Car battery replacement interval advice

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by FrugalInvestor »

iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:49 pm The little lithium ion jump starters vary in performance. Some of them actually can match a medium-sized lead acid jump starter like mine when new. Here's a decent comparison, where several models actually beat a slightly smaller lead acid starter (Summary: Audew, Sanrock, DBPower, and Top Vision brands all performed well even with completely dead batteries):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsuwfAmXU0M

Given what is known about how lithium ion batteries age when stored at high temperatures, I would hope useful lives in the same ballpark as standard lead acid batteries, and less than AGM batteries, but frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if they get weaker faster than lead acid batteries. I haven't seen any longevity tests in this application.
I've had a couple of the little jump starters and they lasted maybe 1-1/2 years apiece and needed to be re-charged fairly regularly...more regularly than I remembered to do it...so turned out to not be very useful. I also found that if the car battery is weak they may work but if it's nearly dead they don't have enough power. They also don't work well if not fully charged. This experience is what has convinced me to just replace my battery within the historical expected life.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
iamlucky13
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by iamlucky13 »

NYC_Guy wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:00 pm Yet another reason I love my Tesla. Cheers!
The lead acid battery in your Tesla is likely to fail in a similar lifespan. My understanding is Tesla made a software update to correct a bug that was causing a lot of owners to have particularly short lifespans for their 12V battery, but it's still a component that will wear out over time.

This owner reports a 12V battery in his Model S failed 2 years and 50,000 miles after the previous battery did.
https://electrek.co/2020/09/15/tesla-fi ... date-musk/
vfinx
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by vfinx »

iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:26 pm
NYC_Guy wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:00 pm Yet another reason I love my Tesla. Cheers!
The lead acid battery in your Tesla is likely to fail in a similar lifespan. My understanding is Tesla made a software update to correct a bug that was causing a lot of owners to have particularly short lifespans for their 12V battery, but it's still a component that will wear out over time.

This owner reports a 12V battery in his Model S failed 2 years and 50,000 miles after the previous battery did.
https://electrek.co/2020/09/15/tesla-fi ... date-musk/
Interestingly, the latest S and X have just switched to Li-ion for the 12v battery. But the vast majority of Teslas on the road are lead acid. IIRC Elon once waxed poetic about how amazingly good lead acid batteries are for their intended purpose.
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tetractys
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by tetractys »

SteadyOne wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:17 pm Having been stuck at random places at random times with the dead battery I decided to replace it regular intervals so to avoid those situations what would be your advice ? Every three years?
Periodically having the cranking amps checked is a freebie; so I would go with that rather than a set replacement interval. Car battery life can vary widely depending on how they are treated, their usage, and the electrical system. A good battery could easily last 9 years +, 3 times a 3 year interval. When the cranking amps drop significantly below your cars specification, that’s a good time to start shopping around for a replacement.
illumination
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by illumination »

FrugalInvestor wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:52 pm
iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:49 pm The little lithium ion jump starters vary in performance. Some of them actually can match a medium-sized lead acid jump starter like mine when new. Here's a decent comparison, where several models actually beat a slightly smaller lead acid starter (Summary: Audew, Sanrock, DBPower, and Top Vision brands all performed well even with completely dead batteries):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsuwfAmXU0M

Given what is known about how lithium ion batteries age when stored at high temperatures, I would hope useful lives in the same ballpark as standard lead acid batteries, and less than AGM batteries, but frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if they get weaker faster than lead acid batteries. I haven't seen any longevity tests in this application.
I've had a couple of the little jump starters and they lasted maybe 1-1/2 years apiece and needed to be re-charged fairly regularly...more regularly than I remembered to do it...so turned out to not be very useful. I also found that if the car battery is weak they may work but if it's nearly dead they don't have enough power. They also don't work well if not fully charged. This experience is what has convinced me to just replace my battery within the historical expected life.

I've also bad luck with those devices, I haven't bought another. The heat and discharge killed it.

Last time I had a dead battery, I called an Uber and gave him a nice tip to jump start it. Way faster than AAA.
quantAndHold
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by quantAndHold »

When it dies, I get a jump, then drive to Costco and change it in the parking lot.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Trader Joe
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Trader Joe »

SteadyOne wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:17 pm Having been stuck at random places at random times with the dead battery I decided to replace it regular intervals so to avoid those situations what would be your advice ? Every three years?
If you are being conservative and very safe, I agree with you. 3 years.

