How to Replace a Car Battery at Home

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The car battery is the most integral part of your car. It plays a significant role in starting the engine and controls all the electrical systems in the car that include the car lights, radio system, windshields, electric windows, etc. Without a proper functioning Car battery, you would not be able to utilize the majority of functions of your car. Our detailed blog will help you understand When to replace a car battery so that your car battery stays in proper functioning condition always.

 

 

How Does a Car Battery Work?

You might be wondering how a car battery works? When you start the engine by pressing the start button, the ignition signals the battery leading to a chemical reaction inside the little black box. This chemical reaction converts into electrical energy which gets the starter motor to run and the engine to kick start. 

If your battery is dead, the light might reflect, but the engine would not start.

 

How Long Does a New Car Battery Last?

The lifespan of a car battery depends on its ability to hold the charge and for how long it can get recharged. If your car battery is not able to recharge, it means that the car battery is dead. In ideal circumstances like standard temperatures and humidity, a car battery lasts between four to five years.

 

When to Replace a Car Battery?

Before replacing your car battery, you get a few warning signs that indicate the replacement is near. You need to understand these signs to replace your car battery on time. 

The most significant factor is to check your engine light coming on. It usually means your battery is slowing down.

You need to carefully observe the way your vehicle reacts when it starts as well. We recommend you always have an eye on the well-being of your battery so that you are not stuck anywhere with a non-starting car. We have listed the most prominent signs that indicate that your battery needs urgent replacement.

 

Signs that your Battery Needs Replacement

 

1: Engine Starts Slowly

As time passes by, the components inside your battery start to wear out. In this condition, the battery takes a lot of time to produce a charge for the car starter. This delay makes you wait for an extra few seconds before your car starts.

 

2: Electrical Issues

As mentioned above, The battery powers all the electrical systems in the car that include the car lights, radio system, windshields, electric windows, etc. If the battery is losing its charge, you might face issues while running these electrical systems. It is also worth noting that if you use any particular function like charging your phone battery or using the music system, the car battery dies quickly.

 

3: Engine Light

Flashing of engine warning light indicates that the engine is facing issues to start and hence it is required to replace the battery.

 

4: Battery Warning Light

If the battery warning light on the dashboard flashes continuously, it indicates a battery charging issue. It also signifies that the voltage produced by the alternator is significantly less. 

 

5: Bad Smell

When a battery gets damaged or there is an internal short circuit. The Car battery starts to leak gas. If you come across the smell of rotten eggs when you open the bonnet, it indicates that the battery is damaged and might require replacement. Get it checked quickly and replace the battery if necessary.

 

6: Power Residue on the Battery

A battery needs a proper electrical connection to work correctly. At times the battery cables are surrounded by some whitish or blue residue. It affects the performance of the Car battery. The corroded battery terminals on the top of the battery can lead to voltage issues and effects the starting of your car.

 

7: Damaged Battery Case

Extreme climatic conditions can affect battery life. Exposure to extreme hotness or coolness can lead to cracking of the battery case. It impacts the performance of the car battery, and it may need an immediate replacement. 

 

8: Issues in Bump and Jump Starting of Car

Once your car starts running through bumps and jumps, drive it for about half an hour with minimum electrical systems to recharge the battery. Try restarting the car after a few hours; If the car starts without any problems, the battery drained out, and you need not worry; but, if it doesn’t start, it means that your battery cannot recharge and needs replacement.

 

9: An Old Battery

When did you replace your car battery the last time? In ideal conditions, the lifespan of car batteries is 3-5 years. Many factors such as extreme Climatic conditions, electronic system usage, and driving habits play a significant role in the lifespan of your battery. It is good to be careful and regularly checks the health of your battery by testing its performance every 3-years.

 

How Often Do You Need to Replace a Car Battery?

By now, you might have understood when to replace a car battery, now let’s understand how often do you need to replace it. The lifespan of a battery depends on several factors such as climatic conditions, car condition, driving habits, etc. According to experts, the average lifespan of a car battery is four years. For people who ride in winters for most of the year, the life span might be slightly shorter. You must start checking the health of your car battery after three years. It is much better to diagnose the issue before it creates unnecessary problems for your beloved car. 

Although, there are many cases where the batteries in the modern age do not provide the necessary signs of dying. The general thumb rule is to check the performance of your battery after 3-4 years. We recommend you regularly check the battery performance when your car goes for maintenance, especially after the battery completes the three-year mark. The bottom line is you will have to replace the car battery, and there is no way out of it.

 

What are the Reasons for the Car Battery to Die Quickly?

