How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Testing Battery With Multimeter_7452797

Most experts recommend you replace your battery about once every 4 to 5 years, but battery life can vary widely depending on several factors. Learn more about car batteries from Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner’s service center below, including the signs of a dying battery, the cost, and more.



How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Here are some warning signs to keep in mind, so you will know when your battery is reaching its end:

  • Dimming headlights
  • More frequent need for engine revving or jump starts
  • Takes longer to start the engine when you turn the key/push the button
  • Unusual power fluctuations

What Causes Car Battery Deterioration?

While most car batteries are expected to last 4 to 5 years, there are several factors that will shorten their lifespan, such as:

  • Heat: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside a car battery, so if you live in a more consistently hot climate, your battery life will be inevitably shorter.
  • Vibrations: If your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, or you drive over rough roads frequently in Great Falls, vibrations will cause internal battery parts to break down faster.
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve done something like leave your lights on overnight or let your engine idle for too long and require a jump start, this can shorten battery life significantly.
  • Time: A car battery can only go through so many charge cycles, so the death of your car battery is unavoidable. However, proper care can prevent the battery from dying on you early.

How to Test a Car Battery

During regular maintenance, you can have your car battery tested twice a year at your local Mclean service center to ensure that it is properly functioning. If you want to test it between that time, many retailers offer free tests, or you can test the battery at home with a few easy methods. Here are two at-home methods that you can use:

The Headlight Test:

  1. Turn on the engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlight brightness changes.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling.
  4. Take your car to a service center at this point for further assessment.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red).
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less charge.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

The typical car battery cost can range between $75 and $120, and if you have a premium battery, it could be up to $200. Hybrid car batteries have a much bigger job, which means they are much more expensive and can cost anywhere between $1000 and $6000, but this is usually offset by the much lower gas consumption.

Keep Your Vehicle in Pristine Condition at Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner

Whether your car battery needs to be replaced or you’d like it checked, head on over to our Vienna service center and we will take care of you. Make your appointment today and if you drive a Mercedes-Benz, see exactly why you should turn to our experienced technicians near Chantilly!


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