The average 12-volt car battery will last between 5 and 7 years, depending on the care of your car and other factors. If you leave your car unused for long periods of time or drive a lot in cold weather, your battery will run out sooner. You may just need a boost to start it, and then the alternator will keep it recharging while you drive. However, all batteries eventually lose their charging capacity and will need to be replaced.
If your vehicle won't start or seems to be slow to start up, the problem is likely the battery. You may also notice an unpleasant smell coming from the battery, which is usually caused by sulfuric acid being emitted when the battery starts to run out. Acid can damage your car and even create a fire hazard, so don't wait for this symptom to manifest before buying a new battery.
Signs You Need a New BatteryIf you're unsure if your car needs a new battery or other electrical repairs, there are several signs you can look out for:
- The vehicle won't start
- The vehicle is slow to start up
- An unpleasant smell coming from the battery
A qualified mechanic can diagnose the issue and determine if you need a new battery or other electrical repairs. They can also provide advice on how to maintain your car's battery and prevent future problems.