Tags:Consumer, Consumer Reports, Money, Morning Show
If you’ve had to replace a car battery in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that they’ve become more expensive. In fact, battery prices have been rising over the past decade. Consumer Reports investigates reasons for the price hike and suggests some ways to save.
You probably grew up with a battery such as a lead-acid, or “flooded,” battery. But many new cars now come with absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. Some lead-acid batteries have been enhanced with advanced materials and design, but the other type, AGM batteries, use a glass mat separator to allow an electrolyte solution to move between the thin battery plates. It makes them well-suited to repeated draining and recharging.
Why are carmakers using these new and more expensive batteries? Today’s high-tech cars need more electrical power. As vehicle technology evolves, cars need more and more electric power to operate features such as today’s stop/start technology, safety and convenience features, and all the additional power outlets that charge our devices.
Not surprisingly, these enhanced batteries also come with an enhanced price tag. AGM batteries can cost between $200 and $300, twice as much as traditional lead-acid batteries, so you want to make sure you’re buying one that will last.
CR puts the batteries through a, well, battery of tests, simulating a vehicle starting thousands of times, in mild weather and in cold temperatures.
And remember, Consumer Reports says, you don’t have to buy a battery at a car dealership or specialty shop. Buying from a big box store can save you money, and often auto parts stores will even install it for you. And it isn’t necessary to buy the most expensive replacement battery. CR tests show that some lead-acid batteries perform almost as well as AGMs but cost far less.
CR also says that you should replace the battery in your car with the same size and type, but you can upgrade from a traditional battery to an AGM model.
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Wondering why new car batteries cost so much? Here’s the reason and how to save? ›
Today's high-tech cars need more electrical power. As vehicle technology evolves, cars need more and more electric power to operate features such as today's stop/start technology, safety and convenience features, and all the additional power outlets that charge our devices.Why are car batteries so expensive all of a sudden? ›
Today's high-tech cars need more electrical power. As vehicle technology evolves, cars need more and more electric power to operate features such as today's stop/start technology, safety and convenience features, and all the additional power outlets that charge our devices.Why are batteries for new cars so expensive? ›
Electric vehicle batteries are typically made from minerals like lithium, cobalt and nickel that have to be made from minerals that are in high demand. The high costs keep these vehicles out of reach for many Americans, hampering the adoption of an important tool in the fight against climate change.Where is the cheapest place to buy a car battery? ›
Walmart is hands down the cheapest place to buy a car battery. They carry EverStart batteries, their in-store brand manufactured by Clarios, which also makes Optima batteries. In addition to EverStart, some Walmart stores carry other brands such as Bosch and Optima.Why are batteries so expensive 2023? ›
But soaring demand for EVs and limited supply for the metals that go in them have made rising prices for batteries the new normal (Covid restrictions, rampant inflation, and dwindling government subsidies don't help, but these problems aren't as deep-rooted as the materials supply crunch).How much should I spend on a car battery? ›
Depending on power, size, and quality, prices for a replacement car battery range from about $45 to $250. Your local dealership, auto parts store or automotive service center can check your current battery or hook you up with a new car battery.Is it cheaper to recharge batteries or buy new ones? ›
You are going to spend more on rechargeable batteries than you would spend on regular batteries during the first year. Rechargeables cost more per battery: Expect to pay more than $3 per battery for a long-lasting, quality brand. Plus, the charging station is going to be an additional cost.How many years should you get a new car battery? ›
In general, your car will usually need a new battery after three to four years. Replacing your car battery is another part of routine maintenance. Getting your battery checked and inspected is standard for your service visits after three years, even if you haven't needed it replaced yet.Why does my car keep killing new batteries? ›
Why Your Car Battery Keeps Dying. While car batteries slowly die over time, high heat, brutal cold, excessive use of vehicle accessories (after-market equipment), and other mechanical issues can shorten the life of even the toughest battery.What company makes the forever battery for cars? ›
In late 2021, QuantumScape illustrated that its forever battery performed in 4-layer formats up to 800 charging cycles. A quarter later, the company scaled successful results to 10-layer batteries up to 800 cycles.
Does AutoZone charge your car battery for free? ›
If your car battery is having trouble, AutoZone store associates can test or charge your battery for free.Does AutoZone still charge batteries for free? ›
FREE BATTERY CHARGING
Our fast charger can charge most automotive batteries in about 30 minutes.
Are Walmart Brand Vehicle Batteries Good Quality? Additionally, EverStart batteries are priced well against the competition. With convenient locations, battery fitting, and an excellent return and warranty policy, Walmart batteries may be a perfect choice for many different types of car owners.Which battery is the future? ›
New-Generation Lithium-Ion Battery
The next generation of lithium-ion batteries will work on technological innovations in the cathode, enabling higher energy densities and lower costs.
