My Toyota Camry is about 4 years old, and I am not having a problem with my battery but the guy at the oil change place I just came from suggested that I replace the battery now. If I am not having a charging or dead car battery problem, why would I?
Hi There Sam!
Yes, yes….great question, I can see your confusion. The oil change place is actually looking after you well, which is rare these days. In our shop we see the average lifespan of a car battery at about 3-4 years depending on the climate which you live, the miles you put on your vehicle and the overall condition of your vehicle charging system.
Hotter climates tend to boil out the acid inside battery, shortening the life span and cold climates tend to suck up too much starting power from the battery. It’s much harder to start a cold engine than a hot one because the metal is cold and the engine oil is cold and thick and slow to get moving. Just like a human trying to get out of bed on a cold morning….it takes a little longer than in the summer time…right? 🙂
Corroded battery cables and loose battery cables are a regular occurrence in my shop, and many cars are towed in on wreckers because of it. Keeping your battery cables clean and tight can help increase the life of the battery and the alternator…plus keep you from being stranded.
The best time to replace a car battery is BEFORE you HAVE to replace a car battery. Most….I mean many many times you get no warning what so ever that you battery is about to leave you high and dry.
Sometimes you can hear the engine spin over slower than usual, (rarrrrrrrrr rarrrrrr) but you really have to be paying attention when you start the engine and know what a “normal start” sounds like.
So, in your case (actually in any case) where the battery is around 4 years old, I would replace them and save yourself a ton of frustration. A battery never dies at an opportune time 🙁
On a side note, a weak battery will cause your alternator to work much harder than normal to keep the battery fully charged. So saving a little money trying to squeeze the life out of a battery can cause you to replace the battery and the alternator…not a savings.