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How long would you expect a battery to last?

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Sirrel Squirrel, 24 Jun 2021.

  1. Sirrel Squirrel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Aug 2003

    Posts: 7,998

    Location: Essex

    Just got my 2005 E350 back from the garage as the EML light came on and was reporting lots of undervolting errors.

    Turns out the car has never had a new battery and the one that was in there was from 2004!
     
  2. paradigm

    Caporegime

    Joined: 26 Aug 2003

    Posts: 36,988

    Location: Staffordshire

    Sounds like a decent innings for a lead acid battery to me. I've seen them fail in 5 years, but similarly also had them last for over a decade.

    I had to replace my 2004 TT's battery last year, it was original.
     
  3. Sirrel Squirrel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Aug 2003

    Posts: 7,998

    Location: Essex

    O yea I was amazed it was still going as I thought they only lasted around 5 years.
     
  4. watercooledman

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 12 Jan 2021

    Posts: 1,728

    replaced one in a bmw that was the original, it lasted 14 years.
     
  5. Howard

    Capodecina

    Joined: 12 Jul 2007

    Posts: 16,277

    Location: South East

    I think the average is 5-6 years, but it depends on use. A battery in a car that does primarily longer journeys will last longer than one that just bimbles around town and hardly ever has a chance to build the charge levels back up.

    Mine (bought in 2015) started playing up earlier this year despite me doing a few "longer" trips to work and back, and I thought it was on its last legs. But I bought myself a Ctek charger and gave it a good old charge, and also started using it more, and it's been fine since.
     
  6. BobShark

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Jun 2018

    Posts: 329

    Location: Close to the sea, UK

    Sounds like common sense but my experience is there is a big difference in longevity depending on the quality of the battery. I've had factory fitted batteries last 10+ years and then branded aftermarket replacements last less than half of that. On average, I'd agree with around 6 years or so.
     
  7. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Nov 2004

    Posts: 24,987

    Location: On the road....

    The battery in my old e38 was the original factory item when it was replaced at 16 years and 60k miles.

    When I discussed the cars history with its first owner he explained that the car spent its time when not in use garaged and on a trickle charger which I expect is why it lasted so long over a relatively low mileage, the car had little use as it was owned by someone who owned and ran a network of dealer franchises and had use of many other cars.

    It certainly failed relatively quickly once I started to use the car as a “daily driver” - hate that term. :p
     
  8. Terminal_Boy

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 13 Apr 2013

    Posts: 9,822

    Location: La France

    OEM batteries are one of the few items that car manufacturers don’t skimp on.

    The problem with aftermarket batteries is that unless you don’t buy the expensive top end model for your car from Varta, Fulmen etc. you don’t get the same quality as the OEM item.
     
  9. Pentland

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Feb 2021

    Posts: 113

    I don’t think they last as long as they used to. Particularly in diesels that experience short journeys and cold weather. Replaced the last few car batteries with. 5 years.
     
  10. MrRockliffe

    Mobster

    Joined: 14 Apr 2014

    Posts: 4,482

    Location: Sunny Sussex

    Battery in my car started acting funny recently, so I replaced it. It was about 7 and a half years old :)
     
  11. Malt_Vinegar

    Don

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 15,943

    Location: In a house

    I think the battery in my 06 plate 750i is original. I think its likely due a replacement soon :D
     
  12. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 78,387

    Used to have it a lot with colleagues at work, etc. who'd buy budget batteries and wonder why they only got 2-3 years out of them but these days most of those people have a car on finance and change the car every 2-3 years anyhow.

    Personally I've tended to buy stuff like Varta Silver, etc. which so far hasn't let me down... so far...
     
  13. kona786

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Jun 2007

    Posts: 18,593

    Location: Downtown

  14. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 78,387

    Exide are usually decent.

    I don't know the ins and outs of it but about 80% of car batteries are made by companies owned by Brookfield Business Partners, then the higher grade ones get sold under the Bosch and Varta brands, next grade down gets sold under a few brands you see floating around like Optima, then the next grade are sold as own brand batteries by some of the automotive shops then the rest generic noname budget brands. Yuasa and Exide have their own manufacturing capabilities but Exide also produce Bosch batteries under license (so basically the same as the others but manufactured by Exide) sold under their own brand for some lines or something like that.
     
  15. kona786

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Jun 2007

    Posts: 18,593

    Location: Downtown

    Good to know, thanks.
     
  16. jpaul

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Mar 2010

    Posts: 15,548

    As said - depends on useage pattern and environment

    not a problem in the UK but the daily heat sink, at the likes of the Med, maybe equally detrimental, to battery life, like cold starts,
    getting into a baking car always feels worse for me, anyway, than a frosty morning;
    company built an underground car park, with, daily, competition for those premium spaces.
    e: maybe geekman will comment

    Always start with the clutch in, is there an analogous strategy for autos ? ... otherwise do they put more/less load on battery during starting.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2021
  17. support_bae

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Mar 2009

    Posts: 466

    I’ve used Yuasa and Varta batteries without any problems. My old fiesta fitted with a 7 year old Yuasa started without any problems after not driving it for 8 months during lockdown. This was without any trickle charging. A new battery is so cheap there’s no point keeping it trickle charged.
     
  18. Terminal_Boy

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 13 Apr 2013

    Posts: 9,822

    Location: La France

    Lead acid batteries don’t like being discharged under 50% of capacity as it can damage the plates.

    We have a 2008 Megane as a 2nd/backup car and its OEM battery finally gave up the ghost a couple of months ago. Rather impressed as it was a short journey runaround for its previous owner as well.
     
  19. Tee Hee Johnson

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 May 2007

    Posts: 4,513

    Location: Glasgow, Scotland

    I thought out wee 2010 fiesta was doing well on its first battery, and then people mention 2004, etc.!
     
  20. MissChief

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Jul 2010

    Posts: 21,336

    I just replaced the battery in my 2012 Focus as well. 2004 is bloody good going!