One of the two grants that GE and its partners were awarded is for the creation of what GE calls the IMMORTAL battery that stands for InterMetallic MORphogen Tailored Activity Lithium. That's the battery that will last virtually forever.What is the new forever battery? ›
In battery technology parlance, solid-state batteries (SSBs) are sometimes called “forever batteries.” That's because these batteries promise to far outlast traditionally technologies that rely on the electrochemical discharge of ionic solutions.How often should I buy a car battery? ›
Service experts estimate that you should replace your car battery every four to five years.What is the average of a car battery? ›
On average, car batteries last between 3 and 5 years.  One of the most important factors that affects how long a car battery will last is the weather. A running engine under the hood is already producing high levels of heat.What determines the price of a car battery? ›
A car battery price can range between 100-200 dollars. But it all depends on which one you're getting. Generally, the amount you pay is determined by three major factors: the warranty, performance, and battery type.Is it better to charge a battery or replace it? ›
If your battery is over 4 years old we'd advise replacing it with a new one. You may find you're able to temporarily recharge a battery this old, however it's likely to lose its charge again very soon. Older batteries do deteriorate over time and naturally lose their ability to hold a charge.
What are the pros of getting a new battery? ›
By changing the car battery you get rid of frequent battery discharge problems. A good battery gets recharged quickly, the time limit for charging the battery is less as compared to an old battery.Is it better to charge car battery or new battery? ›
If your car battery is around 4 years old or more, you probably should consider just replacing it with a brand-new one. Even if you do recharge a battery this old, it will likely lose its charge again very soon. The deterioration the battery has experienced reduces its ability to hold a charge and perform as needed.What shortens car battery life? ›
Factors that can shorten its life include an extended period of partial or full discharge, vibration from not being properly secured, under- or overcharging, extreme temperatures, water loss, electrolyte contamination and corrosion on terminals.What drains a car battery? ›
“Electrical devices or lights left running, a defective charging system or alternator, and extreme weather are some common reasons but maybe it's just time to get a new battery.”What is the average life of a car? ›
How many miles does a car last? A conventional car can last for 200,000 miles. Some well-maintained car models will reach 300,000 or more miles total. The average passenger car age is currently around 12 years in the United States.What drains car battery overnight? ›
What may drain a car battery when it's off are things such as interior lights, door lights, or even bad relays. While your engine runs, the alternator recharges the battery — which is why you typically don't have to worry about the battery dying while you're blasting the radio on your drive to work!What is the most common cause of car battery drain? ›
Even if your car is equipped with a system that turns off your headlights automatically, your interior lights or trunk lights can also be left on overnight. By leaving your lights on for several hours, you may wind up with a completely drained battery by the time you go to start up your car.
Short-Term Driving: Driving your car often on short trips can contribute to a short battery life and a battery failing to keep a charge. This is because the most taxing use of the battery in your vehicle is the initial engine start and you never give it enough time to get fully charged.What is America's most trusted auto battery? ›
We install DieHard auto batteries—America's most trusted auto battery. DieHard batteries are there for you when you need them most. They can handle extremes. And they're packed with the power today's vehicles need to perform.Does it matter what car battery you buy? ›
There is no “one-size-fits-all” battery suitable for every car. The battery type, physical size, terminal configuration, and cold cranking amps (CCA) or amp-hour (Ah) rating are all important factors that ensure the proper fit and function of a battery.
Does car battery brand really matter? ›
When replacing the batteries, it is best to use new and unused alkaline batteries. We recommend name brand batteries, Duracell or Energizer brands are always good choices. Store brands do not operate at the same level of reliability.Which brand of battery lasts the longest and why? ›
In general, batteries made by reputable companies with strong brand names do indeed perform better than the cheap stuff. Energizer, and Duracell (probably the most expensive battery brands) are among the best performers.Who is the number one battery? ›
1. Exide Industries Ltd. Exide Industries ltd is India's largest selling battery company.What battery company did Bill Gates invest in? ›
Why Bill Gates invested in this tiny start-up that helps turn lithium into batteries. Bill Gates' investment fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures recently invested $10 million in a seven-person start-up with no revenue and no customers, Mangrove Lithium.What company makes battery that lasts for 20 years? ›
Lithium-ion vs lithium metal batteries
The new EV battery from Adden Energy is a lithium-metal battery with a lifespan of up to 20 years.
Researchers at Vienna University of Technology have developed an oxygen-ion battery based on ceramic materials that has a longer lifespan than lithium-ion batteries. The new battery can be regenerated and does not require rare elements, making it an ideal solution for large energy storage systems.How do I know if my alternator is going out? ›
- Dim or Overly Bright Lights. ...
- Dead Battery. ...
- Slow or Malfunctioning Accessories. ...
- Trouble Starting or Frequent Stalling. ...
