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When to change your car battery?

When to change your car battery?

A car’s battery is an essential element, and not only for electric engines. It is this which provides the power necessary for the starter to start the engine and which powers the headlights, the central locking, the GPS, the on-board computer… But this key part which is recharged while driving thanks to the alternator sometimes falls broken-down. In this article we tell you how to take care of it and when to change your car battery before it is out of service.


How long does a car battery last?

A car battery has a limited lifespan, and depending on the type of engine, this is more or less long.


Average battery life depending on engine

What is the lifespan of a thermal, diesel and gasoline vehicle and when to change a car battery? On this type of engine, the battery has a lifespan of 4 to 5 years under normal conditions of use. The average lifespan of the battery of a plug-in hybrid vehicle equipped with a petrol or diesel engine is 5 to 7 years, while that of a 100% electric vehicle is 8 to 15 years. This durability varies depending on the manufacturers and the way in which the charging cycles (estimated between 1,000 and 1,500 cycles from 0 to 100%) are carried out (type of charging station, management of charging and discharging limits, etc.).

Hybrid engines have special battery charging. Unlike batteries for thermal vehicles which are recharged mainly using the alternator, recharging a vehicle equipped with an electric or hybrid engine is done by plugging into the mains and also thanks to the kinetic energy obtained during the phases of deceleration and braking.


The reasons for premature wear of car batteries

The lifespans indicated are approximate . They don’t say exactly when to change a car battery. In fact, the lifespan of a battery can be reduced if:

  • It remains inactive for a long time.
  • It is used intensely (frequency of starts, etc.).
  • The number of powered equipment and gadgets is important. In this case, 12 volts (average voltage of a battery for a thermal car) is not enough.
  • It undergoes significant temperature variations.
  • The alternator is faulty or the alternator belt is too stretched to properly drive the coil and recharge the battery.

What are the signs that indicate when to change your car battery?

A number of indicators can alert you when it’s time to change your car battery. The first and probably the most obvious is when the energy sent to the starter by the battery is too low to crank your vehicle’s engine. The sound produced is immediately recognizable and in general, after a few tries, the start of training no longer occurs. 

The battery light which remains lit on the dashboard , the equipment connected to your battery (interior lighting or exterior lighting device, windshield wipers, etc.) which operate more dimly are other warning signs that your battery is weak. . 

When your battery is worn out, it also happens that it gives off a particular smell due to the evaporation of the liquid and that the terminals are strongly oxidized due to the sulfate contained in the battery. A battery with out-of-service terminals is difficult to recharge because the electrical flow generated by the alternator cannot pass the layer of impurities. 

If you have the slightest doubt about the condition of your battery, go to your nearest Speedy auto center . A technician will make an accurate diagnosis and tell you when to change your car battery. 


Why should you change your vehicle’s battery?

When your battery shows signs of weakness, it is best to anticipate and go to your Speedy auto center. You thus avoid the problems that are sure to arise when your battery is flat: inability to start, insufficient voltage to power electrical equipment, less resistance to temperature variations, risk of damaging the starter, etc.


How to change your car battery?

When you need to change your car battery, there is a procedure to follow to avoid electrocuting yourself or causing a fire . First of all you must choose the battery model suitable for your vehicle by referring to the manufacturer’s recommendations for voltage in volts, amperage and amperage/hour. You also need to have the right tools to extract the battery without dropping the nuts in the engine.

Changing a battery must be done following the following procedure:

  • Start by disconnecting the [ – ] terminal, generally black, then the [ + ] terminal, red. If you do not do this in this order, you risk triggering a short circuit. Hold the two wires away from each other.
  • Unscrew the clips holding the battery.
  • Take out the battery, keeping it straight to avoid sulfuric acid leaks.
  • Install the new battery, making sure the negative and positive terminals are aligned with the terminals.
  • Replace the hardware to secure the battery.
  • Reconnect the terminals, this time starting with the [+] terminal then the [-] terminal. 

If you have the slightest difficulty changing the battery in your car, your Speedy auto center can see you without an appointment to replace it.


Our advice for properly maintaining your battery

Changing a car battery is not very complicated, but it is preferable to maintain it well to avoid the inconvenience of a defective battery and extend its lifespan. 

To preserve the proper functioning of your battery, it is advisable to disconnect it in the event of prolonged immobilization of your vehicle, to protect it well from temperature variations (park your vehicle in a garage or cover it with a tarpaulin) and to check regularly check the voltage using a multimeter, especially during seasonal changes. The voltage should be around 13 volts. If your device indicates a lower voltage, go to your Speedy auto center to have it recharged or replace your battery if the charge level is really too low.

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