How Long Should a Ford F-150 Car Battery Last?
A car battery certainly qualifies as an essential piece of equipment for your vehicle. Without one, your truck won’t even start, let alone haul loads or tow big heavy stuff. Like brakes and tires, the battery needs to be replaced from time to time. Even the best ones won’t last forever. As with other car components, it’s important to match the battery with the year, make and model of your vehicle so that you get the optimal one. A free VIN lookup is one quick way to secure a match. In general, a car battery runs about two to six years, and a good battery for a Ford F-150 costs between $150 to $290. Factors that affect duration include the type of battery you buy and the type of climate in which you drive. Locales with extreme heat and cold are harder on a battery and tend to reduce longevity.
How To Test a Battery
As for how to tell if your car battery is dead, several methods are available. You can go see your mechanic for a test, but that might cost you a bit of change and a drive to the shop. Better yet is to figure things out for yourself. A failing battery has several signs, including the following:
- Your car won’t start on cold mornings
- The engine cranks reluctantly, if at all
- Your dashboard warning light tells you the battery is low
- Your electrical components — radio, interior lights, wipers — won’t work when the ignition is on
- Your battery looks or smells strange
If you know the age of your battery, this will give you an indication of its expected shape. A good battery rarely lasts more than six years, so at the four-year mark, it’s time to pay more attention to it. Blithely ignoring your battery for too long could leave you stranded.
It’s not a bad idea for your personal garage to include a multimeter to test your battery. This small device is easy to use and informs you of your battery’s status. The steps for using it include setting it for 20 DC volts, attaching the probes to the correlating battery terminals, turning on the headlights and checking the readings.
How To Choose the Right Battery
While it’s possible to choose a battery that specifically fits your vehicle, more than likely, many batteries will provide excellent power for you. It pays to consider a few factors when shopping for a replacement car battery. Price is certainly a consideration; you might be able to save $50 to $100, but you will also likely lose performance and longevity, which could cost more in the long run. A superior battery is likely to have a warranty of three years or so. Power is another consideration, with the strongest batteries offering in the neighborhood of 700 to 800 cold-cranking amps.
For the best deals, shop for batteries and other car parts at your neighborhood auto parts store. Bring your business to a place that provides superior customer service and help for all your auto needs.