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Car Battery – Durability, Charging, and Test – Basic Question & Answers


How long a car battery should last?

The battery is an important essential of your car. It not only helps the car to start but also many functions are performed with the help of battery. For better performance of your car, you need your car battery to get checked on time. Usually, your car battery may last for three to five years with proper upkeep. But different customers have different reviews.

There are many questions that may arise in someone’s mind about the life of a battery. Go through the article to get your answers

How long does it take to charge a battery?

Well, the answer to this question is a bit tricky because different types of batteries have different timespan to get fully charge.

To have an idea about the types of batteries may use in a car check out the following list of batteries, commonly used in the car.

  • Starting, Lighting and Ignition Battery (SLI)
  • Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Battery
  • Lead Acid Battery

Now, if your car battery is dead and you need to know the time to charge, then it is obvious that it will take approx. 4 hours or some may take 24 hours to get fully charged, keeping the condition of the battery in mind. Normally, battery chargers are set up to four amps but charging may vary with chargers, as fast and powerful chargers are also available in the market. Modern car battery charges are so efficient that they can charge a battery at any current rate. You can afford such charges easily.

How long it takes to charge a car battery while driving?

It’s the safest way to charge a battery while driving. If you keep your car RPM up, your alternators will charge you battery faster. On the highway, it is possible to keep your car RPM high so, a flat battery will get charged in thirty minutes but in a city, it may it an hour or more.

You can also charge the battery by switching on the engine and letting the battery charge. It is a time-consuming way but is popular and may use for dead car batteries.

If you are using a battery charger of 10 amp; will take 4 to 11 hour to fully charge the battery and a 2 amp charger will take 2 to 4 days to charge the battery.

Car battery voltage

For the new buyers, it is important to know each and every specification of a car. So talking about the battery you should also know the voltage. A car battery voltmeter gives you reading between 12.6V to 12.8V. But if your voltmeter gives you readings between 12.4V to 12.8V then it means your battery is in a good state. And if it gives you reading up to 12.9V then it’s a good indicator that your battery has excessive voltage. Less than 12.4V can affect your battery performance and also affect the electronic system of your car.

If we talk about the charging current then a car battery can be charged at any current rate. They are designed in a way that they can charge and discharge at high current also.

You must know that car batteries range from 40 AH to 110AH, alternators range from 45 amps to 200 amps.

So, grab your voltmeter or go to the mechanic immediately to check it out whether your battery has excessive voltage or not!

How to test a car battery? / How to test a car battery with a multimeter?

A multimeter is used to test the battery. Connect the multimeter terminals with the battery terminals. Make sure you are connecting the terminals accurately. Set the voltage between 15V- 20V. Check the reading of the multimeter, if the device gives you a value between 12.4V to 12.8V, it means your battery is in good condition but if it doesn’t then you need to worry about your battery.

Fully charged automobiles will give 12.6V or above. When the engine is running the vale will increase and the measurement should be 13.7V to 14.7V.

If you don’t have the multimeter for testing, you can do a simple and easy test on your own. You need to switch on the engine and turn on the headlights, if the lights are dim; it means the battery is little or not charged properly which means your alternators are not working. Now, rev the engine and check if the lights get brighter, it means the alternators are producing some current. If lights don’t change, neither gets lighter nor brighter after the engine being revved then it means your alternators are working perfectly. But, if you are still having a problem with your battery then check whether the battery is holding the charge or not. Maybe something in the system is discharging your battery.

Another test which you can do is the Load Test. You can use a load tester for this purpose. In this case, your battery should maintain 9.6V in 15 sec, if it dips below 9.6V it means your battery is in bad condition and you need to change or fix it.

You can also go for Electrolyte Gravity Test. This test helps you to know whether your battery is undercharged, fully charged, or even faulty. Hydrometers are highly recommended for this test because they have built-in thermometers.

These tests are included in battery maintenance and care which is essential to maintain the efficiency of your car. 

How to remove a car battery?

Your battery is a very important component of your car. Although it is not in use when the car is running but it helps to kick start a lot of things in your car e.g: ignition of your engine.

You may remove your battery for two reasons; to replace it or to check its efficiency. Regardless of having any kind of battery make sure you switch off the car engine.

 To remove the car battery you need gloves, safety goggles, and basic hand tools.

There are five main terminal types i.e. SAE post, GM side, combination, L, and stud terminals. Now you have to recognize the type of terminal of your car battery. Use the pliers or two pairs of wrenches for L- variety and stud terminals, and you will need a socket and socket wrench, or ratchet for GM side varieties. Make your choice according to your battery terminal type.

After taking all precautionary measurements, find the negative terminal. It may have a minus sign or have a black plastic cover. Hold the bolt head of the negative terminal still with a wrench or pliers. With other pliers or wrench open the nut of this terminal carefully. Take out the negative cable and put it far from the battery carefully. Repeat this process for the positive terminal and take out the positive wire and place it securely. Removing process is not end yet, if your battery is placed with the security bracket; open the screws carefully and remove the bracket. Now take out the battery.

If you have a GM post terminal then you will need a ratchet, pliers, or adjustable wrench. Firstly, identify the terminals then choose the correct size of the socket. Usually, the GM post terminal uses a 3/8 inch socket. You can check the correct size by adjusting it on the nut head. If it fits comfortably then it means the socket is of the correct size. Now remove the nut head by rotating the ratchet counterclockwise. Again if your battery is in a safety bracket remove it.

How much does a car battery cost?

Different companies offer different prices. According to Costhelper, a car battery may cost $50 to $120 (PKR 7957.50 to PKR 19098) and a premium battery may cost $90 to $200 (PKR 14323 to 31830).

The prices of a battery vary because of some features given by the company to the customer in the product. Lifespan is one of the important factors that increase its price. Normally a battery may have 4 years lifespan but the premium batteries may last up to 5 to 6 years. Lightweight batteries are also less expensive as they reduce the performance of your car.

How often to replace the car battery?

As a car battery has a life of 4 to 5 years, it is a good choice to change the battery after 4 or 5 years. Go for the battery life test and then make a decision for changing the battery. After 4 years, if your battery is in good condition then no need to worry but if your battery gets fail in the tests, please make sure you will replace it otherwise it will damage the electronic system of your car.

How much does a car battery weigh?

Although a car battery may weigh between 30 lbs to 50 lbs. But the weight of the battery may vary with its size. Different vehicles use different sizes of batteries. The smaller the vehicle smaller will be the size of the battery. The commonly used battery weighs 41 lbs (14kg to 22kg).

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