How long does your car battery usually last?

hypochondriac

Well-known member
Location
Australia
I ask this because yesterday my wife had a flat battery in her car. To save time and worry she got a new one. The battery only lasted 3 years. She didnt do anything recently to cause it such as leave her lights on. Or use the radio without turning on the ignition. We were advised that she should do some longer trips now and then to lengthen the life of the battery. she usually does just 5 to 10 minute trips. we live close to shops and beach.
so how long should the average car battery last?
 

Bonnie

In my defense, I'm left unsupervised
Location
Texas Coast
Yikes! I hope more than 3 years, because that's how old mine is. And I only take short trips too. The one before it lasted many years, maybe 8 ?? ..can't remember.
 

Gary O'

Well-known member
Location
Oregon
Yeah, 5 minute trips ain't all that good.
Newer vehicles constantly drain bats when not running

The newest vehicle I have is a '99 Wrangler
No bells
No whistles
Can't remember when it needed a new bat
 

Camper6

Well-known member
The charging system determines the status of the battery.
The alternator charges the battery and should be outputting about 13 to 14 volts when the car is running.
It's easy to check with a voltmeter. Just put the leads on the positive and negative poles of the battery . This is often neglected when buying a new battery. In a warm climate the battery should last better than the warranty years. Where I live in a cold climate there is more stress on starting a cold engine so I have a charger that plugs into an outlet and it brings it up to full charge and automatically shuts off. A battery is rated by cold cranking amps.bThe higher the better. Short trips should be sufficient. Once the battery is charged the alternator system regulator cuts out. Overcharging can kill a battery .
 

Camper6

Well-known member
Yeah, 5 minute trips ain't all that good.
Newer vehicles constantly drain bats when not running

The newest vehicle I have is a '99 Wrangler
No bells
No whistles
Can't remember when it needed a new bat
The only thing I can think of that would use battery while not running is a clock and that would be minimal.
 

Uptosnuff

Active member
Location
Omaha
I just replaced my car battery. It was nine years old and was the original. I don't know if this makes any difference but I drive about 40 highway miles every day. I have a Ford explorer with about 135000 miles.
 

martyguy

New member
I replace my battery every five years. It;s cheap insurance against a dead battery. I buy the battery at an auto parts store. They come out and install it for just the cost of the battery, about 100 dollars.
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
When I kept cars longer than 4 years, I'd replace the battery at that time. Better than being stuck.
 

Camper6

Well-known member
Some newer vehicles have accessories that draw all the time.
Not much, but some
Car alarm being one
It's called parasitic drain and it can be checked to see what is draining the battery. Sometimes it's something weird like a trunk light that doesn't shut off. I'm not familiar with the newer vehicles but I do know they need a high quality battery.

Do you get a rebate if you bring the old battery back when buying a new one?
 

JimW

Well-known member
Location
Mass
I ask this because yesterday my wife had a flat battery in her car. To save time and worry she got a new one. The battery only lasted 3 years. She didnt do anything recently to cause it such as leave her lights on. Or use the radio without turning on the ignition. We were advised that she should do some longer trips now and then to lengthen the life of the battery. she usually does just 5 to 10 minute trips. we live close to shops and beach.
so how long should the average car battery last?
It really depends on how many years the battery is rated for. Most all new cars and lease vehicles will come with a 3 year battery in them. The 3 year battery is about the cheapest one sold, and it fits perfectly into the usuall 3 year term of a new vehicle lease. I believe 3 years is the lowest rating on a battery and they go up in years and price from there. The battery and car manufacturers have the battery life down to a science, most every battery I've had to replace was within months of how many years the battery was rated for. Anyone who gets more than a year over the rated time on a car battery should consider themselves lucky, it rarely happens these days. The biggest killer of a battery is temperature extremes, so if you live in very hot or cold climate this will cause a battery to drain quicker.
 

Don M.

Well-known member
Location
central Missouri
I've pretty much lost all desire to get a new car/truck....both our vehicles are in good shape....1997 and 2006...knock wood. I'm on the 2nd battery in the 2006 and the 3rd in the 1997. The original batteries only lasted about 3 years, and I went with Autozone Duralast batteries when I replaced them. I've got 10 years on the 2006 Chevy battery, and about the same results on the 1997 Dakota. We don't drive a lot, anymore, and if the car/truck sits for more than a few days, I hook up a charger for a few hours, to keep them at full charge. That, plus keeping them in the garage, out of weather extremes, helps the batteries last a long time.
 

Gary O'

Well-known member
Location
Oregon
Do you get a rebate if you bring the old battery back when buying a new one?
Seems that's been available, but never took advantage
Maybe it was too long 'tween changes, or couldn't locate the receipt
Prolly because I didn't go to the same place due to a sale at a different place
Seems I get charged for core disposal
Can't remember...too long ago
 

JimW

Well-known member
Location
Mass
Seems that's been available, but never took advantage
Maybe it was too long 'tween changes, or couldn't locate the receipt
Prolly because I didn't go to the same place due to a sale at a different place
Seems I get charged for core disposal
Can't remember...too long ago
This article explains what a "core charge" is.

by Matthew Wright

Updated May 23, 2019

If you've ever purchased an auto part, like a new starter, you've probably heard of a core charge, sometimes called a core return or core deposit. But what does that mean? We're talking about car parts here, not produce, right?

