How to Know if Your Car Battery Needs to be Replaced

Auto Mechanic Replacing Car Battery


How often do car batteries need to be replaced? How do you test a car battery? If car battery care has you feeling overwhelmed, no need to worry. The team at Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City is here to help you manage this crucial component, so you can navigate Manistee and Cadillac with total peace of mind. Learn how often to replace your car battery and how to test a car battery with the service experts at Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City, and schedule your next service in Traverse City today.

Warning Signs of a Bad Battery

Many Grayling customers wonder how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, and there are some common warning signs that you might notice. These include:

  • The headlights are dimmer than normal.
  • You need to rev the engine or even jump-start your battery.
  • Your car takes a longer time to start up than it should.
  • You notice unusual power fluctuations.

Factors like heat, vibrations, jump starts, and age can cause your battery to deteriorate. So if you notice any of those warning signs, be sure to act – or you might end up with a dead battery on your hands!

How Often Do Car Batteries Need to be Replaced?

How often do car batteries need to be replaced on average? Most drivers get around three to five years of battery life, but it depends on your particular vehicle and driving style. And after customers wonder how often to replace a car battery, they want to know how much it costs. The answer is between $75 and $120 for a standard vehicle, up to $200 for a premium vehicle, and around $1,000 for a hybrid car!

How to Test a Car Battery

If you’re worried about how often to replace your car battery, learning how to test a car battery is a great idea. You can schedule a battery check during your maintenance visits or you can even perform simple tests at home. Here are two methods of how to test a car battery:

The Headlight Test: 

  1. Turn on the engine while keeping the car in park.
  2. Flip on your headlights
  3. Rev the engine and watch the headlight brightness.
  4. If the headlights get brighter, the current is not strong enough to keep the lights at normal brightness while the car is idling. 
  5. Schedule a service appointment and be sure to tell your technician of your results.

Using a Digital Multimeter:

  1. Set the voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Pop the hood.
  3. Touch the black negative terminal with the black negative meter probe.
  4. Touch the red positive terminal with the red positive meter probe.
  5. Ask a friend to turn on the headlights and check the voltmeter reading.
  6. 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. 

Schedule Your Next Service at Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City

If you’re still not sure how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced, be sure to get in touch with the team at Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City. We can help you determine how often to replace your car battery for your unique driving profile. Contact us to get started!

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