Should I Replace My 5 Year Old Car Battery?

by Sean Dixon

Your battery’s been going strong for a few years. It’s provided dependable power for your daily commutes, weekend excursions, errands around town and much more. However, it’s reaching close to the five-year mark since you last swapped your power cell out. Should you push it a little longer or get your Dodge D250 battery changed right away? This short guide tells you what you need to know about vehicle battery lifespans. 

Lifespan of a Battery

Typically, most vehicles last between three and five years. Many factors impact how long a 2006 Hino 165 battery or another type of power cell can last. Your daily driving habits, electronic accessory usage, ambient outdoor temperatures and maintenance practices all lengthen or shorten useful battery life. Unbeknownst to you, a few things you may be doing could reduce its lifespan:

  • Stop-and-start driving
  • Short trips, usually 20 minutes or less
  • Leaving headlights and accessories on
  • Parking in direct sunlight

How do short trips and start-and-stop driving reduce battery life? Both put loads on the battery, but you’re not actively driving long enough to let the alternate recharge it. Doing this repeatedly slowly drains your power cell. Leaving your vehicle parked without regular driving also causes battery drain due to its natural tendency to self-discharge. 

Most of us have accidentally left our headlights on after parking, leading to a drained battery the next time we turn the ignition key. Logically, this also puts a strain on your power cell. But we may not realize that leaving on the A/C, stereo and other electronic systems can also sap precious power. Make it a habit to turn off all electricity-using items before turning the vehicle off, including lights, infotainment systems and aftermarket devices. 

Finally, temperature extremes can do a number on your battery. The climate itself is out of your control, but you can take some extra steps to better care for your vehicle. Avoid parking in direct sunlight whenever possible, especially during hot weather. If you live in areas with severely cold temperatures, consider using an electric battery blanket to keep your power cell warm. 

Replace for Safety

Hopefully, you’ve taken care of your 2007 Jaguar X Type battery by periodically inspecting it, checking and tightening cable connections, practicing good driving habits and cleaning its terminals. Yet even if your old power cell has been performing as expected, replacement is still a good idea if it’s nearing the four- or five-year mark. Eventually, it will run down with regular usage: That’s what batteries do, after all. You don’t want to push your luck, especially considering that you could unexpectedly break down at an inopportune time. 

Besides the regular maintenance practices mentioned earlier, you can do a few other useful things to monitor your battery. It’s a good idea to eyeball it frequently and look for telltale signs such as a swelling case or a sulfuric rotten-egg smell. You can also test its power levels at home with a voltmeter, a handheld device that checks current through its positive and negative terminals. If you don’t have ready access to a voltmeter, your local auto parts and accessories dealer may offer free testing. 

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