Batteries for cars, trucks, and SUVs typically last 3 to 5 years, but they gradually deteriorate and lose charging capacity until there’s not enough juice to start the engine. There are lots of reasons
Batteries for cars, trucks, and SUVs typically last 3 to 5 years, but they gradually deteriorate and lose charging capacity until there’s not enough juice to start the engine. There are lots of reasons why batteries degrade, vibration from rough roads or loose hardware, a malfunctioning charging system, how often a car is driven and even temperature and humidity can play havoc with them. Batteries in vehicles that are solely used for short trips may not have the chance to fully recharge, and as many office-commuting drivers learned in 2020, vehicles parked for extended periods will naturally discharge.
Vehicle owners should periodically check their battery’s condition. After three years, it’s best to test it annually at the least. An overall inspection of the battery and its connectors is recommended at every oil change. If a car battery test proves deterioration, or if your vehicle’s lights or electronic devices are showing signs of age such as appearing dim, it may be time for a replacement.
The surest sign of trouble is that your car is slow or hard to start. The battery is powering the starter, which must crank the engine against the compression in the pistons, which requires lots of power, particularly in vehicles with diesel engines. Worn batteries may recover temporarily with a jump start, but a battery that needs more than one jump start in under a month of regular driving is used up.
Don’t take any risks. The modest cost of replacing the battery is well worth avoiding the stress caused by a roadside or parking lot breakdown. Car and truck batteries are either conventional lead-acid or the more advanced AGM design commonly seen in vehicles that are equipped with engine stop-start systems. If you are unsure of the size, amp hour rating or cold cranking amps needed for your vehicle, check the existing battery’s label or consult your manufacturer owner’s manual. In this article you’ll find six of the best car batteries to keep you charging down the road.