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How’s your car battery doing?

Even if we don’t think about it all the time, the battery is the soul of your vehicle’s electrical components. Like all other components, it will become less effective in time and eventually need to be replaced, but when? Here are a few tips to determine when your vehicle’s battery will need to be replaced.

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An average car battery lasts 5 to 7 years. Usually, the battery lasts longer if the vehicle is used every day. If the vehicle is parked for long periods of time without starting, the battery will need to be replaced sooner. The battery lasts longer when maintained at a full charge, although the overcharging can also cause damage. Therefore, problems with your vehicle’s charging system can also lead to premature failure of the battery.

Is it possible to know that your battery is not operating at maximum capacity? Not always, but there are telltale signs. When the battery is starting to be less effective, it loses its capacity to hold a charge. If your battery has a small charge capacity, you can see when you will notice it as soon as you start your engine which will run more slowly than normally. You may also notice that the interior lights flicker instead of illuminating completely.

Is there a way to test the battery? Yes, your mechanic can test your battery with a battery tester. Car dealers and many independent repair shops have a computerized battery tester that can not only determine the condition of the battery, but also can test the charging system and starter.

If your battery is getting old, you might consider having it replaced rather than paying for the test. A battery should also be replaced in case of leaks or if it appears damaged. If it is, you will notice corrosion or leaking around the terminals.

Thank you to Glenmore Audi for their help with this article.

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