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Car Battery: When and How to Replace Your Battery

Your vehicle’s battery is the source of electrical currents necessary to start the engine. The battery provides power to your vehicle’s accessories and electrical parts; it allows them to operate even when your vehicle’s engine is not running. Additionally, components such as your engine and starter rely on the battery for power; they cannot run without a properly functioning battery. Your battery is your vehicle’s voltage stabilizer for the entire electrical system.

Most vehicle batteries need to be replaced every few years, depending on the conditions in which you drive. Extreme weather, continued use of vehicle accessories and other conditions can lead to shorter battery life. Over time, your battery loses juice, and you may need to occasionally jump-start your vehicle in order to get it running. If your vehicle is showing signs of lessened battery life, such as delayed start time, you may need to get your battery replaced.

We carry batteries for cars, trucks, agricultural equipment, motorcycles, recreational and commercial vehicles

We also carry:

  • Battery accessories
  • Battery cables
  • Battery wires
  • Battery terminals
  • Dry-cell batteries

A car battery is the grown-up equivalent of a battery-operated toy at Christmas: The fun ends when the battery dies and the car won’t start.

And unlike the toy that can be easily carried into the kitchen for a fresh battery, having a car battery die unexpectedly can be far more inconvenient. Your best bet? Replace the battery before it leaves you stranded.

How do I know when I need a new battery?

While time takes its toll, the biggest enemy of your car battery is extreme hot and cold temperatures, especially the heat.

“Heat is the biggest killer of batteries,” says Nick Kovalkevich, automotive battery expert and NAPA account executive for East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., a battery manufacturer and NAPA supplier. “In Arizona, you may get two years out of a battery. In Minnesota, the same battery may last five years.”

Not sure if your car or truck needs a new battery? Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Your engine takes a few extra seconds to start.
  • Your lights dim slightly when you turn on the heat or air conditioning.
  • You notice corrosion on the battery terminals.
  • You know it has been 3-4 years since you replaced the battery.

Let NAPA test your battery!

The best way to find out if your battery is on its way out is to have it tested. At Glenbrook Auto parts, we can test your battery for you. We can help you determine if you need a new battery, or if you vehicle has another electrical problem, such as a bad alternator.

What parts do I need to replace the battery?

When installing a new battery, you may also need:

  • Battery cables
  • Battery terminals
  • Battery cleaner
  • A battery tray (to secure the battery)

Key DIY Tips

If you do need a new battery and want to replace it yourself, here are tips for a safe and easy job:

  • Wear gloves and eye protection.
  • Never smoke or use an open flame around a car battery.
  • Keep the battery upright.
  • For late-model cars, use an OBDII memory saver while replacing the battery. (Avoid memory savers that use a 9-volt battery.)
  • Clean the battery clamps and terminals and use terminal protectant spray.
  • Remember to recycle: Batteries are 100% recyclable. Bring your old battery back to Glenbrook Auto Parts, and we’ll recycle it for you.

What other repairs or maintenance should I do at the same time?

When replacing your car battery, you may also want to:

  • Inspect your drivebelts – those belts driving your alternator, power steering pump and other accessories.
  • Inspect your alternator and starter.
  • Stash a pair of jumper cables in the trunk for future use.

Do you carry other types of batteries?

Yes! We also carry batteries for agricultural equipment, motorcycles, recreational and commercial vehicles.

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