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How Long Should My Car Battery Last

Car batteries last anywhere from 3-6 years based on the size, quality, location, and the type of battery. 

Flooded Lead Acid Car Battery

12 Volt Flooded Lead Acid Car Battery Diagram

Most car batteries are still using lead acid flooded batteries. The battery consists of lead plates, an acid solution in which the plates are flooded, positive/negative terminals, and a plastic housing which holds it all together.

Lead is known as a toxic agent and it will effect ones health but the battery companies still use lead. It’s a great material for maintaining a batteries’ charge, accepting a new charge, and the more lead a battery uses, usually the more energy it’s capable to hold.

Size Of The Battery, Bigger is Usually Better

The size of a car battery is rated to the amount of the Cold Cranking Amps that a car requires to start. A larger battery will typically last longer than a smaller battery but it certainly depends on how it is being used and it’s environment.

Quality of the Battery Can Range from Poor to Great

Quality of a battery can also range like size. There are typically only a few battery companies who make batteries but the companies who sell batteries will rebrand and build their own battery to a certain specification.  So you won’t be able to see the inside of the battery but it could have different levels of acid, different levels of lead, and different types of design. All of the battery traits will effect the quality and typically the price as well.

Is the Battery Inside or Outside?

Location can effect the battery life both related to the location of the car and the location of the battery. Lead acid batteries do well in a range from 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If the battery is in a cold environment it will end up working too hard because the electrons can’t move fast. If the battery is too hot, it has the potential to overheat and cause damage to the lead acid plates. 

Hot or Cold?

Battery Temperature vs. Capacity

Temperature change is managed by placing the battery in the car. Vehicle manufactures will install batteries under a floor mat, under a seat, or in the vehicle’s truck. This helps manage some of the exterior factors on the battery as well as the temperature issues.

New Battery Technology

Lead Acid vs. Lithium Ion Battery

Lastly, the type of battery will determine the life of the battery. With new batteries, technology, and battery management system on the market, batteries will start to give you longer and longer life. There are a new batteries on the market like Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium Ion but are relatively rare at this time. As prices come down, we will see more of these end up in the cars we drive. 

Written by Eric Sevim | A+ Japanese Auto Repair, Inc. | 780 Industrial Rd, San Carlos CA 94070

www.aplusjapaneseautorepair.com | 650-946-1856