An average car is capable of running 100,000 miles or more. However, before the odometer displays that figure, you might have to change your car batteries several times. This is due to the average life of a car battery being much less than the life of the car itself. You should expect it to function for 3-5 years. Every day after that should be considered as a bonus. This depends greatly upon the way the car is used and several other factors.
How Long A Car Battery Lasts On An Average
Some people may have to replace their car batteries after 6 years, while some have to do so within just 10 months. This illustrates that external factors play a vital role in the durability of a battery.
Servicing: If you get your car serviced every 6 months, you are likely to increase its battery life by a couple of years. Good maintenance avoids unwanted pressure on the battery, to create charge exceeding its capacity.
Weather: Car batteries are designed in such a way that they run at their efficient best when in temperate regions. Extreme weather conditions, especially cold weather, adversely affect the life of a battery. The energy produced by the battery is a result of a chemical reaction. Low temperature increases the amount of power required to initiate this chemical reaction. As a result, the energy required to start a battery exceeds the charge left in it. Consistently running the car in such climates is bound to shorten the life of your car.
Carelessness: A battery has the capacity to retain charge for few hours, without being charged. If you forget to switch off the lights or any other system that runs on battery, it slowly runs out of charge. As a result, the zero-charged battery does not respond when you turn on the ignition.
Jump Starts: You must have experienced incidents of a dead battery, when it simply refuses to start. Most people resort to jumper cables, or connect the battery to the terminals of a running vehicle to get it charged. The small amount of charge received by this method is enough to get it started, and once you run the car, the alternator keeps it in a charged condition. Although this is a simple, quick method to get your car started, you unknowingly inflict a lot of abuse on the battery. This can lead to a lot of wear and tear of its components, in turn reducing its life.
Usage: Average battery life also depends upon the time for which you run your car everyday. If your average running is less than 20 minutes, you do not give time for the alternator to fully charge the battery. Hence, it is always below the optimum charge limit. If you start your car several times a day, you consume too much charge just to get it started. Thus, frequent, short trips can drastically cut the life span of your car battery.
When To Charge The Battery
You need not bother too much about this, as the alternator takes care of it whenever you run your car. However, if you are required to keep your car unused for a long time, make sure you turn the ignition at least once every 48 hours to keep the battery charged. Regarding when to change the batteries, you need to consult your mechanic who may monitor its functioning, and advise you accordingly.
When To Change The Battery
If it has surpassed its warranty period, and does not function properly, you may sure consider replacing it. In case your car met with an incident, and damaged the casing of the battery, you should change it without delay, as the damaged casing may lead to leakage of chemicals. Also, it would make sense to get it changed if you are relocating from a hot, humid place to an extremely cold one.
You must have realized that average durability of a car battery depends a lot upon the owner's usage. So, if you want it to run for a really long time, do not forget to undertake routine maintenance activities.