How Long Should a Car Battery Last? A Basic Guide

Monday, October 5, 2020

Have you ever gotten into your car, turned the key, and been greeted by the disgruntled murmurs of a dead battery?

Car batteries seem to have an infinite battery life, especially if you don't abuse it by leaving lights on or the car on idle.

But unfortunately, they don't. So how long should a car battery last? Well, that depends on a few factors.

Keep reading to learn more about a car battery lifespan.

Average Car Battery Life

There is no blanket answer for every car battery as there are a couple of important factors.

It's safe to say that car batteries have a finite lifespan. The deterioration of your car battery is unavoidable, but the speed of that deterioration depends on the vehicle's usage pattern.

Newer batteries are designed to perform to its highest capacity right up until it completely fails. Unfortunately, this means that there aren't many warning signals that your battery's life is running out.

Typically a car battery lasts between three to five years, however, it's almost impossible to put an exact date on its lifespan.

What Factors Affect Car Battery Lifespan?

Let's assume that the ideal and maximum lifespan of a car battery is five years. What factors will cause it to deteriorate and die sooner than that?


Extreme temperatures can affect your battery life. This means that if you live in a place with very cold winters or scorching summers, your battery will likely be affected.

In freezing temperatures, a car engine requires a lot more energy to get going. Your battery becomes weaker in these conditions and has to work harder. As you can imagine, this is quite damaging to the battery.

On the other hand, extreme heat causes problems too. The very hot temperatures under the hood evaporate the water in the electrolyte solution. This causes the plates to corrode.

In cooler climates with temperate weather, a car battery is more likely to last the full five years. In hot southern locations, the average is around three years.

Charging Cycles

If a battery regularly goes through full charging cycles, it's likely to last longer. Starting a car requires a lot of energy. If you regularly start your car only to drive a very short distance, the alternator probably won't have enough time to recharge the battery before you turn the car off.

If your commute is very short, try to take your car on a longer trip every now and again (20 to 30 mins) to fully charge the battery.

Electrical System

In order for your car battery to function smoothly, your car's entire electrical system needs to function smoothly. An issue with the alternator, for example, can affect your battery's lifespan.

Not All Batteries Are the Same

Are you still wondering how long will a car battery last? Remember, all batteries are different. You need to consider the physical size, age, etc.

Most importantly, the battery should be fully suitable for the car. Make sure when you get a replacement battery, that its the same as the original factory-installed battery.

How Long Should a Car Battery Last

How long should a car battery last? Well, there's no easy answer to that question. Typically between three to five years, but that's not a guarantee for all situations.

There are some things you can do to try and extend a battery's lifespan by taking into account things like temperature and charging cycles.

If you think your car needs a new battery, contact B&M Auto Repairs and Towing for diagnostics, services, and maintenance.

B&M Auto Repair and Towing is proud to offer mechanic services to the Collegeville, Phoenixville, and Oak PA areas. We fix brakes, provide towing services, and everything in between, so give us a call at (484) 358-6784 and let B&M Auto be your auto service and repair partner.

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