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Checking, Charging or Replacing your Car Battery

How long will a vehicle battery last?

The standard guideline given on a vehicle battery is about 4 to 5 years. However, this can vary greatly depending on how the vehicle is used.

Every time a lead acid battery is allowed to go flat the life is affected. Too many times and you may need to replace far earlier. Even keeping lead acid batteries constantly on a low charge will be detrimental.

All battery manufacturers are not the same either. A decent brand may even last you up to 10 years or more (my own experience). An unknown one may last no more than a year. There are small own brand outfits selling budget batteries with specifications on cranking amps which simply don’t live up to the claims. My advice is always to get a brand that is well recognised.

If you regularly drive your vehicle and on long trips your battery may last for a very long time. If you make infrequent short trips then it will be the opposite. While the car sits idle the battery is still being used.

But there are things you can do to keep your battery healthy even if you do not use the vehicle regularly. If you have your own driveway/garage, connect a trickle charger every week or so to keep it topped up. Alternatively disconnect the negative terminal of the battery if you are not going to use the vehicle for a good while. This will make a big difference. You can even install specialist disconnection switches if you don’t want to keep loosening the battery terminal.