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One of the most common questions people ask, is how long do car batteries last? That’s much like asking how long is a piece of string – the answer depends. You should naturally try to replace your battery before you’re stopped somewhere, late at night, with nobody available to help you jump the car or to push-start it. But how do you know your battery needs to be replaced? 

The lifespan of a car battery is the length of time it can continue to work efficiently. Under perfect conditions, a car battery should last approximately six years, and they typically last between two to five years. In the northern United States, a car battery tends to last longer, thanks to the warm climate. 

There are some things that can affect your car battery life. Let’s look at them:

Your driving habits

The way in which we use our cars can impact on the lifespan of our car batteries. If you only do consistently short trips – for instance to work, the grocery store, and back home – it doesn’t give the battery sufficient time to recharge between trips, which can lead to reduced performance. Remember, the battery continues to drain passively, even when the engine is off while the car sits in the driveway or garage for extended periods. 

how long do car batteries last


A power source’s life is affected by extreme temperatures. Just like our bodies consist mainly of water and we become run down when we don’t drink enough water, so are batteries affected by dehydration. Your car battery needs liquid to keep it charged. On hot summer days, the water inside the battery acid can evaporate, resulting in a shortened lifespan. 

But that’s not all. When the battery water evaporates, it can increase the spread and likelihood of corrosion. This can cause the battery to drain and malfunction. 

Cold water is another issue. In winter, when the chilly wind howls around the corners, your car battery must work harder to ensure the car functions as it should. At this point, the engine oil becomes thicker, and that puts additional strain on the battery. 

This all means that your battery will last longer if you take the occasional road trip and consider replacing your battery more regularly if you live in an area that experiences extreme temperatures. 

The good news is that your car battery might give you some notice before it dies. So here are some of the warning signs to look out for:

  • Leaking battery fluid 
  • A misshaped, bloated battery case
  • Check engine light illuminated
  • Slow cranking engine

How to Extend the Life of Your Car Battery

Keeping your battery fully charged is the key to helping it last a long time. As such:

  • Ensure that your battery is securely fastened so that it doesn’t vibrate, as that might cause short circuits and internal damage. To ensure it’s secured, see whether it vibrates when the car idles, particularly if you frequently drive on bumpy roads.
  • Avoid short car rides, if possible. If you don’t use your car that often, it’s a good idea to invest in a portable car battery charger. 
  • Prevent corrosion by dipping an old toothbrush in a water and baking soda mixture, and scrubbing the terminals. Wipe the mixture off using a clean cloth.
  • Always check your battery during routine maintenance services. You may want to invest in a car battery tester to track when you might be due for a new battery. 
  • Remove any plugged-in gadgets or accessories before turning the car off and do not run the air conditioner or radio while the car is idling. 
  • Avoid leaving your lights or car radio on. 

Caring for your car battery

Caring for your car battery goes hand-in-hand with caring for your whole car. It’s a holistic process that involves many individual parts working in harmony. Taking your car for regular routine tune ups, storing your car properly and following the tips contained in this article will go a long way to helping your battery – and the rest of the car –  last longer. 

On the other hand, freak mishaps happen. Sometimes, your car or battery might be a lemon. So no matter how well you care for it, you can’t foresee being stuck with a dead car battery. When that happens, roadside assistance is a handy service to have on hand. You don’t need a tow truck. Check which credit cards or other membership clubs you belong to that offer roadside assistance as a benefit. If you don’t have any of that, it might be a good idea to invest in a roadside assistance service. You’ll be glad you did that!

Batteries Charged? | Ready or not, Contact NAT for Car Shipping

Caring for your car battery is part of maintaining your vehicle’s overall health. Regular tune-ups, proper storage, and following our helpful tips can extend your battery’s life. However, when it comes to transporting your vehicle, whether due to a move or a breakdown, you need a reliable partner. Nationwide Auto Transportation understands the value of your car and the importance of its battery.

Contact Nationwide Auto Transportation for stress-free car shipping services. Whether you’re facing an unexpected relocation or simply need to move your vehicle safely, we’ve got you covered. Trust Nationwide Auto Transportation to transport your car with the care it deserves.

Nationwide Auto Transportation

Learn More About Vehicle Transportation Regulations: For comprehensive information on the regulations and safety standards governing vehicle transportation, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA is the leading authority on road safety for motor carriers and provides valuable resources and guidelines to ensure the safe and efficient transportation of vehicles across the country. Staying informed about these regulations is crucial for both personal and commercial transportation needs.