For myself, I have AAA and if my battery dies (and it has) I have a new one installed within 1 hour (tops). So I do not take preventive action.

FYI, all of my batteries have died at about the 4-5 year mark.

And always during the winter.
Cornbread
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Cornbread »

I've had a number of battery failures over the years, and been fortunate enough to have them all occur in my garage and not strand me somewhere. Since it's pretty universally accepted that battery life should be 3-5 years (YMMV obviously if you live in more extreme climates), I just make a calendar reminder every four years to replace mine. If you're a Costco member, a battery shouldn't cost you more than $150 or so, so it's cheap insurance. Even if you remove a battery before the end of its useful life, you've cost yourself maybe $30.
mpnret
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by mpnret »

Just picked up a Costco battery yesterday for $89. My last battery (Sears Diehard AGM) was 7 years old and still going strong. Just figured it was time. I carry a jump pack and also have one of those cheap accessory plug digital voltage indicators for an indication of how the battery is holding a charge and that the alternator is charging it. That being said posters in this thread are making a lot of sense. I'm going to start swapping out every 3-4 years.
Silverado
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Silverado »

Silverado wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:05 pm
TexasPE wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 2:46 pm I generally listen as the car cranks. I've usually been able to hear a 'slow' crank, which means to me the battery is reaching end-of-life or at least needs an overnight charge.
We are at 8.5 years on our Jeep battery (original). My wife leaves early every day and I listen to her start it from my post near the coffee machine. First time it seems doggy I’ll replace it that night.

And yes, I am surprised and impressed with the 8.5 years. Battery is in the cab, which surely helps.
Thought I’d post a short update. I lost my nerve and swapped the Jeep's battery last weekend. We are relocating and our two vehicles were going to be in separate locations for a few days, and trying to find a jump vehicle in a new location was just not something I wanted to risk. Trying to explain in a panic phone call how to bypass the transmission lock to roll the vehicle so cables would reach not a fun thought either. So out it came.

Couldn’t find a date code on the old battery, but the vehicle was built in Jan 2013. That’s a really good run I’d say. I so wanted to keep going until it died, but not worth the potential pain.
hudson
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by hudson »

Silverado wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:07 am
Silverado wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:05 pm
TexasPE wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 2:46 pm I generally listen as the car cranks. I've usually been able to hear a 'slow' crank, which means to me the battery is reaching end-of-life or at least needs an overnight charge.
We are at 8.5 years on our Jeep battery (original). My wife leaves early every day and I listen to her start it from my post near the coffee machine. First time it seems doggy I’ll replace it that night.

And yes, I am surprised and impressed with the 8.5 years. Battery is in the cab, which surely helps.
Thought I’d post a short update. I lost my nerve and swapped the Jeep's battery last weekend. We are relocating and our two vehicles were going to be in separate locations for a few days, and trying to find a jump vehicle in a new location was just not something I wanted to risk. Trying to explain in a panic phone call how to bypass the transmission lock to roll the vehicle so cables would reach not a fun thought either. So out it came.

Couldn’t find a date code on the old battery, but the vehicle was built in Jan 2013. That’s a really good run I’d say. I so wanted to keep going until it died, but not worth the potential pain.
good move!
I change the battery in my wife's car at around 4 years and mine around 5 years. I want to avoid that "car won't start" call as possible.
For decades, money was tight, I ran the batteries into the grave and sometimes got replacements from the junk yard.
JackoC
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by JackoC »

Our older car is an almost 17 yrs old Lexus. The OEM battery died at 6 years. The (Sears, pretty high end one but not top? I don't remember exactly) died 9 years after that. The current battery is next to cheapest Interstate, I didn't figure to have the car many more years. NY area climate, car driven a below average ~6k miles per year since purchase. The two times the Lexus battery died it was in easy walking distance of home as it is the great majority of the time; got it going to the battery store with the jump starter I usually keep in the basement (which I might take along on a trip with an older battery but usually keep in the house for either of our cars, kids' cars etc.). I'm not promoting 'let it die' as best practice necessarily. Scheduled replacement at a well chosen interval (I'd guess 5 yrs for our conditions, not just based on those two data points) can be less hassle, though for us I think replacing every 3 yrs would be more hassle. The cost difference would be secondary.
forkhorn
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by forkhorn »

On wife's minivan, which often has small children, and serves as the family trip vehicle: every 4 years when Sam's has them on sale. If it were to get drained I'd probably do it at 3 years, but that has never happened.