- Growling or Whining Noises. ...
- Smell of Burning Rubber or Wires. ...
- Battery Warning Light on Dash.
- The Check Engine Light is On. ...
- The Engine is Slow to Start. ...
- The Lights Are Dim or You are Experiencing Electrical Issues. ...
- The Battery Connectors Are Corroded. ...
- You can smell something rotten. ...
- Your battery case is misshapen. ...
- Your battery is old.
Depending on power, size, and quality, prices for a replacement car battery range from about $45 to $250. Your local dealership, auto parts store or automotive service center can check your current battery or hook you up with a new car battery.Do you tip the AutoZone guy? ›
As an employee of Advance, it is nice when customers give us tips for installing wipers or batteries. However, you do not have to do so if you dont want to or cannot. Those services are free for a reason.
Is buying a car battery from AAA a good idea? ›
Good and Fine: Pretty much every brand-name, "high-tier" auto parts store battery. Some examples would include Die Hard, Interstate, Super Start (O'Reilly's brand), and yes, AAA. These are perfectly adequate for most cars, can usually tolerate being jump-started a time or two, and will have a decent warranty.Are all car batteries made by the same company? ›
Most aftermarket car batteries sold in the U.S. are made by three companies that build them for retailers: Johnson Controls, which supplies more than half of the market; Stryten; and East Penn. They are sold under various names and built to the specifications of retailers, so performance can vary.Are Costco interstate batteries the same as regular interstate batteries? ›
How does a Costco Interstate battery differ from an Interstate battery? Costco Interstate batteries offer the same reliable power as Interstate batteries, but a different warranty program supports them.Why did battery prices go up? ›
There are several factors driving the uptick, but the single most important one is rising costs for materials including cobalt, nickel and lithium. While prices for nickel and cobalt have come down in recent months, and lithium may be about to turn, each of these are still higher than they have been in previous years.Why are batteries so expensive now? ›
One reason batteries are getting more expensive is that the cost of battery materials, particularly lithium, nickel, and cobalt, skyrocketed beginning in late 2021.Have car batteries went up in price? ›
Batteries got more expensive in 2022 after years of dropping prices — and it could delay access to cheaper electric cars. The world may need to wait longer than expected for affordable electric cars. Lithium-ion battery packs got more expensive in 2022 after getting cheaper for years.What is the average price of a car battery? ›
Average Price of a Car Battery
Based on the make and model of your vehicle, you can expect to pay around $50 to $120 for a standard car battery and around $90 to $200 for a premium type.
Some cars will get up to five or six years out of their battery, while others will need a new one after only two years. In general, your car will usually need a new battery after three to four years. Replacing your car battery is another part of routine maintenance.Are batteries going to get better? ›
Lithium-ion batteries keep getting better and cheaper, but researchers are tweaking the technology further to eke out greater performance and lower costs. Some of the motivation comes from the price volatility of battery materials, which could drive companies to change chemistries.Is there enough lithium to make all the batteries? ›
While the world does have enough lithium to power the electric vehicle revolution, it's less a question of quantity, and more a question of accessibility. Earth has approximately 88 million tonnes of lithium, but only one-quarter is economically viable to mine as reserves.
Are cheap car batteries worth it? ›
Buying a cheaper battery is a very tempting option to get you back on the road with minimum expense. However, cheaper batteries are often made using lower grade components such as cheap cables, wires, metals and electrolytes. These components wear out much quicker than higher quality batteries.Why are so many car batteries dying? ›
Why Your Car Battery Keeps Dying. While car batteries slowly die over time, high heat, brutal cold, excessive use of vehicle accessories (after-market equipment), and other mechanical issues can shorten the life of even the toughest battery.Are batteries getting cheaper? ›
Batteries for electric vehicles have certainly gotten cheaper over the last decade, but according to a new report published by the US Department of Energy (DOE), prices have gone down considerably. The DOE estimates that in 2022 the price of lithium-ion batteries for EVs were around 89 percent lower compared to 2008.What is killing my new car battery? ›
“Electrical devices or lights left running, a defective charging system or alternator, and extreme weather are some common reasons but maybe it's just time to get a new battery.”What's going to happen to the millions of electric car batteries? ›
Currently, many of the massive used batteries — the Tesla version weighs about 900 pounds — appear to be stockpiled in hopes of greater reuse and recycling markets. But eventually those batteries, along with the toxic chemicals that can leach out of them, could end up in hazardous waste landfills.How often do you need a new car battery? ›
Service experts estimate that you should replace your car battery every four to five years.How can I tell if my car battery is going bad? ›
According to Matthew Hart, owner of AxleWise.com, signs your battery is going bad include: The car is difficult to start. Once started, the car doesn't hold a charge for very long. Dim or flickering taillights and headlights.