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90 MacKenan Drive, Cary, NC, 27511

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Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Fri9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
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How Often to Replace a Car Battery

After about four years of driving your vehicle around Raleigh, you may start to wonder how often to replace a car battery. Typically, auto experts recommend replacing your car battery every 4-5 years, but the actual point at which you need to replace your battery could be sooner or later than that, depending on numerous factors. In the guide below, the Hendrick Kia of Cary service center provides helpful information regarding three common queries:

  • How to know if your car battery needs to be replaced
  • How to test a car battery
  • How much is a replacement car battery?

How to Know If Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

If you experience one or more of these issues while out and about in Durham – or before you’re even able to leave your driveway – you could be dealing with a car battery that’s on its way out:

  • Headlight brightness growing fainter
  • Your car requires engine revving or jumpstarts to get going
  • It takes a few seconds or more for the engine to turn over when you turn your key in the ignition
  • Odd power fluctuations in the electrical components

Why Do Car Batteries Go Bad?

  • Climate: Regular exposure to intense heat can evaporate the liquids inside a car battery, affecting the battery’s lifespan. Extremely cold temperatures can also drain a battery more quickly.
  • Shaky Conditions: If there are a lot of rough roads and potholes where you drive, the shaking and vibrations can wear your car battery’s internal components out more quickly. Sometimes, the battery’s hold-down clamps become loosened, which can cause the battery to jostle around even more.
  • Jump-Starting: The ability to jump-start your car can save the day when you realize you’ve left your lights or radio on for an extended period. Unfortunately, however, jump-starting your car can shorten the battery life.
  • Age: Just like your standard household appliance batteries, a car battery can only last so long and go through so many charge cycles before it dies out naturally. With mindful maintenance, you can ensure this doesn’t happen earlier than intended.

How to Test a Car Battery at Home

You can bring your vehicle into your preferred service center to have the battery tested anytime, but if you’d like to save yourself a visit, learning how to test a car battery at home is simple. There’s the headlight test which can be done by yourself, or the digital multimeter tool which requires a friend to help out.

The Headlight Test: 

  1. Turn on your car and your headlights.
  2. Rev the engine. When you do so, take note of whether the headlights grow brighter.
  3. If your headlights get brighter when you rev your engine, your battery isn’t maintaining a strong enough current to keep them at normal brightness when your car is idling.
  4. If your car doesn’t pass the headlight test, it’s best to bring it in for further inspection and service.

The Digital Multimeter Test:

  1. Make sure the voltmeter is set at 20 DC volts.
  2. Prop your car’s hood open. Touch the negative meter probe (black) to the negative battery terminal (black).
  3. Touch the positive meter probe (red) to the positive battery terminal (red).
  4. At this point, ask your helper to turn your headlights on. When they’ve done so, check the voltmeter reading.
  5. At 80℉, a voltmeter reading of 12.5 volts and up indicates that your battery has a full charge. At 12.3 volts, it’s about 75% charged. At 11.8 volts and below, it’s 25% charged or less.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

You probably won’t pay any more than $75 – $120 for a standard new car battery, or potentially up to $200 for a premium battery.

For a hybrid car battery, you’ll pay anywhere from $1,000 – $6,000. This is because hybrid batteries must provide a lot more power for the vehicle. Most hybrid car owners find that the cost of the battery is offset by their lower fuel consumption and less frequent maintenance visits.

Get a New Car Battery at Hendrick Kia of Cary

If you need a new car battery, the parts experts at Hendrick Kia of Cary can help! Contact us or visit us near Apex to get started today. We’ll ensure you get the right battery for your vehicle, and you can schedule an appointment to have it installed quickly by our pro service team. Be sure to also check out our ongoing service specials for a chance to save on your new battery!

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