On my pickup, which mostly has just me and rarely leaves town: when it starts having trouble cranking the motor. However, I'm starting to feel fairly rich the past few years and I'll probably do it preventatively this time at 4-5 years just because.

FL location (hot).
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willthrill81
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by willthrill81 »

wander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:38 pm No plan to replace car battery unnessarily. I have a jump start in each of our cars. I also have battery tester to verify.
Good advice. A lithium battery jump starter can be purchased for $50 or so, maybe less, and can get you out of a jam. Once you hit the 3 year mark, it's probably not a bad idea to have your battery tested annually for free at a place like Auto Zone.

I had to replace our Buick Encore's 3 year old OEM battery this summer, which suddenly almost completely stopped starting the engine. I suspect that all of the parasitic battery draws placed on modern vehicles are largely to blame. It seems uncommon for the batteries in modern vehicles to make it 5 years anymore, and many never reach that point.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Valuethinker
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Valuethinker »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 5:30 pm
NESF wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:07 pm You're squabbling over $25+/-.
Not squabbling over $25 might eliminate about half the threads on the forum.
I think you'll find that if you take the 1980-2018 period it was actually $24.95?

:confused :confused
dbr
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by dbr »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:52 am
wander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:38 pm No plan to replace car battery unnessarily. I have a jump start in each of our cars. I also have battery tester to verify.
Good advice. A lithium battery jump starter can be purchased for $50 or so, maybe less, and can get you out of a jam. Once you hit the 3 year mark, it's probably not a bad idea to have your battery tested annually for free at a place like Auto Zone.

I had to replace our Buick Encore's 3 year old OEM battery this summer, which suddenly almost completely stopped starting the engine. I suspect that all of the parasitic battery draws placed on modern vehicles are largely to blame. It seems uncommon for the batteries in modern vehicles to make it 5 years anymore, and many never reach that point.
The LI device is a possible solution. That sort have not been adequate in my experience and I use a portable lead-acid pack like the one AAA carries on their truck. It is problematic to carry around any such devices in a car at extremes of high and low temperatures. I keep the battery pack in my house and would put it in the car if I am going somewhere more risky, like a camping trip or something.
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willthrill81
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by willthrill81 »

dbr wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:03 am
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:52 am
wander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:38 pm No plan to replace car battery unnessarily. I have a jump start in each of our cars. I also have battery tester to verify.
Good advice. A lithium battery jump starter can be purchased for $50 or so, maybe less, and can get you out of a jam. Once you hit the 3 year mark, it's probably not a bad idea to have your battery tested annually for free at a place like Auto Zone.

I had to replace our Buick Encore's 3 year old OEM battery this summer, which suddenly almost completely stopped starting the engine. I suspect that all of the parasitic battery draws placed on modern vehicles are largely to blame. It seems uncommon for the batteries in modern vehicles to make it 5 years anymore, and many never reach that point.
The LI device is a possible solution. That sort have not been adequate in my experience and I use a portable lead-acid pack like the one AAA carries on their truck. It is problematic to carry around any such devices in a car at extremes of high and low temperatures. I keep the battery pack in my house and would put it in the car if I am going somewhere more risky, like a camping trip or something.
Lithium jump starters definitely aren't a panacea. They must be sized appropriate to the battery they are attempting to jump, and their quality varies significantly. But as you note, lead acid batteries are temperature sensitive. They also self-discharge at the rate of 3-5% per month, and most people don't recharge them often enough. Consequently, they often only last 2-3 years, at most, before the batteries inside will no longer hold an adequate charge.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
z91
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by z91 »

I do it every 3-4 years. My suggestion is to buy a 60 month warranty battery, as those are usually (but not always) built better.
exoilman
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by exoilman »

Trader Joe wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 7:20 pm
SteadyOne wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:17 pm Having been stuck at random places at random times with the dead battery I decided to replace it regular intervals so to avoid those situations what would be your advice ? Every three years?
If you are being conservative and very safe, I agree with you. 3 years.

For myself, I have AAA and if my battery dies (and it has) I have a new one installed within 1 hour (tops). So I do not take preventive action.

