How Much Is a Car Battery? — 2023 Update
If you own your own car, it’s only a matter of time until you need to replace the battery. But you don’t want to get the wrong one or spend too much.
That’s why we created this comprehensive guide that’ll walk you through everything that you need to know and give you realistic expectations on how much you’ll need to spend to replace your car’s battery. We also give you an idea of how long you can expect the battery to last and tips to keep it going!
How Much Is a Car Battery?
When you’re trying to determine how much a new car battery will cost, it all comes down to which type of battery you go with. For most lead-acid car batteries, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the brand and size.
If you go with an AGM-style battery, you can expect them to cost anywhere from $200 to $300! Of course, these batteries last longer than standard batteries, so that helps offset the higher price tag.
How Do You Know When You Need a New Car Battery?
While your car not starting is a tell-tale sign that your vehicle’s battery is on the fritz, it doesn’t mean you should run straight to the auto parts store every time your vehicle dies. There are a ton of different things that can lead to a dead battery.
So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your vehicle’s battery? You can test it! You can either invest in your own battery tester, or you can take it to a store like AutoZone where you can get it tested for free.
However, there are a few stipulations that you need to account for when testing a battery, whether you’re doing it yourself or taking it to a store. The most important one is that you need to fully charge the battery before testing it.
While some battery chargers claim to give an accurate reading on a dead battery, this simply isn’t the case. Until the tester can test the battery under normal conditions, there’s not a tester on the planet that can guarantee how the battery will respond once it’s charged.
Testing dead batteries has led to plenty of false positives and negatives, so always take the time to charge it before testing. Then, take the time to test the alternator and for a parasitic draw to ensure that there’s not something else depleting your battery. Even if the battery isn’t the problem now, if you have either of those issues, it’s going to take its toll on the battery, and you’ll end up shortening its overall lifespan.
How Many Years Do Car Batteries Last?
A standard car battery will last anywhere from 3 to 5 years on average, but many different factors go into this lifespan. The most notable is the climate that you’re in.
Batteries don’t last well in cold climates, so if you live in a cold region, you’ll find that your batteries don’t last that long. If you live in a warm climate, it’s not unheard of for batteries to last longer than 4 years.
Another consideration that you need to factor in when determining how long your vehicle’s battery will last is the type of battery that it is. AGM batteries last about 6 to 12 years, depending on the climate and your overall usage.
How Long Will a Recharged Car Battery Last?
As long as there’s not an underlying condition that’s killing the battery, a recharged battery should last just as long as a battery that you didn’t need to charge in the first place.
Keep in mind that this only holds true if you fix the underlying condition and don’t need to repeatedly jump-start the battery. A battery that keeps dying has excessive sulfation, and the charge that breaks up this sulfation can damage the battery if you do it repeatedly.
How Often Do You Need to Drive Your Car to Keep the Battery Charged?
Just because you jump-start a battery doesn’t mean it’s ready to go. If you jump-start a vehicle, you need to drive it for at least 30 minutes to give the alternator time to recharge the battery. That said, this timeframe depends on how you’re driving.
High speeds work your alternator more, and this recharges your battery faster. So, you might be fine after 30 minutes on the highway, but if you’re on backroads, 45 minutes to 1 hour is better.
Finally, if you’re simply starting up your vehicle to keep the battery from dying in the first place, we recommend starting and driving your vehicle for at least 15 minutes every 2 weeks. This gives the batteries plenty of time to charge and will help extend their overall lifespan.
When you own a car, maintaining it is a fact of life. While you want your car battery to last forever, it won’t. Hopefully, this guide has given you enough information to help you understand how long your battery will last and how much you can expect to spend when you need to replace it!
Featured Image Credit: BruceEmmerling, Pixabay