Should You Recharge or Replace Your Dying Car Battery?

This is a question we are asked often at Fox Run Auto. Someone has their battery die. Or, they may have trouble starting their car or with certain electronic components. They know their battery is getting weaker and aren't sure if they need to replace it or if it can just be recharged.

Whether you should replace or recharge your car battery may depend on several factors. Here are a few things you should consider:

Car Battery Age

Probably the most important factor is the age of the car's battery. If it is over four years old and is starting to show signs of deterioration, it's probably time to replace it. You can try to recharge it and get a little more life out of it. However, that charge isn't likely to last that long and you will have to keep recharging more and more. You may have to bite the bullet and get it replaced with a new car battery.

Car Battery Voltage

A mechanic or roadside assistance provider may be able to test the voltage of your car battery and determine whether or not it still has some life or if it needs to be replaced soon. A healthy car battery will usually have a voltage range between 12.4 and 12.7 volts. If it is slightly below that, you should be able to jump-start the vehicle and everything will be okay for awhile. If it is in the 11-12 voltage range, you may need to have it professionally recharged by a mechanic or with a dedicated charging machine. Anything below that and you are probably best off replacing the battery.

How Did it Die?

Lastly, it helps to recognize how and when the battery died or started showing signs of weakness. If it died because you left your lights on overnight, that's not necessarily the battery's fault. It may still have plenty of life, so a jump-start or recharge should be sufficient. If it is slowly losing power with electronic problems, trouble staring the car and other signs of battery failure, then it may need to be replaced because a recharge might not last that long. If it is just completely dead through no fault of your own, then it definitely should be replaced. A recharge may only be a very temporarily solution in this case.

When a car battery is dead or dying, it will depend on its age, voltage and other factors to determine if you should replace it or if you can get away with a simple recharge or jump-start. 

For all your car battery needs in Northern Delaware, call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online. Our automotive technicians will be able to provide you with the proper recommendations for car battery replacement or recharging.


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