Car Battery Replacement & Installation
Smooth, reliable starts. It’s something we all take for granted, but should never overlook.The last thing anyone wants is to be stranded on the side of the road due to a dead car battery! At Goodguys Tires & Auto Repair, we offer free battery checks, car battery installation, and we can offer the best car battery price on your car battery replacement, if one is needed.
The Importance of the Car Battery
The battery supplies power to the starter and ignition system to start the engine. After the vehicle is started, the battery also provides extra power, when needed, and acts as a voltage stabilizer within the entire electrical system. Let’s face it though, most drivers are only interested in the battery doing its job to start the car. Since you can’t go anywhere if the battery in your car or truck isn’t working, it’s important to keep it as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. Here’s how:
Pay attention to the maintenance schedule for your battery. You can delay it for a short period of time, but don’t let it go too long without taking it to your Goodguys Tires & Auto Repair shop for routine maintenance. If you experience hesitation when you turn the key to start the car, it’s time to set up an appointment to have it checked out.
Test the Battery Each Year
Car batteries typically last about 5–7 years. Most drivers don’t keep a spreadsheet on all the parts of their car, so looking at the sticker on the top or side of the battery can help you determine its age. For example, a numeric code sometimes used may show 10/21, which means the battery was manufactured in October of 2021.
It may be easier to have your certified mechanic at Goodguys do all that for you during a routine battery test. The annual checks should begin once the battery is 2 years old. Your mechanic can tell if the battery is holding its voltage properly, or if it’s time for you to think about replacing it. If you are taking a long trip, it’s a good idea to have the battery checked before you get on the road.
Climate and Your Car Battery
Whether you’re facing extreme temperatures, hot or cold, it can impact the car battery. During the coldest time of winter, the engine needs more power to start the car. This puts a strain on the battery over the course of the winter. Get the electrical system in your car checked early in the season. The voltmeter should read 12.4 volts or more and make sure to keep the battery fully charged using a battery charger or maintainer. Your Goodguys service staff can assist with this, beginning with a battery check.
High temperatures are even worse on your car’s battery. Everything under the hood of your car in summer heats up anyway, so corrosion accelerates inside the battery with this added heat. Water evaporates out of the battery, resulting in a weakened ability to start the engine. High temperatures simply shorten the life of a battery.
It is to your benefit to have a good working relationship with your Goodguys technician. He or she can test the battery upon request and monitor the performance and capability of the battery before it fails and leaves you stranded. Here are a few other tips to promote a healthier car battery life:
- Try to keep your car at an average temperature
- Use a slow charger if you need to recharge your battery yourself
- Let the battery cool down before charging after a long drive
Battery Type Matters
Many drivers simply ask how long the battery is manufactured to last, but there is more to it than that. Also, the “top performer” for the best car battery this year may not be the same next year. The best thing you can do is get guidance from a mechanic that is already familiar with your vehicle.
Below are the two of the most common types of batteries, along with pros and cons of each:
1. The Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Battery
This battery, is a more advanced battery that is:
- Able to stand up to repeated draining and recharging cycles
- Able to handle modern technology in cars that increase demand for power
- Significantly more costlier than highly rated conventional batteries
2. The Maintenance-Free Lead-Acid Battery
This battery is typically more traditional and it:
- Retains its fluid for the life of the battery
- May last longer in hot climates
- Will generally cost significantly less than an absorbed glass mat battery
- Will not hold a charge for as long as the AGM
- Is unable to tolerate a deep discharge
There is also the issue of a battery fitting securely in the car. The terminals have to be in the right place or the cables might not reach or fit tightly. This is something else you can check in your owner’s manual, or simply let your Goodguys mechanic advise you and install the battery for you.
It’s important to keep in mind that the modern electrical components and other devices that operate in your car will generally need the AGM battery.
Signs a New Battery Is Needed
Eventually a battery loses its ability to hold any charge. You turn the key one day and the car starts with difficulty or worse, it doesn’t start at all. Sometimes it can be boosted with battery cables, but that’s only a temporary solution. It would be wise to replace the battery before it ever gets to that point.
You can get the most out of your battery when you drive daily, which keeps the battery fully charged. Keeping a car parked for long periods of time can lead to deterioration of the battery. In any case, bring your car to Goodguys Tires & Auto Repair to have it tested for peace of mind.