At Its Core
Certain types of automobile parts are considered recyclable, or rebuildable, for future sale. Which means they have a "core" price representing part of that value, which is used as a deposit to ensure you return your old part instead of junking it. When you do so, you get your deposit back and can apply the amount to another part.

For instance, you go to your neighborhood auto store to buy a new starter, which costs $400. Since a starter is a part that can be rebuilt, it has a core price, in this case, $20. You go home, remove your car's spent starter, replace it with the new one, and take the old starter back to the auto supply store. As long as your old starter is rebuildable, the auto supply store will take it off your hands and refund you your $20 core deposit.

Ideally, you should remove the old part before you go to the auto parts store to buy the new or rebuilt part. Then you just trade it in right over the counter, and the clerk waives the core fee. After all, it's easy to forget to go to the store and get your money back, and that $15 here or $20 there can add up to a lot of cash over the life of your car.

What Parts Are Core Parts
If you buy brake pads or spark plugs at the auto parts store, you won't hear any mention of a core. That's because these parts aren't rebuildable. But lots of components you replace on your car or truck have either already been rebuilt, or will be in the future.

Let's revisit the starter, which is a common core part. Starters are an electrical component, which means movement within the component, which means it will eventually wear out. No way around that. Those electrical contacts inside a starter, while pretty tough, are actually sensitive to heat. Engines are hot, and starters are hot, too, since they use a lot of electricity to get your car moving. The heat eventually wears out the electrical connections, and your car stops turning over. But the rest of the starter—the housing and the gears—will almost always be fine since they likely haven't seen enough abuse to destroy them. So this exchange of an old starter for a new ensures a steady and reliable supply of rebuildable parts to satisfy demand—and it keeps these components out of the junkyards and landfills.

Some common core parts include:


How to Return a Core Part
Some auto supply stores only accept the return of parts for core credit if you purchased the original part from them. Others will accept parts that were purchased elsewhere, especially if you're replacing a part from a classic car. If you are replacing a manufacturer's part, the best thing to do is buy the new part from your dealership's store.

Before you return the part, make sure you have drained all fluids, if applicable. Place the part in a sturdy plastic bag to prevent possible leakage and to keep dirt and other debris from getting inside.
https://www.liveabout.com/core-charge-for-auto-parts-281542
 

911

Well-known member
Location
USA
I just replaced the battery in my sister’s 2011 Mercedes. Car only has 14,000 miles on it, but the temp in her garage was over 110 degrees for 2 weeks. I think the heat may have killed one of the cells. It wouldn’t take a charge and barely took a jump. Before it died, the battery showed no signs of going bad.
 

Camper6

Well-known member
I've pretty much lost all desire to get a new car/truck....both our vehicles are in good shape....1997 and 2006...knock wood. I'm on the 2nd battery in the 2006 and the 3rd in the 1997. The original batteries only lasted about 3 years, and I went with Autozone Duralast batteries when I replaced them. I've got 10 years on the 2006 Chevy battery, and about the same results on the 1997 Dakota. We don't drive a lot, anymore, and if the car/truck sits for more than a few days, I hook up a charger for a few hours, to keep them at full charge. That, plus keeping them in the garage, out of weather extremes, helps the batteries last a long time.
When I travelled in the good old days (of the 6 volt batteries) in weather extremes down to -30 F in Minnesota. In order to make sure the car started the next day, I would remove the battery and bring it into the motel to keep it warm. It never failed.

Many cars in the parking garage would not start in those extreme temperatures.

Batteries in a temperate zone should last years beyond the warranty. Even a battery that is on it's last legs can have enough juice to start a car.
 

Camper6

Well-known member
I just replaced the battery in my sister’s 2011 Mercedes. Car only has 14,000 miles on it, but the temp in her garage was over 110 degrees for 2 weeks. I think the heat may have killed one of the cells. It wouldn’t take a charge and barely took a jump. Before it died, the battery showed no signs of going bad.
I highly recommend you get the alternator output checked. That should not happen at 14000 miles. It may be overcharging which is really bad for a battery.
 

Camper6

Well-known member
I've pretty much lost all desire to get a new car/truck....both our vehicles are in good shape....1997 and 2006...knock wood. I'm on the 2nd battery in the 2006 and the 3rd in the 1997. The original batteries only lasted about 3 years, and I went with Autozone Duralast batteries when I replaced them. I've got 10 years on the 2006 Chevy battery, and about the same results on the 1997 Dakota. We don't drive a lot, anymore, and if the car/truck sits for more than a few days, I hook up a charger for a few hours, to keep them at full charge. That, plus keeping them in the garage, out of weather extremes, helps the batteries last a long time.
Yep that charger is a godsend for keeping batteries up to snuff.
 

JimW

Well-known member
Location
Mass
I highly recommend you get the alternator output checked. That should not happen at 14000 miles. It may be overcharging which is really bad for a battery.
Mileage really has nothing to do with battery life unless it relates to time. Time and extreme conditions are what does a battery in.
 


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