How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Auto Mechanic Replacing Car Battery


The service experts at Toyota of Louisville advise replacing your car battery every 4-5 years. Not sure how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced? Unaware of the warning signs of a failing battery? Several factors can greatly affect your vehicle’s battery life. Find out how much a car battery replacement is, as well as how to test and replace one below! If you have any questions afterwards, don’t hesitate to contact us!

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Common warning signs of a failing car battery include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Unusual Power Fluctuations
  • Takes Longer to Start the Engine When You Push the Button or Turn the Key
  • More and More Necessity for Jump Starts
  • Dimming Headlights

Common Causes of Battery Deterioration

  • Time: A car battery can only go through so many charge cycles, so the death of your car battery is unavoidable, but proper care can prevent the battery from dying on you early. 
  • Needing a Jump: If you’ve done something like leave your lights on overnight and require ajump start, this can shorten battery life significantly.
  • Vibrations: If your battery’s hold-down clamps are loose, or you drive over rough roads frequently, vibrations will cause internal battery parts to break down faster.
  • Heat: Hot weather causes the evaporation of liquids inside a car battery, so if you live in a more consistently hot climate your battery life will be inevitably shorter.

To get a better understanding of how long your battery is estimated to last and how often to replace your Toyota car battery, you should consult your maintenance schedule or owner’s manual. 

How to Test a Car Battery

You should have your car battery tested during routine maintenance at our Louisville-area service center twice a year. However, if you want to test it between that time, many retailers offer free tests, or you can conduct a DIY battery test from your New Albany home with two simple methods.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Under the hood, touch the negative terminal (black) with the negative meter probe (also black).
  3. Touch the positive terminal (red) with the positive meter probe (also red)
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, 12.5 volts or higher means your battery is fully charged. 12.3 volts means it’s at about 75% charged.11.8 volts or lower means you have 25% or less charge. 

The Headlight Test: 

  1. Turn on the engine, keep the car in park, and make sure the headlights are on.
  2. Rev the engine and see if the headlight brightness changes.
  3. If the headlights get brighter, that means the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling. 
  4. Take your car to a service center at this point for further assessment.

Maintain Your Toyota at Toyota of Louisville in Louisville

Ready to replace your battery so that you can guarantee you and your family’s safety on drives around Elizabethtown? Visit our Parts Center to locate a replacement battery for your specific model! We offer a wide variety of parts specials to ensure that you’re getting the best possible components for the best possible price.

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