7 Things That Can Drain Your Car Battery
Get answers to commonly asked questions about car batteries & visit your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care for a free battery test today!
Visit Firestone Complete Auto Care to find a replacement car battery near you. We have more than 1,700 locations nationwide and are open late and on weekends. Schedule an appointment online and visit your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care today!
Find your battery by vehicle here.
Cold cranking amps define a battery's ability to start in cold temperatures. It is the number of amps a 12-volt lead-acid battery can deliver at 32℉ for 30 seconds, while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts.
The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live. The colder your climate, the more cold cranking amps you'll need. Check your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended CCA and get a battery that at least meets these requirements. Consider upgrading if you live in a place that gets extremely cold.
Reserve capacity is a measurement of time (minutes) that indicates how long a fully-charged battery can deliver 25 amps of current in an 80℉ environment before the battery is discharged down to 10.5 volts. A battery's reserve capacity indicates how long the battery will continue to send power to essential accessories (like ignition, windshield wipers, headlights, and defroster) should your alternator or generator fail.
You can determine the age of your car battery by checking its label. This label is typically on the side of the battery. Look for a letter and a digit. The letter indicates the month the car battery was manufactured (A = January, B = February, etc.) The following digit will indicate the year the battery was manufactured (0 = 2010, 1 = 2011, 2 = 2012, etc.). See an example of a battery date code and estimate the age of your battery using our Virtual Battery Tester.
See our blog post on when is it time for a new battery.
Bring your old car battery to a battery recycling location near you. Do not throw your used car battery into your everyday recycling bin or trash can. At Firestone Complete Auto Care, recycling used batteries is part of our commitment to our customers and the environment. Bring your old battery to one of our more than 1,700 locations and our experienced technicians will dispose of it in the most environmentally responsible way.
The weaker the battery (the more discharged it is), the longer it will take to charge. An extremely discharged battery could take up to 12 hours to recharge. If you are using a 10 amp charger, it will take anywhere from 4 to 11 hours to recharge a 12-volt battery.
In general, driving a car will not fully recharge a car battery. The extent of the alternator's ability to adequately recharge the battery while you're driving depends on the battery's age, temperature, how long you drive, and how much current is sent from the alternator to the battery. If you suspect that your battery is not functioning to the best of its ability, visit your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care for a free battery test.
Refer to your owner's manual for instructions relating to jump starting your battery. Today's vehicles have various methods and it's no longer a simple "connect this cable here and that one there" scenario. Every car is different. If you're experiencing problems with your battery, stop by one of our more than 1,700 locations for free battery test and inspection. Read more about Jump Starting a Car and Other Battery Tips.
You should replace the battery every 3-5 years, right? The answer's not so simple. Learn how factors like climate & driving habits can drain your car battery.