FYI, all of my batteries have died at about the 4-5 year mark.

And always during the winter.
:sharebeer
andypanda
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by andypanda »

"That’s a really good run I’d say. I so wanted to keep going until it died, "

You should have put it in your car. :)
vfinx
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by vfinx »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:17 am
dbr wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:03 am
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:52 am
wander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:38 pm No plan to replace car battery unnessarily. I have a jump start in each of our cars. I also have battery tester to verify.
Good advice. A lithium battery jump starter can be purchased for $50 or so, maybe less, and can get you out of a jam. Once you hit the 3 year mark, it's probably not a bad idea to have your battery tested annually for free at a place like Auto Zone.

I had to replace our Buick Encore's 3 year old OEM battery this summer, which suddenly almost completely stopped starting the engine. I suspect that all of the parasitic battery draws placed on modern vehicles are largely to blame. It seems uncommon for the batteries in modern vehicles to make it 5 years anymore, and many never reach that point.
The LI device is a possible solution. That sort have not been adequate in my experience and I use a portable lead-acid pack like the one AAA carries on their truck. It is problematic to carry around any such devices in a car at extremes of high and low temperatures. I keep the battery pack in my house and would put it in the car if I am going somewhere more risky, like a camping trip or something.
Lithium jump starters definitely aren't a panacea. They must be sized appropriate to the battery they are attempting to jump, and their quality varies significantly. But as you note, lead acid batteries are temperature sensitive. They also self-discharge at the rate of 3-5% per month, and most people don't recharge them often enough. Consequently, they often only last 2-3 years, at most, before the batteries inside will no longer hold an adequate charge.
I'm intrigued by the capacitor style jump starters that use the remaining energy in the car battery to jump it. Any thoughts on that?

The last time I needed to use the lithium battery style, it wasn't successful. It is theoretically rated for a 5.0L engine, but it didn't work on our 3.3L despite being fully charged. I thought it might be fully defective, but I ended up helping someone use it to start a smaller engine a few months later. When I showed the AAA tech what I tried, he said it should have worked. He took out a much larger unit, and was successful. (This was just to satisfy our curiosity - he was going to change the battery regardless.)
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willthrill81
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by willthrill81 »

vfinx wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:03 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:17 am
dbr wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:03 am
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:52 am
wander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:38 pm No plan to replace car battery unnessarily. I have a jump start in each of our cars. I also have battery tester to verify.
Good advice. A lithium battery jump starter can be purchased for $50 or so, maybe less, and can get you out of a jam. Once you hit the 3 year mark, it's probably not a bad idea to have your battery tested annually for free at a place like Auto Zone.

I had to replace our Buick Encore's 3 year old OEM battery this summer, which suddenly almost completely stopped starting the engine. I suspect that all of the parasitic battery draws placed on modern vehicles are largely to blame. It seems uncommon for the batteries in modern vehicles to make it 5 years anymore, and many never reach that point.
The LI device is a possible solution. That sort have not been adequate in my experience and I use a portable lead-acid pack like the one AAA carries on their truck. It is problematic to carry around any such devices in a car at extremes of high and low temperatures. I keep the battery pack in my house and would put it in the car if I am going somewhere more risky, like a camping trip or something.
Lithium jump starters definitely aren't a panacea. They must be sized appropriate to the battery they are attempting to jump, and their quality varies significantly. But as you note, lead acid batteries are temperature sensitive. They also self-discharge at the rate of 3-5% per month, and most people don't recharge them often enough. Consequently, they often only last 2-3 years, at most, before the batteries inside will no longer hold an adequate charge.
I'm intrigued by the capacitor style jump starters that use the remaining energy in the car battery to jump it. Any thoughts on that?

