If the case looks misshapen, you should probably replace it.

Causes of Car Battery Deterioration

Time is just one variable that can lead to battery deterioration. Other causes of battery deterioration include:

  • Heat: Liquids inside a battery can evaporate in hotter climates, meaning your battery could have a shorter lifespan.
  • Jump Starts: Lots of jump starts can put a strain on your battery, and you’ll need a replacement sooner.
  • Vibrations: If you’re frequently driving over rough roads, the battery’s hold-down clamps can loosen, causing your battery’s internal parts will break down faster.

Ways to Test a Car Battery

While the service center at your local Hampton Roads Honda dealer will be happy to inspect your battery for you, you can also check the battery at home if you feel up to it. If you’re not used to checking for vehicle maintenance though, it’s probably best to have a Honda expert confirm any issues.

The Headlight Test

  • Turn on your engine while keeping the car in park, then turn on your headlights.
  • Rev the engine and take note if the brightness of your headlights change.
  • If your headlights get brighter, the current isn’t strong enough to maintain normal brightness at idling, so bring your vehicle in to a service center for further assessment.

Digital Multimeter Test

  • Once you have the digital multimeter, set it to 20 DC volts.
  • Pop the hood and touch the negative battery terminal with the negative meter probe. Both should be black.
  • Touch the positive battery terminal with the positive meter probe. Both should be red.
  • Have someone else turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  • If it reads 12.5 volts or higher at 80℉, your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts shows it’s at around 75%, while 11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less.

The Cost of Car Battery Replacement

The typical Honda car battery cost ranges from $75 and $120, but a premium battery could run up to $200. If you have a hybrid car, expect to pay between $1000 and $6000 for a new battery.

Learn More, or Get a Battery Replacement

The team at your local Hampton Roads Honda showroom can help you with your battery replacement and connect you with a special offer to save on maintenance. Get in touch today if you think it could be time to replace your Honda battery.

Latest on Honda Models

  • Why Buy a 2021 Honda Passport?

    The 2021 Honda Passport has been named one of the “Best Cars For The Money” by U.S. News & World Report*. According to U.S. News & World Report Executive Editor Jamie Page Deaton, the new Passport received this accolade because “The Passport is the perfect example of a car that balances value and quality.” She…

  • Get to Know the 2021 Honda Civic Models Now Available at Your Local Hampton Roads Honda Dealer

    When it comes to the 2021 Honda Civic, you have plenty of models and trims to choose from. The Honda Civic comes in three different body styles and 2-5 trims, depending on which body style you desire. Each Honda Civic model comes standard with its own unique features and similar features that make any of…

  • What Makes the 2021 Honda CR-V the Best SUV in Its Class?

    If you’re in the market for a new SUV, you’re going to want to check out the all-new 2021 Honda CR-V. The 2021 Honda CR-V is the perfect SUV for any lifestyle, from driving the family around town to running errands in the city. The previous CR-V version for 2020 was a Kelley Blue Book’s…