Berkeley Auto Repair

1030 Carleton St., Berkeley, CA 94710
2703 Tenth St, Berkeley, CA 94710
Mon-Thu: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM

When Should I Replace My Car Battery?

Your car battery should have a life of up to five years with due attention and care taken to it. However, it will be important to know what causes your car battery to deteriorate and the signs that will tell you when your car battery needs replaced. Here are some tips for helping you discern whether or not it's time to change your battery.

The causes of car battery deterioration

There are a few causes to bear in mind that can lead to a shortening of your battery's lifespan. Knowing them can help you prevent your car battery from deteriorating and needing to replace the battery sooner. They include:

  • Harsh weather conditions - Warm weather can lead to the battery fluid evaporating. Cold weather can cause drainage of the last bit of fluid left.
  • Lights being left on - This can cause the car battery to die and require jump-starting to get it moving again. Having to jump-start your car can cause the battery to wear out quicker.
  • Vibrations- This can lead to the battery clamps loosening which can, in turn, cause the parts to deteriorate faster.

Warning signs that your car battery is deteriorating

Although these issues may not be easily noticed at first, there are some problems to look out for that may be a sign that your battery's power is waning. Here are a few of them:

  • Frequent jump starts are needed.
  • Your headlights aren't as bright as they should be.
  • Changes in the vehicle's power can be noticed.
  • You have difficulty starting the engine or the starter motor cranks the engine slower than usual.
  • A battery warning light appears on the dashboard.

How to test your car battery works

It's a good idea to test your car battery at least twice a year. If you're doing this yourself at home, here's how to test it:

  1. Set your voltmeter to 20 DC Volts.
  2. Lift your bonnet, attaching the black (negative) wire to the black (negative) probe.
  3. Turn on the ignition and check the reading on the voltmeter.
  4. Measure the reading. 12.5 Volts or more is an indicator that the battery life is full. If it's lower, that means your battery's losing power.

If your battery does need replacing, you can bring it down to our auto repair shop and we'll fix it for you. Also, we can provide the checks to see if your car battery needs changing to save you from doing so yourself.

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