Your battery recharges by reusing the energy created from driving. If you run the car for long periods of time, there is a risk of your battery dying quickly. On the other hand, short trips do not give enough time for your battery to recharge. Also, keeping the electrical systems switched on for extended periods may affect your car battery adversely.

 

Cost of Replacing a Car Battery

There is no predefined cost of replacing the car battery. Several factors influence the cost of changing the car battery. The Most Significant factors are the car condition, model type, and manufacturer type. The cost of new batteries in India ranges from INR 1000 to INR 4000. The cost of batteries for a luxury car ranges from INR 5600 to INR 14000. The price mentioned above is exclusive of the labor costs. You can consider an additional INR 1000 as battery installation charges.

 

Do You Need to Charge a New Car Battery?

Well, there is no need to charge a new car battery. When you buy a new battery for your car, it comes fully charged. Earlier, distributors used to get dry batteries. They used to fill the dry batteries with acid before selling them, but this isn’t the case now.

 

Here are some tips to ensure that your new battery is fully charged.

  • Check the seal of the battery while buying
  • Verify that it is a 14- volt battery
  • Make sure you are buying from a trusted manufacturer.

 

Ways to Increase the Life of Your Car Battery

Do you want to increase the lifespan of your car battery? Here are some tips to extend the life of your car battery.

  1. Keep your battery always in the slot and tightly held.
  2. Try to avoid short car trips if possible.
  3. Reduce the power usage when the engine is off.
  4. Keep the battery as clean as possible.
  5. Try to minimize excessive hot and cold exposure.
  6. Check the voltage of your battery once every month.
  7. Keep using your car regularly.

 

Frequently Asked Question

Q1: What are the signs of a bad car battery?

Ans. A weak car battery may commonly indicate the following signs, Dim headlights, Clicking sound when you turn the key, Slow crank, Needing to press on the gas pedal to start, and Backfiring.

 

Q2: Should I replace my car battery after four years?

Ans. According to experts, car batteries start to wear out after three years. After three years, you must consider replacing a car battery. After four or five years, the majority of car batteries start to deteriorate very rapidly.

 

Q3: What causes a car battery to die quickly?

Ans. The most common reasons for a dead battery are corroded positive and negative terminals, charging system issues, the constant demand for more power, and continuous electric drain-outs.

 

Q4: How do you stop a car battery from draining when not in use?

Ans. You can prevent your sitting car battery from draining out by disengaging the security system to preserve the battery, Charging the battery weekly by driving a car for some time. You can also disconnect the negative terminal to avoid battery draining and getting a portable jump-starter, if possible.

 

Q5: Should I replace a 5-year-old car battery?

Ans. Yes, at 5-years old, it is time to replace the car battery. We recommend replacing it before your car gets stuck somewhere. It is much better if you can change your car battery when it is four years old.

 

Q6: What is the longest a car battery can last?

Ans. There is no predefined time for a car battery to last. The lifespan of a car battery depends on many factors like extreme Climatic conditions, electronic system usage, and driving habits. Still, the maximum that a car battery lasts is six years.

 

Q7: How long do you need to drive to charge a car battery?

Ans. According to experts, you need to drive the car for at least 30 minutes to get some charge. It does not mean that riding the car for 30 minutes will fully charge your car battery.

 

Q8: How do you tell if a battery is charged?

Ans. Once you charge a car battery, it makes a solid thud and stands firm. If the battery is dead, it bounces and falls over immediately.

 

Q9: How to replace a car battery charger?

Ans. Firstly, check if your battery charger is not producing electricity, remove the plug from the main socket, and then remove the Battery Charger Fuse by using a small screwdriver. Put a replacement fuse into the fuse plug holder. Push it into the slot using your fingers. Replace the cover on the plug and tighten it using a screwdriver.

 

Q10: How often to replace electric car batteries?

Ans. The frequency of the replacement of electric car batteries depends on many factors such as usage, manufacturers, type of car, etc. However, modern-day car batteries last between 10 to 20 years before you need to replace them.

 

Q11: Can you replace a car battery yourself?

Ans. Yes, Replacing a car battery is something that most people will be able to do themselves. The most difficult part is to remove the car battery out of the slot. You will require some essential tools, and our step-by-step guide will help you replace a car battery by yourself. 

 

The Final Word

Replacing the car battery at the right time is essential as a bad car battery might stick your car leading to the last-minute hassle. It also affects the performance of the electrical systems in your car. You need to constantly check your car's battery performance and understand the signs of your car battery needing replacement. Hopefully, the tips mentioned in our detailed guide above might help you in deciding when to replace a car battery. Read how to replace a car battery.

 

 

 

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Rishab

Rishab

Automotive Systems Engineer. Motorsport Enthusiast. Geeking out about cars every now and then.

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