There are several signs to look out for if you suspect it may be time to get a new battery for your car. Great news—this is a cheap fix relative to other car maintenance issues.
Learn everything you need to know about replacing your battery.
How Much Will it Cost to Replace My Car Battery?
The cost of replacing your car battery generally costs anywhere from $50 to $250.
The price is dependent on a few factors:
- The make and model of your car. If you search the sides of your car’s current battery or check your owner’s manual, you will most likely be able to find what type it is.
- The type of battery you purchase. Standard versus premium. It’s generally recommended to shoot for something in the middle of the most affordable and most expensive.
- The power and size of the battery. The size of the battery your car needs depends on the electricity needed for the size of your engine and vehicle—larger cars generally require larger batteries.
- The brand of the battery. The way batteries are manufactured vary greatly between brands. While there are many trusty affordable batteries, others may be worth paying more up-front for a longer lasting solution.
- The cost of labor. If you visit a professional to replace your car battery, you can expect to pay $20 to $75 for labor, unless the location offers this service for free.
- The conditions you operate your car in. If you live in cold weather, you will want to consider a battery that is built for this or has an extended warranty.
What are Signs I Should Get a New Battery?
Before you invest in a new battery, you want to be sure this is necessary. Here are signs that it’s time:
- Your engine is cranking and won’t start, or it starts very slow.
- Your engine won’t crank at all. It is totally dead.
- You have to jump your car often.
- Your ‘check engine’ light is on.
- There are electrical issues with your car, like dim lights.
- You’re noticing bad smells.
- Your car has been sitting for a long time without use.
- Your battery is old (this may be accompanied with a dashboard light to indicate so).
Check out some of our articles that cover these and some related issues your car may be facing:
What is the Average Life of a Car Battery?
The average lifespan of a car battery is about 6 years.
Over time, your battery’s ability to recharge and hold power decreases.
Factors that may shorten your car batteries life to 3 to 4 years include:
- Heavy accessory loads.
- Frequently towing.
- Extreme outdoor temperatures (hot or cold).
Unfortunately, it only takes one time to make the mistake of killing your battery by leaving a door open or light on.
While the battery can be recharged, the longevity of its life will be compromised.
Where Can I Get My Car’s Battery Replaced?
There are several places you can visit to get your current car’s battery checked and replaced, including:
- The dealership.
- An auto parts store.
- A car service center.
Can I Replace My Car Battery Myself?
It’s certainly possible to DIY replacing your car battery if you’re feeling confident enough to do so.
Once you’ve checked your owner’s manual or current battery to identify and purchase the type you need, the general steps to replace a battery are as follows:
- Locate your car’s battery (this can be found in the owner’s manual).
- Identify the positive and negative posts. The positive post will have a red cover and be indicated by a + symbol, the negative cover has a – symbol. IMPORTANT: Do not touch the positive post.
- FIRST: Loosen the negative bolt and remove the cable using the terminal puller.
- SECOND: Repeat this sequence with the positive post.
- Remove any clamp system holding your current battery.
- Carefully remove your old car battery, keeping an eye out for any corrosion on the cables attached to it. PRO TIP: If corrosion is present, use a wire brush to remove it.
- Insert the new battery with the red cable lined up to the positive posts. (If your new battery came with anti-corrosion washers, install those now).
- Tighten the positive cable.
- Tighten the negative cable.
Your new car battery is now installed!
Again, if you lack experience or the tools necessary to complete the swap safely, be sure to hire a professional.