The last time I needed to use the lithium battery style, it wasn't successful. It is theoretically rated for a 5.0L engine, but it didn't work on our 3.3L despite being fully charged. I thought it might be fully defective, but I ended up helping someone use it to start a smaller engine a few months later. When I showed the AAA tech what I tried, he said it should have worked. He took out a much larger unit, and was successful. (This was just to satisfy our curiosity - he was going to change the battery regardless.)
I've never heard of a capacitor jump starter. My guess is that they slowly pull power from the lead acid battery and then quickly put it back in, resulting in a 'surface' charge that's possibly just enough to start the engine. Even with the potential issues from lithium battery jump starters, I'd rather go that route based on what I know right now. But technology changes.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

I’ve never replaced an asymptomatic battery. But we keep a good lithium jump starter as well as a set of cables in each car. In any case, starting the engine typically began to get exciting after 5-7 years in our never-freezes climate.
Jeep4Life
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Jeep4Life »

My 1992 Wrangler was a basic truck, with none of the electronic sensors and gizmos that DW has on her 2015 Grand Cherokee. When the battery started slow-cranking on the '92, I took the battery to the local auto parts store. The worker bee said "wow, they don't make them in that color any more", to give an idea of how old that battery was. Replaced the battery in the '15 last month, the battery tested fine but it was OEM with a manufacture date of 2014, so 7+ years old. YMMV
Ron
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Ron »

Jeep4Life wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:03 am<snip...>Replaced the battery in the '15 last month, the battery tested fine but it was OEM with a manufacture date of 2014, so 7+ years old. YMMV
I just replaced the battery in my '15 GMC Acadia just this week during the annual inspection/oil change. Not that it was showing any indications of needing it, but "just in case" since it's my main vehicle and it is kept outside a garage (mid-Atlantic).

OTOH, I'm still holding off on replacing the battery on my '02 Mustang GT vert. I replaced it once in the 19 years I've owned the vehicle and it probably has lasted that long since it is a garage queen and doesn't see rough service (24K on the odometer). If that battery fails, it's not a big problem since I only drive it locally. The plug in voltage meter still shows above 12v after sitting overnight/days so it's still holding a charge.

FWIW,

- Ron
Last edited by Ron on Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tibbitts
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by tibbitts »

Years ago, living in a colder area, I replaced every 5 years or so when there was a sale. Then I stopped doing that and waited for a little indication of failure. But once I was on a trip, only one day from home, when that first slow cranking indication came. So I thought I'd buy a new battery at home, but needed gas along the way, and the battery exploded violently when restarting at a gas station. Surprisingly there wasn't much sheet metal damage to the hood but there was battery acid and case and plate fragments everywhere (on the car's wiring, etc.) So now I'm back to replacing proactively. Partly because of that experience, I'm now extremely careful whenever working with a battery (charging, jumping, etc.)
sport
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by sport »

tibbitts wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:29 pm I'm now extremely careful whenever working with a battery (charging, jumping, etc.)
Yes! Always wear eye protection when doing anything with an auto battery. The "empty" space above the liquid in a lead-acid battery is filled with an explosive mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. The smallest spark can set it off, and as you found out, a battery explosion can be violent.
talzara
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by talzara »

wander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:38 pm No plan to replace car battery unnessarily. I have a jump start in each of our cars. I also have battery tester to verify.
RedDog wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:19 pm Battery life can vary greatly…for about $42 you can buy the Topdon 101 battery tester via Amazon…I check our cars every oil change.
You're the only two people in this thread who report owning battery testers. The patents on AC impedance testing have expired. Battery testers are very inexpensive now. They can save you both money and inconvenience.

If you were planning to replace at 5-year intervals, but the battery tester tells you to replace at 7 years, then you've paid for the battery tester.

If the battery tester tells you to replace at 4 years, then you might've gotten stranded if you tried to make it to 5.
indexfundfan wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:47 pm I'm thinking of getting a battery tester that reports the internal resistance as well as the CCA to test my car batteries regularly. I would then replace a battery only if it is reported to be "bad" by the tester. Do you think this is a viable strategy?
Battery testers usually recommend replacing the battery when it reaches 70% of the rated CCA. There's little risk to driving on a good battery, even if it's old. If you really want to be conservative, you can replace at 80% of the rated CCA.
talzara
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by talzara »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:48 pm I've never heard of a capacitor jump starter. My guess is that they slowly pull power from the lead acid battery and then quickly put it back in, resulting in a 'surface' charge that's possibly just enough to start the engine. Even with the potential issues from lithium battery jump starters, I'd rather go that route based on what I know right now. But technology changes.
Since the capacitor is charged by the weak battery, it is also at the same voltage as the battery. There is no surface charge.

