In the United States, approximately 100 million car batteries are replaced every year. While replacing a car battery is a routine part of car ownership, you shouldn’t take on the expense if you don’t have to.

But, how long does a car battery last, and how do you know if it needs replacing?

In this article, we answer these questions and more. Read on to understand car battery lifespan.

What Affects Car Battery Lifespan?

There are variations in lifespans even between the same types of car batteries. To understand the answer to, ‘how long does a car battery last,’ you need to understand what affects the lifespan of an automotive battery.

Battery Use

How you use your car’s battery is an important factor in determining how long it will last. For example, frequent, short trips prevent the battery from fully recharging.

Likewise, leaving it to sit for long periods increase the rate at which the battery discharges. Try using the battery regularly, but give it enough time to recharge to maximize its lifespan.

Battery Care

Even the best auto batteries need upkeep to stay in good shape. Prevent corrosion and damage by keeping the battery clean, dry, and secured in the engine compartment. You can learn about battery care at

Exposure to Harsh Temperatures

Exposure to extreme temperatures can mean replacing a car battery sooner than you’d like. Exposure to heat is especially problematic. Avoid harsh conditions by parking in temperature-controlled areas.

How Long Does a Car Battery Last on Average?

You’re likely wondering ‘how long does a car battery last if it’s taken care of?’ The answer depends on the different types of car batteries, but the average is approximately three to five years.

Signs of a Failing Battery

Understanding car battery lifespan is important for knowing when to replace it. However, replacing a car battery may be necessary sooner than you expect, especially if there are signs of a failing battery.

Slow or No-Start

If your vehicle is slow to start or doesn’t start, there could be a lack of battery power. Signs of a dead or dying battery include clicking or buzzing when you turn the key with no start-up.

Leaking or Corrosion

When the battery is over-charged or improperly connected, corrosion builds up on the terminals. This doesn’t necessarily mean the destruction of the battery if it’s cleaned regularly, but it can become a problem over time.

A worn-out battery sometimes leaks acid into the battery tray. Regularly checking the tray for acid allows you to act fast to fix the problem.

Bad Smell

A failing battery can produce a foul smell similar to rotten eggs. This smell comes from sulfuric acid and means it’s time to replace your automotive battery. Overcharging, instability, or battery failure results in this smell.

Maximize Car Battery Lifespan

Now you know that the answer to, ‘how long does a car battery last,’ is complicated. It depends on how you treat your car and how you use your battery. Watch out for the signs of battery failure so you can act quickly.

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