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How Long Do Car Batteries Last?


Some automotive parts and components get more attention than others. A car, truck or SUV’s battery is one of those things that owners don’t think about until it’s too late and they become stranded in a cold parking lot. If you’re wondering, ‘How long do car batteries last,’ because it’s been a while since you’ve had a new one, it might already be time to make an appointment at Southside Dodge. For the most part, the industry standard for automotive batteries falls between three and five years. Holding on to a battery longer than that may raise the chances of a failure. Let a Southside Dodge Service Department member walk you through a few things you might want to know.


READ MORE: Your Tires Might Need Some Attention, Too





What Causes a Car Battery to Die Sooner?


Obviously, leaving interior or exterior lights turned on will quickly drain a battery. While it’s no fun to have to wait for someone to come by and give the battery a jump, it’s a pretty simple fix – as long as such behaviour isn’t a regular habit. However, there are few other scenarios to avoid to get the most out of an automotive battery.


1. Slow Charging or Discharging


Car batteries store electricity to use when the key is turned to turn over the starter motor. From there, the alternator becomes a generator to produce its power to run things like radio, light, climate control systems, and replenish the battery. A battery that sits idle for too long will naturally dissipate its stored power and may not be able to be charged back up by the alternator.


2. Structural Problems


Car batteries are often classified under the lead-acid type. This means that several metal grids made of lead are submerged in Sulfuric Acid inside the battery housing. The transfer of electrons between the lead and the acid is what creates electricity. Damage to the grids from rough driving or wild swings in ambient temperature can make the chemical process challenging to complete.


3. Overcharging/Alternator Failure


Sometimes a bad alternator will cause the battery to take on too much charge at once. This will cause the lead-acid battery to essentially boil. Boiling acid is as bad as it sounds, and it can cause leaks and other failures. Alternately, if the alternator suddenly stops working, the battery will try to provide power to all of the vehicle’s electrical systems. This is unsustainable and can quickly cause the battery to go bad.


How Do I Know If I Need A New Battery?


Like any other issue in the world of automotive maintenance, it’s better to be ahead of potential problems. Every service appointment at the Southside Dodge Service Department will come with a quick inspection that will include the battery. If one of our technicians sees a problem with the battery, they will make an expert recommendation to the vehicle’s owner that something needs to be done. People with suspicions about the health of their battery can stop by anytime and we’ll take a look at it.


If you’re due for a new battery or just want to make sure you’re ready for winter, make an appointment at our service department, today.


Categories: Car Maintenance Tips