Your car battery provides essential power for your vehicle’s systems. Failing to pay attention to regular maintenance and battery health can leave you sidelined. Although the average driver replaces a battery every three to five years, other factors like driving habits and climate can affect its lifespan. After reading this helpful guide, you’ll know what to look for in a battery’s warranty. You’ll also find out about exchanging your battery and how to tell if your car battery is dead?
Battery warranties often come with two different terms: free replacement and pro-rated replacements. Usually, you’d see this expressed as the warranty’s total length with a free replacement period: for instance, a five-year warranty with free replacement within the first two years. AutoZone takes a somewhat different approach to battery warranties: free replacement for the entire warranty length. For instance, if you buy a Duralast Gold with a three-year warranty, replacement within those three years is completely free. It’s a rather straightforward approach, with no complicated pro-rata fee to calculate.
Signs of a Worn Battery
Now that you know a little more about how warranties work, you should learn how to spot a worn battery. Sometimes, a dead battery may take you by surprise. But in most cases, you’ll notice a few warning signs in advance:
- Corroded connectors
- Check engine light on
- Dim lights and electrical malfunctioning
- Strange smells from the battery
- Swollen or cracked battery case
- Engine starting or cranking slowly
Some of these are common sense. Of course, your lights will dim, and your engine cranks slowly from a weak battery – they can’t draw sufficient power. Other signs, however, aren’t so obvious. A “Check Engine” light could have dozens of potential causes, but it may occur along with other symptoms. Corrosion occurs slowly over time, so it’s likely to show up on older batteries. Odd smells point to potential leaks, while a cracked battery case can result from major temperature extremes.
How To Exchange a Car Battery
Trying to run on an old battery past its useful lifetime isn’t wise – you’ll eventually end up dead in the water anyway. A proactive approach is wise, especially if your battery’s age is near the three-year mark. Testing it frequently reveals its condition and performance. If you don’t have a multimeter, you can always bring your vehicle to a trusted auto parts retailer like AutoZone that offers free battery testing. There’s also free charging for automotive, lawn equipment, and motorcycle batteries.
Batteries are manufactured and warrantied to avoid obvious defects. Should your battery fail within the warranty period, you’ll just need to visit your neighborhood AutoZone. If you still have your original receipt, bring it with you since it reflects the date of purchase. You’ll get a replacement at no charge within the free replacement period.
A Few Last Words About Batteries
Proper maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle in good running order, but that’s especially true about your battery. Good driving habits preserve its lifespan, but you should also keep an eye on its condition. With regular testing and visual inspections, you won’t be surprised by a dead battery.