Unless the battery has failed, voltage has very little effect on the ability to start the car. A fully-charged lead-acid battery reads 12.7 volts, and a nearly-discharged battery still reads over 12 volts. Since the voltage is almost the same, what matters is current. 12.1 volts at 500 amps is a lot more likely to start the car than 12.1 volts at 100 amps.

Capacitors are very good at supplying current. A weak battery may not be able to supply a lot of current, but the capacitor can.
RobLyons
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by RobLyons »

It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval. If you have AAA they will come out and change out the battery if you ever get stuck, usually within the hour. Another option is taking the battery to a local auto store to have them test it on a regular interval. I'd never scrap a good battery.
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sport
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by sport »

RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval.
If a battery costs $125 and lasts 5 years, that is only $25 per year. That is the cost of a half tank of gas. It is really not all that costly. OTOH, if you wait until it fails, it can fail at a very inconvenient time or place. It is just not worth taking that chance. Batteries are like tires in that is not prudent to try to get the last bit of use out of them.
talzara
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by talzara »

sport wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:22 pm
RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval.
If a battery costs $125 and lasts 5 years, that is only $25 per year. That is the cost of a half tank of gas. It is really not all that costly. OTOH, if you wait until it fails, it can fail at a very inconvenient time or place. It is just not worth taking that chance. Batteries are like tires in that is not prudent to try to get the last bit of use out of them.
It is bad for the environment to be manufacturing batteries unnecessarily. Lead-acid battery manufacturing is a dirty business. Closed battery factories are Superfund sites.

A battery tester will tell you exactly when the battery needs to be changed. You will not change it too early, waste time, and damage the environment. You will not change it too late and get stranded in an empty parking lot.
sport
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by sport »

I would still rather spend $25/year and not worry about my battery. The battery factory will not be any cleaner if I keep my battery and extra year or two.
rockstar
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by rockstar »

And folks here thought I wasted money on an alignment.

Get a battery tester. If the battery needs replacing, the tester will tell you. And you should notice issues with the vehicle starting way before the battery dies.

How long a battery will last depends on where you live.
Jeep4Life
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Jeep4Life »

rockstar, there are multiple factors in how long a battery lasts. Overall vehicle condition, IE do you have to crank the engine for 15 seconds before if starts, how many/much the vehicle is loaded with the electronic gizmos that are parasitic draws even when the engine isn't running, plus weather/average temperature where the vehicle spends its time all play into battery life. I've been on both sides of the fence with regards to changing based on calendar, as of now I'm solidly on the "change it before you have to" side. The one time I had to call AAA for service, I had to wait two hours for them to show, and then they just towed me to the shop as they didn't have the right part for my Jeep.
rockstar
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by rockstar »

Jeep4Life wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 6:53 pm rockstar, there are multiple factors in how long a battery lasts. Overall vehicle condition, IE do you have to crank the engine for 15 seconds before if starts, how many/much the vehicle is loaded with the electronic gizmos that are parasitic draws even when the engine isn't running, plus weather/average temperature where the vehicle spends its time all play into battery life. I've been on both sides of the fence with regards to changing based on calendar, as of now I'm solidly on the "change it before you have to" side. The one time I had to call AAA for service, I had to wait two hours for them to show, and then they just towed me to the shop as they didn't have the right part for my Jeep.
I have had no trouble with AAA coming out to change my battery, and the warranty is great. My stock one died last year because my vehicle was in my garage for way too long due to COVID and WFH. My significant other hasn't changed hers yet. But she has a rock solid Mazda.

I also charge my battery once a month because of all of the electronic nonsense in my vehicle. But I'm not about to change it when it's fine.
adventure
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by adventure »

I bought a Diehard Platinum 4 year replacement battery at Advance Auto a few months back. Advance Auto offers a full 4 year warranty that is full replacement, not pro-rated as many places do a year or two after purchase. This is the regular Diehard Platinum battery that has the 4 year warranty, the Diehard Platinum AGM battery only comes with a 3 year warranty.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/die ... 7CL3*15597
RobLyons
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by RobLyons »

sport wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:22 pm
RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval.
If a battery costs $125 and lasts 5 years, that is only $25 per year. That is the cost of a half tank of gas. It is really not all that costly. OTOH, if you wait until it fails, it can fail at a very inconvenient time or place. It is just not worth taking that chance. Batteries are like tires in that is not prudent to try to get the last bit of use out of them.

