One of the most common questions that new car owners grapple with is how often to replace the battery, and another very closely related question that comes up at the same time is how to tell when your battery is about due for replacement. No one wants to go out to start a car and find it isn’t going anywhere because of an electrical issue, and it isn’t always possible to spot when a battery is about to fail, but there are a few ways to tell when it’s time for a change.
Check the Warranty
You can tell a lot about how long a battery is intended to last from the warranty. You probably don’t want to change it out as soon as it passes warranty, because most batteries are good for a lot longer than they are in warranty. You can bet that a battery with a one year warranty is generally less likely to live to be five years old than one that has a three year warranty. Another thing you can do is use the end of the warranty period as the time when you need to be more active about checking on battery health.
Check Out Voltage Performance
Your battery’s voltage should be between 12 and 14 volts while the vehicle is running, and as it ages, it’s likely to decline. If you’re getting anything under 13 on an older battery, it might be a good idea to replace it soon. That’s when it’s time to start shopping for car batteries Winter Garden FL.
Other Signs of Fading Performance
If you haven’t checked the battery’s performance recently and you’re worried it might be getting old enough to need replacing, you can also look for signs in your vehicle’s electric system performance. Batteries that are weak or slightly too under-powered for your vehicle and its accessories will not be able to sustain the same output when your alternator is less active that they have when it’s more active. If you see the lights dim when you come to a stop, notice a slight decline in radio volume at a standstill, or experience any other fall-off in electrical performance, it’s probably time to get a new battery.