changing car battery

How many years do car batteries last and how do I know if my car battery needs replacing?

For some people, their car is their life. Some people live for their motors, understand the ins and outs, and absolutely everything there is to know about what goes on under the hood. For most people however, their car simply serves as a means of getting from A to B. It is used to commute to and from work, to do your weekly grocery shopping, and to carry out all manner of other tasks that you would otherwise struggle to do without a set of wheels. As such, there is no shame in not knowing everything there is to know about your motor. They are complicated beasts with countless moving parts, so it can be difficult to know everything! Take the car battery for example. How long does a car battery last? And how does one know if a car battery needs replacing? This isn’t common knowledge, nor is it something that you are taught. It is typically something that you have to go out and learn by yourself either via research, or through necessity. In any case, in this article, we are going to take you through everything you need to know and bring you up to speed. 

checking car battery

How many years do car batteries last?

Ah, the age old question; how long do car batteries last. It’s an important question too, as nobody wants to be caught unawares in the middle of their commute to work and end up breaking down because the battery conked out on them. 

Most typical car batteries will last between 3 and 5 years. Which end of the spectrum your car batter will fail at depends on the following factors: time, heat, and vibration. 

You see, car batteries will gradually deteriorate over time until they are no longer strong enough to provide your engine with juice. The wear time takes an average of 3 to 5 years and the way in which you use and care for your vehicle will have an influence on that. 

Cars that are mostly uses for shorter trips might not be able to fully recharge and those that are left parked in one place for too long will naturally discharge by themselves. So, although it goes against what your logical mind tells you, using the car battery more often is actually BETTER for its longevity. Not so dissimilar to the human heart in many ways. 

Unfortunately, where you live can also have an effect on your battery’s lifespan. For example, car batteries in cooler climates tend to lean more toward the 5-year mark, whereas those in blistering heat tend to fail sooner. 

Car electrician checks the battery level

How do I know if my car battery needs replacing?

So, how do you know if your car battery is due to be replaced? Here are 7 tell-tale signs that it might be time to either have your battery repaired, or more likely replaced. Let’s take a look: 

1 – Your engine is slow to start 

As the components inside your batter begin to wear out, naturally, it will become less effective. When this occurs, your battery will take longer to start the engine (often a few extra seconds). If this is the case for you, then it’s a good sign that it is time to get a replacement. 

2 – Electrical faults and dim lights 

Another clear sign that your battery is on its way out is if the lights on your car begin to dim and the electronics start showing signs of faulty functionality. 

3 – Your check engine light has come on

The frustrating thing is that in most cars, the check engine light can indicate a multitude of different issues. In any case, you should get your vehicle looked at by a professional and they will be able to advise you on this issue (which could well be a battery at the end of its life). 

4 – You can smell rotten eggs 

As the battery begins to deteriorate, it will leak gas. This has a pungent smell of rotten eggs and is likely a sign that your battery needs replacing ASAP. Either that, or one of your passengers is passing gas without telling you. 

5 – Your batter case is misshapen 

Exposure to extreme heat and intense cold can cause your car battery to swell and crack over time. If your battery looks to be out of shape, then this is a clear indication that it is time to get it replaced. 

6 – The connectors look corroded 

If you have an ashy white substance on the metal connectors of your battery, then it is a corrosion issue. This can lead to all manner of voltage issues and should be rectified immediately, so keep an eye out. 

7 – Your car battery is old 

Whether you have just picked up a second hand car, of you’ve been driving yours for years and haven’t yet replaced your battery, then it is likely going to need replacing soon enough. Our advice would be to pre-empt this before you end up being caught out, breaking down in the middle of your commute. 


So, in conclusion, the average car battery will last between 3 and 5 years. You should also keep note of the 7 tell-tale signs provided that a car battery is failing. If you aren’t quite sure but you are worried that your car battery might be on its way out and need replacing, then contact your local car batter specialist, such as G7 Battery, and they can advise you accordingly on the next best action to take. Either way, we wish you the very best and stay safe out there!