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How Often to Replace a Car Battery

Auto Mechanic Replacing Car Battery

Car battery replacement service is a key part of maintaining your Toyota vehicle, and replacing your car battery every 4 to 5 years can help you to avoid battery issues on the road in Belton. In the guide below from the Don Ringler Toyota service center, learn how to test the charge in a car battery and how often to replace a car battery for your vehicle.

How to Know if Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Many factors may impact how often to replace a car battery, from extreme temperatures to certain driving habits. Battery life can also be shortened by multiple jump-starts, or excessive vibration due to loose battery hold-down clamps. If you want to avid dealing with a dead battery on the road in Killeen, keep an eye out for these signs that it’s about time for a car battery replacement:

  • Dim headlights
  • Slow engine starts
  • Frequent need for jump-starts
  • Unusual power fluctuations in your car’s electrical system

How to Test a Car Battery

Battery testing is typically included when you schedule regular maintenance service. Still, knowing how to test a car battery at home in Waco is an easy way to keep tabs on your battery power. If you notice any of the signs listed above, try these battery testing methods:

The Headlight Test

  1. Start the engine and put the car in park. 
  2. Turn on the headlights.
  3. Start the engine and watch the headlights: do they get brighter when you rev the engine? If yes, the battery current is too weak to keep them at normal brightness while the car is idling.
  4. Contact your local Waco-area service center and schedule car battery replacement service soon.

The Digital Multimeter Test

  1. Set your voltmeter to 20 DC volts.
  2. Open the car hood. Pick up the negative meter probe (black), and touch it to the negative battery terminal (also black).
  3. Now touch the positive terminal (red) to the positive meter probe (also red).
  4. Have a friend turn on the headlights.
  5. Check the voltmeter: at 80℉, a reading of 12.5 volts or more means that your battery is fully charged. A reading of 12.3 volts indicates a charge of about 75%. If the reading is 11.8 volts or less, the battery charge is at 25% or less .
  6. Schedule battery replacement service if the charge level is 25% or less.

How Much is a Replacement Car Battery?

You have the option to replace your battery before the charge level gets down to 25%, but the cost of service and a new battery may have some bearing on how often to replace a car battery — especially if you’re on a budget. Generally, a car battery replacement costs between $50 and $120. High-end batteries may cost between $90 to $200, and you can expect to pay between $1000 to $6000 for a hybrid battery. Note that the hybrid battery cost is partly offset by lower hybrid fuel costs.

Schedule Expert Battery Service in Temple 

Whether you’re looking for Toyota fluid replacement service or car-care tips from the experts, the team at Don Ringler Toyota is here to answer your questions! Contact us to speak with an experienced technician, or stop by our service center in Temple today.

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