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What does a car battery do?
A car’s battery is primarily responsible for powering the engine. Alongside this important function, the battery also plays another role in making sure that all the electrical functions in the car are working properly. If your car is not starting properly or it feels sluggish, there is a chance that you need a car battery replacement.
Car batteries can last an average of 3-5 years, but similar to how a mobile phone batteries become less efficient over time, likewise, your car’s battery will slowly deteriorate.
Luckily, mobile car battery replacement specialists are often able to come to you wherever you might find yourself to fit a new car battery for you, so you don’t have to worry about finding your way to a garage.
Looking for a mobile car battery fitting specialist?
If your car battery is flat and you have no way of re-charging it, you may need to have a new battery fitted. A mobile mechanic can often come out to your home to fit a new battery for you, saving you from having to work out how to get your car to the garage.
Finding a mobile mechanic to fit your battery at home
- Enter your car registration and postcode
- Compare local garages, mechanics and dealerships based on price, reviews and location.
- Book your mobile mechanic online instantlyBook your chosen mechanic at a time that works for you.
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Compare car battery replacement costs
Different car makes and models require different types of batteries due to variations in size and power requirements. As such, the cost of a car battery replacement depends a lot on the make and model of car that you own. The average cost of a car battery replacement when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar is around £196.95.
Take a look below at some of the average car battery replacement cost across some of the most common car makes.
|Car Make||Average Price|
Top warning signs that your car battery needs to be replaced
Here are some of the top warning signs that your car battery may need to be replaced:
A slow starting engine
Dim lights and low/loss of power to electrics
Dashboard battery warning signal
A bad smell
A misshapen battery case
Your battery struggles to overcome seasonal challenges
Car battery replacement
The average cost of a car battery replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £181.
Over time, car batteries lose their ability to hold a charge and eventually need to be replaced. If there’s a fault with your car’s electrical system, it can drain your battery quicker than average.Can include
- Car electrics testing and diagnostic
- Car battery removal
- Car battery sourcing
- Car battery fitting
The average cost of a car diagnostic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £48.
Car diagnostics testing involves plugging your vehicle into special software that can reveal issues with its engine, electrical system, transmission, braking, exhaust system, and more. A specialist will run tests on your vehicle to expose the cause of any problems you're having with your car.Can include
- Full diagnostic testing
- Recommended repairs
Mobile car battery replacement
The average cost of a car battery replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £157.62. If your car battery is dead, a mobile mechanic can come and replace it for you. The exact cost of a mobile car battery replacement will depend on the type of car battery you need.Can include
- Home visit
- Battery diagnostic
- Battery replacement
Which car battery service do you need?
Flat or damaged batteries are one of the most common reasons why motorists call for roadside assistance, and a large number of breakdowns happen because of batteries that are simply too old for the job they’re performing. Here we look at what kind of car battery services garages typically offer.
Car battery check
If you happen to face problems starting your car, for instance the engine turning over sluggishly when you turn the ignition key, you can ask a garage to perform a ‘battery drop test’ which will underline any problems with your battery. If the battery is coming to the end of its life, it may well be worth replacing it to avoid problems in the future.
Jump-starting a car
If your car battery ends up discharging completely, then you'll need to borrow someone else's car and perform a jump start.
Here’s how to jump-start your car:
Find your jump-start cables
Line another car up and park it, ensuring that both ignitions are switched off
Remove the caps from the batteries
Connect the cables together
Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery
Attach the red clip on the other end to the terminal of the other car
Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the working cars battery
Attach the other end of the black clip to a surface area of unpainted metal on the car that is not working properly
Try to re-start your engine
If the engine starts, brilliant! Take a drive around for at least forty minutes as this will recharge the battery.
If it doesn’t start from attempting to jump-start then go back and make sure the cables are all attached properly and let the other car run for five minutes or so.
A car battery is actively charged while a car is being driven, meaning that it should only ever die if there is a fault in the system or somebody has left the lights on in the car overnight. Cracks could also cause battery acid to leak out of the car battery which would obviously result in a car battery failure.
If jump-starting your battery fails, the next course of action is to find a garage or mechanic to look at it as soon as possible who will likely recommend a car battery replacement is needed.
Car battery replacement
If your car battery keeps going flat or can’t be jump started, it’s probably time to get a battery replacement. A dead battery won’t hold its charge, which is why it should be replaced immediately.
Car battery fitting
The correct battery for your car will depend on the vehicle's usage and the level of electrical equipment in operation. The battery size required for your car can be found in the owner’s manual. Buying a new car battery and replacing your old one isn’t always simple, which is why a technician is the best option for a correct car battery fitting. You need to find the right battery for your vehicle first, and then when fitting the battery into the car, most modern car manufacturers need the battery to be coded to their system.
How can you prevent your car battery from draining?
