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Call us on 4228 7949
Call us on 4228 7949

How often do you need to change your car battery?

When people visit our friendly car mechanic in Wollongong, they often ask us how often they need their car battery replaced. The truth is, there’s no standard answer. The frequency of replacements you require will depend on how often you drive your car, and where. We’ve put together this helpful blog with all the information you’ll need on the lifespan and recommended maintenance of a car battery.

Longevity of a car battery

Car batteries usually last between 3 to 4 years in average conditions. It’s generally recommended you have your battery inspected twice a year, with a replacement considered after three years have passed. Our expert mechanics at 1st Choice Mechanical Repairs Wollongong can advise you on when it’s the right time to organise a replacement.

Factors impacting battery lifespan

There are various factors that can impact the lifespan of your car battery. These includes:

  • A poorly-functioning alternator: As car batteries work closely with the alternator, it can be easy to confuse a battery malfunction with an alternator breakdown. An alternator fault can impact your battery charge, potentially leading to a breakdown while on the road. Even if it’s the alternator that’s causing the problem, the power fault caused by a defective alternator can lead to battery damage.
  • Driving short distances: If you live in the city, you’ll likely only drive short distances. When you rarely drive long-distance, your battery won’t ever charge fully and will experience acid stratification, which results in accelerated corrosion.
  • Extra electronics: Turning off electronics you’re not using while you drive will help preserve your battery. If you do have electronic devices connected, make sure you turn them off before you turn off your car’s engine to prevent draining your battery.
  • Not driving often: When your car is stationary, it harnesses a small amount of power from the battery to allow all its electrical systems to continue functioning. If you don’t drive regularly, your battery will drain steadily until it goes flat. If you’re expecting not to drive your car for some time, connect it to a charger to maintain the power supply.
  • Driving on rough terrain: If you drive on bumpy or gravel roads, your battery clamps can become damaged and its lifespan may reduce.
  • High temperatures: Increased temperatures lead to water loss, heat distortion, and raised corrosion, which can reduce battery lifespan.

Signs of a deteriorating battery

Prevent a complete battery failure by paying attention to these signs and organising a professional service with us if you notice them in your car.

  • Age: After 3-4 years, your battery is more susceptible to breakdown.
  • Condition: Any corrosion or staining on your battery might indicate a leak, meaning your battery could soon fail.
  • Smell: Any smell of rotten egg (sulfur) or overheating could point to a battery breakdown.

Contact us

The friendly team at 1st Choice Mechanical Repairs can assist you with every aspect of your vehicle servicing and repairs. We’re passionate about helping you stay safe on the road, whether it’s with reliable servicing, a courtesy car, or pick-up service. Get in touch with us today on (02) 4228 7949.