A dead car battery can put a serious damper on your plans. If you’re dealing with a faulty battery, you’re probably wondering, “How much does a new car battery cost?”
Replacing a car battery is relatively inexpensive compared to a variety of other vehicle maintenance expenses. But things can get confusing pretty fast if you’re not experienced with cars, so it’s best to start from the basics and talk about costs towards the end.
What Does the Car Battery Do?
The car battery provides the jolt of electricity necessary to power all the electrical components in your vehicle. Talk about a pretty huge responsibility. Without battery power, your car, as you’ve probably noticed, won’t start.
Let’s take a look at how that powerful little box works:
- A chemical reaction puts your car in action: Your battery converts chemical energy into the electrical energy necessary to power your car, delivering voltage to the starter.
- Keep the electric current steady: Not only does your battery provide the energy required to start your car, it’s also stabilizing the voltage (that’s the term for the energy supply) in order to keep your engine running. A lot’s riding on the battery. Call it the ‘little box that could.’
Signs you have a bad battery.
Almost everyone has had to jump-start a car battery or seen someone do it. Suppose you try to start your car in the morning, and it doesn’t turn on. Maybe you left an interior light on all night, causing your battery to die, but it can also mean your battery is going bad.
- The car is difficult to start.
- Once started, the car doesn’t hold a charge for very long.
- Dim or flickering taillights and headlights.
- Dim interior and dashboard lights.
What causes a battery to go bad?
Factors that contribute to a car battery going bad include:
- Extreme temperatures
- Irregular use
- Poor maintenance
Leaving the lights on when the car isn’t running or a faulty component causing a ‘parasitic draw’ can deplete the battery. A parasitic draw occurs when you inadvertently leave a light on or anything that draws power in your car, slowly draining the battery.
Factors that Impact the Cost of a Car Battery
How much should a car battery cost? Depending on power, size, and quality, prices for a replacement car battery range from about $45 to $250. Your local dealership, auto parts store or automotive service center can check your current battery or hook you up with a new car battery.
Here are a few factors that can affect the cost of a traditional car battery.
The standard battery group sizes are 24, 65 and 75. Batteries that are larger or a unique size are likely to cost more.
Traditional batteries can use different technology to give your car juice:
- Lead-acid flooded batteries. Also known as wet cell batteries, these tend to be the cheapest option because they have a shorter life and do not perform as well in rough conditions, like extreme temperatures.
- Absorbent glass mat batteries. Also known as dry cell batteries, these provide more power and tend to have longer battery life. They are also more stable and cost more.
- Gel batteries. These are similar to absorbent glass mat batteries in performance and price. They don’t require maintenance and can survive rough conditions.
Performance In Cold Weather
Batteries often have a rating for how well they perform in cold weather, known as cold cranking amps. If you drive your car in colder temperatures, you’ll likely want a battery with a higher cold cranking amps rating, which will cost more.
There are two types of battery warranties: limited warranties and replacement warranties. The limited warranty will reimburse you for a prorated percentage of the battery’s original price if it fails during the warranty period. For example, if a battery has a five-year limited warranty, and it dies after two years, you’d get 60 percent of your money refunded.
A replacement warranty covers the entire replacement cost of the battery. If you have a five-year replacement warranty, and the battery dies within that five-year window, you can replace it with another battery from the same manufacturer.
Some batteries offer a replacement warranty for a short time period and a limited warranty for a longer period. Also, unless you plan to sell your car in less than two years, it’s a good idea to buy a battery with a longer warranty. It will cost more upfront but will save you in the long run.
Related Posts: 7 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Car Battery
How Much Should a Car Battery Cost?
A car battery price can range between 100-200 dollars. But it all depends on which one you’re getting. Generally, the amount you pay is determined by three major factors: the warranty, performance, and battery type. And while it’s clear that a good warranty adds a significant chunk to the price, the last two are not that easy to understand from the get-go.
For batteries, performance is reflected in the cold cranking amps (CCA). It is a measurement of how well they will perform in cold temperatures. This indicator shows how many amps they can deliver at 0 degrees F for 30 seconds while maintaining a specific minimum voltage. So, the more CCA the battery has, the higher the cost.
In terms of types, you can only choose between flooded lead-acid and AGM batteries. The first one has existed for some time now, while the other is a newer addition and is an overall design improvement. There is a price difference between the two, and you should always consult with someone before choosing a suitable replacement.
Based on the make and model of your vehicle, you can expect to pay between $100 to $160 for a standard flooded acid car battery and around $200 to $325 for a premium AGM type.
Depending on where you buy your battery and whether you have it professionally installed or install it yourself, the car battery replacement cost will typically range from $75 to $200 or more.
Some cars will get up to five or six years out of their battery, while others will need a new one after only two years. In general, your car will usually need a new battery after three to four years.
Batteries gradually deteriorate until they can no longer provide enough power to start an engine. This wear time could take three to five years and a vehicle’s usage pattern is one factor contributing to the rate at which a battery will age.
Signs Your Car’s Battery Is Dying
1. Illuminated Battery Warning Light.
2. Engine Won’t Crank.
3. Engine Is Slow to Crank.
4. Engine Starts But Immediately Dies.
5. No Dome Light.
6. Dark, Dim, or Flickering Headlights.
7. Signs of Fluid Leakage.
8. Battery Box Integrity.