Ok then it's just wasteful. And $25 is a full tank for me :happy
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
tibbitts
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by tibbitts »

talzara wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:33 pm
sport wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:22 pm
RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval.
If a battery costs $125 and lasts 5 years, that is only $25 per year. That is the cost of a half tank of gas. It is really not all that costly. OTOH, if you wait until it fails, it can fail at a very inconvenient time or place. It is just not worth taking that chance. Batteries are like tires in that is not prudent to try to get the last bit of use out of them.
It is bad for the environment to be manufacturing batteries unnecessarily. Lead-acid battery manufacturing is a dirty business. Closed battery factories are Superfund sites.

A battery tester will tell you exactly when the battery needs to be changed. You will not change it too early, waste time, and damage the environment. You will not change it too late and get stranded in an empty parking lot.
I think it's reasonable to suggest either replacing at regular intervals or testing at regular intervals (probably with some upper limit on battery lifetime), although the practicality of testing will vary with each person, and not everyone will deem testing a good investment of their time/effort.
Jeepergeo
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by Jeepergeo »

Consider getting one of those jump starters....they are small and work great. Costco has them. Keep one in the trunk of each vehicle....just in case you misjudge the battery replacement window. They are very easy to use.

https://www.costco.com/michelin-high-ca ... 63903.html

Automatic replacement of batteries is touchy as battery quality varies considerably. Some battieries easily go 5+ years whereas others struggle to make it 3 years. Perhaps set the interval to 42 months and keep the jump starter in the trunk just in case.

Consider getting a battery from a place like AutoZone that has to stores all over to facilitate warranty replacement. I had a battery with lots of warranty left but it gave up the ghost far from a warranty outlet so I had to just buy a new battery from the local store near the breakdown location.

Note that there seems to be a transition away from pro-rated warranties, with sellers going to set warranty periods such as 3-4 years. If the battery fails in that period, you get a new battery with the balance of the warranty from the original battery (the warranty dies not start over). The 2 year replacement followed by 2 more years of pro-rated style of warranty seem to be going away.
sport
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by sport »

Jeepergeo wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:50 am Automatic replacement of batteries is touchy as battery quality varies considerably. Some battieries easily go 5+ years whereas others struggle to make it 3 years.
Within a brand, batteries do not vary in quality. They vary in the number and size of the plates. A better battery has more plates and larger plates. You can tell which batteries are the better ones by looking at the ratings. There are two ratings commonly used:
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is the ability of the battery to start the engine in cold weather.
Reserve Capacity is the ability of the battery to keep your lights and heater fan operating if the fan belt breaks or the alternator fails.
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indexfundfan
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by indexfundfan »

talzara wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:48 pm
indexfundfan wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:47 pm I'm thinking of getting a battery tester that reports the internal resistance as well as the CCA to test my car batteries regularly. I would then replace a battery only if it is reported to be "bad" by the tester. Do you think this is a viable strategy?
Battery testers usually recommend replacing the battery when it reaches 70% of the rated CCA. There's little risk to driving on a good battery, even if it's old. If you really want to be conservative, you can replace at 80% of the rated CCA.
Thank you. That's good to know. I did buy a battery tester for around $30 and the measured CCA is 91% of rated.
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by lazydavid »

RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval. If you have AAA they will come out and change out the battery if you ever get stuck, usually within the hour.
As another poster mentioned, the "opportunity cost" of replacing a battery early is around $5/year. In order to avoid being so heinously wasteful, you suggest that said person save the $5/year and instead spend $40-74/year on AAA, and then get stranded and wait for a rescue. No thank you, I'll happily save $35-69/year and my time.
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serbeer
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by serbeer »

I've been replacing my car batteries every 5 years, and never had an issue as a result. I like Everlast from Walmart and they replace for free too if you buy from them, usually under $100, not worth getting stuck over--usually in very cold weather.
RobLyons
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by RobLyons »

lazydavid wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:33 pm
RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval. If you have AAA they will come out and change out the battery if you ever get stuck, usually within the hour.
As another poster mentioned, the "opportunity cost" of replacing a battery early is around $5/year. In order to avoid being so heinously wasteful, you suggest that said person save the $5/year and instead spend $40-74/year on AAA, and then get stranded and wait for a rescue. No thank you, I'll happily save $35-69/year and my time.