The battery and charging system test, which includes testing the alternator, is called the AVR test and costs an average of $40–50. There may be additional labor costs to the test, and a new battery can cost between $50–$250.
Of course, keep an eye on the dashboard indicator lights. If the battery icon is illuminated, make an appointment to have the battery checked as soon as possible.
A weak battery will turn the engine over slower than normal, the dash lights might dim or flicker, the headlights may be dim when the engine is idling, but brighter when the engine is revved, and the power windows may begin to move slower than usual. You may also see corrosion around the battery terminals and cables under the hood.
Any of these signs mean trouble is on the way. Head off to your local Goodguys auto shop for assistance.
Shop the Warranty
When purchasing a new battery, it’s important to pay attention to the warranty. Look for a battery that has the longest free replacement period. If the battery fails before the warranty ends, check for the prorated period that allows for partial reimbursement . Make sure you know the provisions of the warranty you buy because signs of neglect can void a warranty. If the battery isn’t recommended for heavy-duty use, such as powering high-end audio systems, this can also void the warranty.
Goodguys Is Ready to Help
Whatever your needs are for your car or truck battery, we can help. Don’t purchase a battery if you’re not sure it can handle the job, let Goodguys take a look first. We can also monitor the life of the battery through regular maintenance checks. Give us a call today!
Car Battery FAQs
What does a car battery do?
How do I know the age of my battery?
Most drivers don’t know the age of the battery in their vehicle. It could have been in inventory at the auto parts store for some time before you purchased it, and since batteries have a limited lifespan, age is important. Look at the sticker placed on the top or side of the battery. If the numeric code shows 10/21, for example, the battery was manufactured in October of 2021. Most batteries last for three to five years.
However, there is an easier way! Have one of the certified mechanics at Goodguys Fresno auto shop run a routine battery test. They can tell you if the battery is holding its voltage or if it’s time to replace it. Trust Goodguys with your car battery!
What are the signs a car battery needs to be replaced?
Here are some potential problems to watch out for:
- The check engine light comes on.
- The car starts sluggishly.
- The fluid levels are low.
- The battery case begins to swell.
- You notice a rotten egg smell.
- The battery is over 3 years old.
If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment at Goodguys to have your battery inspected right away. If your battery needs to be replaced, we can help you choose the battery you need at the best price.
What is preventative maintenance for a battery?
Preventative maintenance is similar to your yearly check-up with your doctor. The battery terminals, tie-down hardware, cable connections, and the case are all checked to determine their condition. If any of these components need attention, it can be identified early, rather than after something fails.
Most auto experts recommend a car battery be inspected at least twice a year. You can make this easy for yourself by including it with your routine oil changes. If we determine your battery needs replacing, check out our coupon page for discounts and specials. Our Goodguys mechanics can guide you in selecting the best car battery for your vehicle.
Does a jump start damage the battery?
No, but a jump start can harm you if done improperly. It’s frustrating to turn the key to start your car and find that nothing happens. Many drivers carry jumper cables to make a temporary connection with another vehicle’s battery in order to start their car. Once enough power is provided to crank the engine, the normal charging system recharges and the cables are removed. Driving the car then restores the original charge.
However, batteries contain sulfuric acid. The acid turns into a vapor that is highly flammable. Jumper cables can generate a spark, which can ignite the vapor and cause an explosion. Read your owner’s manual carefully before attempting to jump start either your vehicle or someone else’s.
How does climate affect a car battery?
Are more expensive batteries really worth the money?
Depending on the make and model of your car, a standard car battery price runs between $50 to $120, and premium batteries can be $90 or more depending on any specialized features they might have. On top of that, there are car battery installation costs, which can run up to $75. However, prices can vary dramatically due to inflation and availability, and some shops don’t charge for battery installation, so it’s best to work with a Goodguys mechanic before you make a decision.
Battery manufacturing varies a great deal from brand to brand. If a manufacturer uses premium materials, you should expect greater performance and longer-lasting use. These car batteries may cost more up front, but they often last longer than less expensive brands. However, there are plenty of trusted car battery brands that are more affordable.
Do I have to add water to the battery in between service visits?
I need to store my car. How do I preserve the battery?
Can I replace a car battery myself?