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It almost always happens at the worst time. You’ve got somewhere to be at a certain time and your car won’t start. Perhaps it’s the middle of winter, dark outside and the last thing you want to do is wait hours for a tow truck because you didn’t know what the normal life of a car battery is so yours has died and won’t take a charge.

Knowing the average life of a car battery can help you determine when to replace it. With the right care, your battery could last for more than five years. Unfortunately, improper usage, lack of maintenance and extreme weather conditions could reduce the life of a car battery to just three years.

Don’t let a dead battery ruin your day. Here are a few key ways to determine if car battery replacement should be on your to-do list:

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Examine Your Battery

Lift the hood and take a look at the battery. Do you see any corrosion around the positive and negative posts? If so, this can be a sign of potential problems, particularly if your area is prone to rising temperatures or high humidity.

Look into the Eye

Observe the top center of the battery. There you will find something called the eye. If the eye is green, your battery is healthy. If it’s yellow, your battery is partially charged. If it’s red, your battery has no charge, but if some battery acid remains, the battery can be jumped. If the eye is bright and translucent, the battery will not take a charge and must be replaced.

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Ask a Mechanic

When you’re at the mechanic getting an oil change is a prime opportunity to have a professional look at your battery. Many will check it out free of charge, but you may have to ask them to do so. They should inspect the battery’s eye and posts and run a diagnostic test on your battery.

Check Your Brand

Make sure the battery matches your car’s specification. If possible, when you get a new car, check out the brand and model numbers on your battery to ensure you always get the right one when replacement is necessary. The correct battery type for your vehicle can be found in the owner’s manual or in an auto parts store’s index book. It is recommended to use your car’s original equipment parts and OEM replacement parts, such as a Carquest battery, because you will still be covered by your vehicle’s warranty.

Take Note of Other Problems

If you’re noticing electrical problems with your car, take it to a mechanic. These issues can lead to the untimely failure of your battery. A defective charging system can result in your battery being over or undercharged. This can reduce the normal life of a car battery and cause a premature failure.

 If you need to know more about when to replace your car battery, contact us. Our Sussex County auto repair shop can help you determine if it is time for a new battery.

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Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.