How often do you change (or recommend changing) your car battery?

We are getting ready to take a trip to the beach (about an 800 mile drive roundtrip). My husband is concerned that we might need to replace our car battery. We haven’t had any trouble with the battery other than one time we left interior lights on for about 4 hours and drained the battery. We are uncertain of the age of the battery because we purchased the car recently and documentation for the battery was not included.

Given the history of our car battery, would purchasing a new battery be recommended before our trip? I don’t see any reason to buy a new battery at this point because we haven’t had any trouble with the battery other than when we left interior lights on.

Any insight appreciated! My husband feels we need to replace due to not knowing the age of the battery.


3 answers

  1. I agree with the other 2 members responses!

    I have always went by the date on my battery, why replace if not really having any issues as of yet. But since I change the oil every 3000 miles, I normally have the mechanic do a whole check up just to make sure that there are not surprises relatively soon.

    Do you need an oil change before leaving? This may be the answer ;)

  2. Honestly it depends on the battery. Some are made to last a long time others are a shorter time. If you are going to have a oil change before going or have your car just looked at by a mechanic to make sure everythign is ok, have them check the battery. Last oil change it was part of their inspection.

  3. How old is the car? If the battery has a major brand name on it (DieHard, AutoCraft, EverStart, etc.) instead of the car manufacturer's brand name on it, the battery is younger than the car. The retail battery will also have some form of manufacture date on it, or charge date, which indicates when it was last charged according to manufacturer's guidelines before sale. If the battery is original to the car (car manufacturer's name on it), it's just as old as the car is. Depending on how old the car is, it might be worthwhile to get a new one as a prophylactic exercise, though a battery that isn't starting with difficulty probably isn't going to have real problems any time soon. And, batteries are fortunately available at pretty much every Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart, AutoZone, Pep Boys, BJ's Wholesale Club, Sam's Club, Costco, and every local auto supply store throughout the country for most popular models (and some oddballs, too). However, if the car is less than 5 years old, even with an original battery, it's probably not worth the trouble and expense of changing the battery at this point, unless you just enjoy buying new batteries. :)

See More