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Car batteries, how long does your last?
Old 08-16-2019, 08:34 AM   #1
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Car batteries, how long does your last?

Last night I used my wife's car for the first time in months. It started sort of odd, but when I got to the take-out place, it would not start. I called my wife and she said, "Oh, yeah, it's been acting funny."

Gee, thanks. This morning I replaced the battery and discovered the one in there was 5 years old. I've never had a battery last that long in the Texas heat.

How about your car [12V] batteries? Are you getting a good life out of them?
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:36 AM   #2
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All over the board. I've had cars that I never replaced the battery and other cars where I needed a new one after a couple years.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:38 AM   #3
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Last night I used my wife's car for the first time in months. It started sort of odd, but when I got to the take-out place, it would not start. I called my wife and she said, "Oh, yeah, it's been acting funny."

Gee, thanks. This morning I replaced the battery and discovered the one in there was 5 years old. I've never had a battery last that long in the Texas heat.

How about your car [12V] batteries? Are you getting a good life out of them?
when was the last time you checked the electrolyte fluid? in TX, the battery fluid can dry out quickly; if you take short trips in TX you are lucky if your battery lasts 2 years
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:42 AM   #4
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Had a 1998 pickup I bought new and got 8 years out of the battery - an exceptional experience in the TX heat. 4 years seems to be about the norm otherwise.

Which reminds me, I replaced the batteries (it takes 2) in my diesel truck in Oct of 15. Need to get them checked out before we take the RV to NM and CO next month.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:43 AM   #5
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Had a 1998 pickup I bought new and got 8 years out of the battery - an exceptional experience in the TX heat.
wow that's nuts
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:44 AM   #6
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Three years and I replace them. Earlier if I even "suspect" them of trouble. However, these days I rarely keep a car that long.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:45 AM   #7
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IME 3-5 years is typical.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:48 AM   #8
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Last night I used my wife's car for the first time in months. It started sort of odd, but when I got to the take-out place, it would not start. I called my wife and she said, "Oh, yeah, it's been acting funny."

Gee, thanks. This morning I replaced the battery and discovered the one in there was 5 years old. I've never had a battery last that long in the Texas heat.

How about your car [12V] batteries? Are you getting a good life out of them?
Ours is on year 5 the mechanic tested the cells, said one of them is weak and recommended we replace (that was 2 oil changes ago).

Plan to replace before winter, we've had some -30 degree hard starts and some 100 degree starts but she is hanging in there. I don't think the Camry alternator and starter draws much amperage, little 2.0l or something in it.

My truck battery has never had a hard start, but I've also cranked it about 3x less often, sooo maybe the amount of cranks has something to do with it. I plan to replace that one as soon as it cranks tough.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:56 AM   #9
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Around 8 years on average for my last two vehicles - bought Toyota truck new in 1992, replaced battery at year 9 and that battery was still in use when the truck was sold at year 16. Current Honda is 12+ years old, replaced battery after 8 years.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:58 AM   #10
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We're in Texas and usually get right at 4 years. Very little variation.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:05 AM   #11
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If it's a 36 month battery expect 37 months. If it's a 48 month expect 49 months. etc etc
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:10 AM   #12
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I thought I tracked everything in my "Car maintenance" doc I keep on my laptop but I clearly remember getting a battery for my 97 Miata sometime in the 2000s. I did note that I replaced it again last year. It's very possible that I only replaced it those two times, or I may have missed another one that I don't remember. The car only has ~70K miles but I've had to jump or push start it a few times when I didn't drive it for a few months over winter, and I think that can shorten the life. I recently got a trickle charger because the new stereo head unit seems to draw, and drained the new battery a couple of times.

My daily driver Subaru only made it 3.5 years before replacing the battery. Mostly garaged, but it does spend hours outside in the winter while I'm skiing. Less time in the summer sun.

I don't keep the records on cars I've gotten rid of.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:22 AM   #13
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As others have said, 3-5 years, on average.

My experience has been that the batteries of today (versus 20-30 years ago) usually give no advanced warning of pending failure. They work perfectly, up until the day they don't.

"Back in the old days" I would notice a loss of power, longer cranking time. This usually meant you had a few days or weeks to replace it before it failed completely, but it was going to fail.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:25 AM   #14
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As others have said, 3-5 years, on average.

My experience has been that the batteries of today (versus 20-30 years ago) usually give no advanced warning of pending failure. They work perfectly, up until the day they don't.

"Back in the old days" I would notice a loss of power, longer cranking time. This usually meant you had a few days or weeks to replace it before it failed completely, but it was going to fail.
Yep, this just happened to us. Replaced the original battery after 6 and half years. Up here in the cold that's a good run.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:29 AM   #15
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About 3-5 years as others have noted. Hard to get much more out of them with the newer cars always drawing some sort of current.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:39 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the responses. It does seem that there's a consensus, too.

When looking online at batteries last night, I noticed that battery technology is a little different than I'm used to. There's these AGM batteries and also ODB memory savers
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:41 AM   #17
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As others have said, 3-5 years, on average.

My experience has been that the batteries of today (versus 20-30 years ago) usually give no advanced warning of pending failure. They work perfectly, up until the day they don't.

"Back in the old days" I would notice a loss of power, longer cranking time. This usually meant you had a few days or weeks to replace it before it failed completely, but it was going to fail.
my experience exactly.....battery died after 3.5 yrs w/ no advance warning.
Did get a pro-rated wty tho. I know what you mean about the old days.........
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:43 AM   #18
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Consistently get 6-7 years from my batteries. I keep the battery clean, wipe the grime off the top with a damp rag twice a year. Don't know if that helps, but so far so good.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:53 AM   #19
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I've typically had 3-5 years, so long as the car is driven regularly. Leaving the car to sit for long periods without a trickle charge has cause premature death in several batteries for me.

On a side note, I also have a plug-in Prius. The driving battery on that has left me a bit disappointed. While the batteries have a 5 year 140,000 mile warranty, that only applies if they "fail". It is considered "normal wear" if they batteries no longer hold a charge, similar to a dead laptop battery.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:56 AM   #20
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Three years.
We get 2 days of warning.
My mechanic said: "You drive short distances with many starts so don't expect more than 3 years".
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