Sometimes, running your car battery down cannot be prevented. If the battery itself is old, it’s highly likely that it’s simply time to replace it, not that it has anything wrong with it. That being said, there are some things you can do to try and reduce the chances of your car battery from running flat unnecessarily:
1. Regular usage of the car
Using your car at least once a week can help to prevent the battery from going flat from lack of usage.
2. Avoid sitting in the car with the engine off, and the lights and/or radio on
Many cars nowadays will warn you that you have left your lights on when exiting the vehicle to prevent your battery from going flat, however, it’s an easy mistake to make and still one of the main reasons many people get flat car batteries.
3. Avoid turning your car engine on then off again, and try to avoid frequent short journeys
Doing this can make your battery struggle when trying to re-start your engine, draining your battery more or even flattening it completely.
4. Regularly ensure that the terminals are not corroded
Not only is this dangerous, it could also lead to your car battery diminishing in power over time if left unresolved.
Common car battery problems
Car battery problems can happen to any car at any time. We come across several common car battery problems in our day to day work. Some of the most common problems include:
Flat battery caused by electrics being left on without your engine running
If your car's headlights don't automatically switch off when the engine stops, you might just be one of the unlucky people who return to their car later, only to find a flat battery problem due to forgetting to switch the headlights off manually. When headlights, indicators or interior lighting isn’t switched off, it can end up running your battery flat to the point where there isn’t enough juice in the battery to start the engine.
Cold weather can impact the car battery
Freezing temperatures can also affect batteries in a bad way. The cold weather often has a negative effect on the chemical reactions taking place inside batteries, which slows down the charging process and can lead to insufficient power to kick-start the engine.
Some motorists regularly encounter this problem tend to invest in a car battery charger, which can be connected to your car’s battery and placed on the wall, which means the car will be able to start no matter the weather.
If your vehicle's 12v power supply is in continual use or you consistently run things like travel DVD players or mini fridges from your car then you could be putting too much stress on your battery. Buying a more powerful battery means you'll be able to use your car as a portable charging point, plus more power will be accessible for instant starts on those rushed early mornings.
Corrosion or loose connections
If there is a problem with your car’s battery connection and it either hasn’t been fitted properly or it comes loose, there is a danger of damaging your battery, plus, more importantly, the actual car itself. It’s so important to get your battery connection checked because loose connectors often cause sparks, which is dangerous in engine bays. If ever in doubt, take your car to a garage as soon as you notice anything loose.
Frequent short journeys/stop-start driving
Frequently turning off and then restarting your engine is an easy way to reduce the car battery’s efficiency over time. The additional stress of using power to turn the engine over several times within a short space of time can reduce your battery's lifespan, so once your engine is on, try to leave it running as much as is feasible. Additionally, avoid switching the engine off at traffic lights as this can shorten the life of the battery.
The job of the alternator is to charge your battery whilst the engine is running. If you believe there is a problem with your alternator, a mechanic will need to take a look to repair it or replace the battery. Head to your local garage to check if your alternator is causing car battery issues.
Does the car battery have anything to do with my car not starting?
The most likely reason for your car not starting is due the car battery being flat or your battery having a fault. This can happen if the battery has been completely drained of its power. One possible cause is if the electrical system or lights have been left on unintentionally. In addition to the car not starting, it is unlikely you'll be able to use the lights or radio to their full potential with a faulty or less-than-efficient battery.
Can I recharge a flat battery?
This depends on the condition of your battery. If you can jump start the car, then driving for at least 30 minutes may part-charge the battery, allowing the car to start next time. However, if the car is experiencing the same problems and the battery seems dead on the next attempt of starting the car, then you may need to fit a new battery.
Can I fit the car battery replacement myself?
Car battery replacement is becoming more complicated and we advise you seek the assistance of a garage or mobile mechanic. They will help you source a suitable battery, for example, a Varta or Bosch battery.
How long do car batteries last?
On average, your car's battery will last about 3-5 years, although this is also dependent on your mileage. If you pick up on any symptoms of battery failure make sure to act fast to avoid serious damage.
What do I do if my car battery goes flat?
Jump-starting your car battery is the first thing you should consider doing if it goes flat. If that fails and you feel your battery is on its way out, the best course of action is to contact a mechanic for a car battery replacement.
Is diagnosing and replacing the battery problem part of the warranty?
Your car’s battery is part of the car which the extended warranty industry calls a “wear and tear” part. Wear and tear parts are items that are expected to wear out over time and thus should be replaced as a part of regular maintenance. Most warranties will not cover the replacement of your battery.
Are car battery replacements covered by insurance?
Car battery replacement is not covered by insurance in most cases.
How much does car battery replacement cost?
Depending on the garage you visit and the make of your car, a car battery replacement or fitting costs on average £196.95 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.