Show your car battery some love

Give your car battery a little tender loving care a prolong its life.  In the north-east the Fall is an ideal time of year to make sure your battery’s posts and connections are corrosion-free. If your battery is more than three years old, have a certified repair shop test its ability to hold a charge. Sure, you might be able to call a friend to help you jump-start your vehicle in the middle of a blizzard — but wouldn’t you rather avoid such a situation altogether?

How long should a battery last?

Over time, all battery lose some of their ability to hold a charge. Eventually the charge will drop so low that the battery won’t be able to start your car. How long can it last? An average car battery lasts from 5 to 7 years. Usually the battery lasts longer if the vehicle is driven daily.

Is there a way to tell that the battery is failing?

Not always, but there are some signs that you may want to look out for. When the battery is failing, it loses its capacity, meaning it can hold less charge than when it was new. If this is happening to your battery you may notice the following:

  • When you are starting the car, the engine turns over slower than before.
  • It sounds like the starter motor is “lazy” and not as eager to turn over your engine.
  • You may also notice that the interior lights flicker and go dimmer than usual when you are turning over the engine.

Even if you don't experience any of these signs, if your battery is older than 3 years or the car has not been driven in an extended period of time you may want to get it checked.

How much will a new battery cost?

As you might suspect, the cost of a new battery will depend on the make and model of your car.  That said, a battery for a typical sedan should cost somewhere between $70 to $140 and the dealer may charge $30-$40 installation fee.

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