How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Car Battery?
Last Updated on April 20, 2022
All car batteries need periodic replacement.
The average cost of replacing a car battery is anywhere from $80 to $400. Costs vary depending on the type of battery and whether you replace the battery at home or do it yourself.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the cost of replacing a car battery.
Table of Contents:
- Average Car Battery Replacement Costs
- How Does Car Battery Replacement Work?
- Why Do I Need to Replace My Battery?
- Signs You Need to Replace a Car Battery
- How to Choose the Right Car Battery
- How Much Do Car Batteries Cost?
- Does Insurance Cover Battery Replacement?
Average Car Battery Replacement Costs
Car batteries are an ordinary part of car maintenance. Over time, batteries and their terminals degrade, and you need to replace them.
If you need to replace a battery in your vehicle, then you can expect to spend anywhere from $80 to $400.
There are two components of car battery replacement, including:
- Parts (Your New Battery): $80 to $350
- Labor: $40 to $70
Some drivers replace a battery at home to save money. You can replace a battery at home using basic tools, including standard wrenches and sockets. You can find battery replacement tutorials for most vehicles online. Even if you have limited automotive experience, you may be able to replace your battery without a mechanic.
However, if you would prefer to use a mechanic, then you should expect to pay for roughly 30 to 60 minutes of labor. Depending on the cost of labor in your area, it could cost $40 to $70 for someone to replace your car battery for you.
How Does Car Battery Replacement Work?
Your car has a battery. It uses this battery to crank over the engine and to power various electrical components and computers.
When a vehicle has a dead or dying battery, it leads to various issues. You may have difficulty starting your car, for example. Or, your car may not start at all.
Car battery replacement is a similar process for most vehicles – even hybrid-electric vehicles, which still use a conventional battery. However, if you have a full-electric vehicle like a Tesla, then car battery replacement is a much more intensive process, and it could cost thousands of dollars.
Assuming you have a standard gas-powered or hybrid-electric vehicle, you can buy a car battery at most large retail stores. Walmart, Costco, and other major retailers all carry car batteries.
Look up the type of battery required for your vehicle, then pick up the battery from the store.
Why Do I Need to Replace My Battery?
The battery is a crucial component of your vehicle. If you have a dead or dying battery, then your vehicle may struggle to start.
If you have noticed symptoms of a dying battery, then it’s important to get your battery replaced as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be stranded. If your car fails to start, for example, then you’ll need somebody -like a passerby or a roadside assistance company – to jumpstart your battery.
Signs You Need to Replace a Car Battery
If you have noticed any of the following symptoms, then you may want to replace your car battery:
- Engine cranks over slowly
- The starter clicks when trying to start the engine
- Interior lights appear dimmer than usual
- The engine doesn’t crank over at all, but your interior and exterior lights still work
- Extensive corrosion on the battery posts or cables
Most car batteries last 3 to 5 years. If you have noticed any of these symptoms and have not recently replaced your battery, then it may be time for a replacement.
How to Choose the Right Car Battery
There are different car battery types and options. You need to choose the right type of battery for your vehicle.
Check your owner’s manual to determine which car battery your vehicle needs.
Almost all car batteries are 12-volt batteries. However, car battery types vary based on the position of the positive and negative terminals and the size of the battery. These need to line up with the configuration of your vehicle.
You may also want to choose a different battery based on your location. If you live in a winter climate, for example, then you may want a battery that performs well in sub-freezing conditions. Some batteries are specifically rated for the coldest temperatures, for example, while others are more suited to warmer climates.
There are more than 40 common vehicle battery types available. Verify you have chosen the right battery for your vehicle.
How Much Do Car Batteries Cost?
Most car batteries cost $80 to $200.
However, you may find some cheap car batteries for $50 to $75. Or, some specialty batteries cost $250 to $500.
The main types of vehicle batteries include:
Lead-Acid Batteries ($100 to $150): Lead-acid batteries are one of the most common types of batteries, and they’re the type found in most vehicles. They’re cheap, straightforward, and easy to find.
Enhanced Flooded Battery ($200+): Enhanced flooded batteries are less expensive than absorbent glass mat batteries. They’re built for vehicles with simple start-stop technology. In most cases, they’re a cheaper alternative to the absorbent glass mat battery.
Absorbent Glass Mat Battery ($250+): Absorbent glass mat batteries are less common, but they power the more sophisticated components in luxury vehicles.
Lithium Ion Battery ($500+): Some modern vehicles use lithium ion batteries. They’re common in hybrid and electric vehicles. They’re the same batteries used in smartphones and other small electronics. A lithium ion battery provides a good, consistent flow of power to your vehicle, and it’s designed to last a long time. Many hybrid and electric vehicles contain “packs” of multiple lithium ion batteries. They may need to be replaced less frequently, but they also cost more to replace.
Does Insurance Cover Battery Replacement?
A standard auto insurance policy will not cover battery replacement.
Insurance does not cover maintenance or wear and tear, and battery replacement falls under maintenance and wear and tear. It’s an expected, normal part of owning a vehicle – just like replacing your tires every 60,000 miles.
However, if you have roadside assistance through your insurer or a third party like AAA, then you could make a claim for towing or vehicle jumpstarts. In this case, roadside assistance covers the cost of sending a technician to your location to jumpstart your vehicle – or the cost of towing your vehicle to the nearest repair center if it cannot start.
Final Word on Car Battery Replacement Cost
It costs $100 to $400 to replace a car battery in an average vehicle, depending on the type of battery you need and whether or not you perform the repairs yourself.
If you have an electric vehicle, then replacing a car battery could cost significantly more. Full-electric vehicles often have packs of lithium ion batteries, for example, that may need replacement.
You can find batteries at any auto parts store and in large retail stores like Walmart and Costco. Shop online today to ensure you have the right battery for your vehicle.