Wasteful in terms of resources, not monetary.
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lazydavid
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by lazydavid »

RobLyons wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:50 am
lazydavid wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:33 pm
RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval. If you have AAA they will come out and change out the battery if you ever get stuck, usually within the hour.
As another poster mentioned, the "opportunity cost" of replacing a battery early is around $5/year. In order to avoid being so heinously wasteful, you suggest that said person save the $5/year and instead spend $40-74/year on AAA, and then get stranded and wait for a rescue. No thank you, I'll happily save $35-69/year and my time.

Wasteful in terms of resources, not monetary.
Car batteries are the single most-recycled product in the US, at 99.3%. Nothing else even comes close.
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willthrill81
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by willthrill81 »

lazydavid wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:27 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:50 am
lazydavid wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:33 pm
RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval. If you have AAA they will come out and change out the battery if you ever get stuck, usually within the hour.
As another poster mentioned, the "opportunity cost" of replacing a battery early is around $5/year. In order to avoid being so heinously wasteful, you suggest that said person save the $5/year and instead spend $40-74/year on AAA, and then get stranded and wait for a rescue. No thank you, I'll happily save $35-69/year and my time.

Wasteful in terms of resources, not monetary.
Car batteries are the single most-recycled product in the US, at 99.3%. Nothing else even comes close.
True. It's probably the closest thing to a closed-loop production system that the world has ever seen.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
vfinx
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by vfinx »

lazydavid wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:27 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:50 am
lazydavid wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:33 pm
RobLyons wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:43 pm It seems quite wasteful and costly to change your battery on a regular interval. If you have AAA they will come out and change out the battery if you ever get stuck, usually within the hour.
As another poster mentioned, the "opportunity cost" of replacing a battery early is around $5/year. In order to avoid being so heinously wasteful, you suggest that said person save the $5/year and instead spend $40-74/year on AAA, and then get stranded and wait for a rescue. No thank you, I'll happily save $35-69/year and my time.

Wasteful in terms of resources, not monetary.
Car batteries are the single most-recycled product in the US, at 99.3%. Nothing else even comes close.
Could you provide your source for that 99.3%. I’ve heard very high numbers like this mentioned a lot, but it’s usually from battery industry advocacy groups (lobbyists I presume). I’m not making any counterclaim, it just sounds too good to be true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_r ... _batteries
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by jebmke »

indexfundfan wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:43 am
talzara wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:48 pm
indexfundfan wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:47 pm I'm thinking of getting a battery tester that reports the internal resistance as well as the CCA to test my car batteries regularly. I would then replace a battery only if it is reported to be "bad" by the tester. Do you think this is a viable strategy?
Battery testers usually recommend replacing the battery when it reaches 70% of the rated CCA. There's little risk to driving on a good battery, even if it's old. If you really want to be conservative, you can replace at 80% of the rated CCA.
Thank you. That's good to know. I did buy a battery tester for around $30 and the measured CCA is 91% of rated.
What tester did you buy? Seems to be a lot of low end testers that are essentially voltmeters as far as I can tell. Many in the $15-20 range but no indication that they give CCA percentage.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
dbr
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Re: Car battery replacement interval advice

Post by dbr »

jebmke wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 10:10 am
indexfundfan wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:43 am
talzara wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:48 pm
indexfundfan wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:47 pm I'm thinking of getting a battery tester that reports the internal resistance as well as the CCA to test my car batteries regularly. I would then replace a battery only if it is reported to be "bad" by the tester. Do you think this is a viable strategy?
Battery testers usually recommend replacing the battery when it reaches 70% of the rated CCA. There's little risk to driving on a good battery, even if it's old. If you really want to be conservative, you can replace at 80% of the rated CCA.
Thank you. That's good to know. I did buy a battery tester for around $30 and the measured CCA is 91% of rated.
What tester did you buy? Seems to be a lot of low end testers that are essentially voltmeters as far as I can tell. Many in the $15-20 range but no indication that they give CCA percentage.
Amazon lists a

KONNWEI KW208 12V Car Battery Tester, 100-2000 CCA Load Tester Automotive Alternator Tester Digital Auto Battery Analyzer Charging Cranking System Tester for Car Truck Marine Motorcycle SUV Boat

for $29.85. I think that is the lowest price for an item that does those things. Other options price up tp and beyond $100.

I have no experience with any tester in particular.
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