Car battery on a Toyota Highlander.

When should I replace my car battery? Are all brands the same?

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

You know the story – you wake up one morning, get ready for work, start your car and nothing happens. A car battery going out is a common occurrence, and one that is often easy to fix.

But if you want to prevent yourself from having one of those morning where your car just won’t start, getting your battery checked out regularly identify problems with your battery early.

Batteries should be tested as part of a normal oil change service. Following the testing, you should be given a printout that offers you information on the health of your battery, so you know if the battery will need a replacement in the near future.

How long a car battery lasts

So how can you tell how well your car battery is doing? Battery power is rated with what’s called Cold Cranking Amps. Cold Cranking Amps refers to how long a battery can supply a certain number of amps at zero degrees, for 30 seconds, while maintaining at least 7.2 volts. The bigger the vehicle, the more amps are needed due to the engine size and power needed to start it.

“Depending of the climate your vehicle is subjected to an average battery should last around 4 years or 48 months. If you live in hotter or colder climates that may shorten the lifespan of your vehicles battery,” said HomeTowne General Manager Rich Campbell.

If your car is due for a new battery, you’re likely wondering what your best options are. It’s important to note that while a few companies make a majority of car batteries in the market, not all batteries and battery brands are the same. There will be slight variations in the thickness of the lead please, the Cold Cranking Amps capacity, and warranties.

“As a rule you can expect to get what you pay for when it comes to battery replacement,” said Campbell.

Home Towne is an authorized dealer of Interstate Batteries.