The average life span of a battery is usually said to be between 3-5 years. However, the life-span of a battery depends largely on several factors such as climate, the electrical in the vehicle and driving habits.
In Trinidad and Tobago the average life span of the battery will be between 2-4 years.
- Extreme hot and cold climates can affect the vehicle battery negatively.
To break it down simply, a chemical reaction (the evaporation of water in the battery acid) takes place more often in the lead-acid batteries, to produce charge to the battery terminals. Heat tends to speed up the internal reactions and also corrosion.
Cold weather can also affect the battery negatively, when the temperatures are very low the battery has to generate more power to start a vehicle. The engine oil can also thicken and add more strain to the battery.
- Driving habits also play a key role in the life span of your vehicle battery. If you are driving short distances regularly it shortens the life span of the battery. This happens because the vehicle battery usually uses a lot of power to start a vehicle and short trips do not allow the battery to fully charge.
- Extra electrical accessories in a vehicle also use more battery power to run the vehicle. Such as car decks, multiple phone chargers, window control buttons and air condition etc. Therefore it is important to make sure that you buy a vehicle battery that can power all of the electrical components.
- Leaving a vehicle parked for long periods of time can also cause the battery to run out of charge. A car battery is usually recharged by the alternator when the vehicle engine is started. However, when the vehicle is not in use the battery still uses power to run the car alarm, clocks and other electrical components.
There are a few signs that indicate that your battery is getting weaker or will soon fail. Your car engine will give a sluggish start or the vehicle headlights may become dim or start to flicker.
As a precaution it is still good to check the battery ever so often and make sure there is no swelling or a bad odour indicating that the battery has a significant problem.
Over time as the chemical reaction takes place in the battery, the reactants become used up and this causes the battery to stop working.
It is important to remember that if your battery is still running after the average life span it could fail at any time. You may want to have it tested at your local auto store to make sure it is still in good condition.