Taking care of a car well enough to make sure it runs as it should is a critical part of owning a vehicle. As a driver, it is your responsibility to keep up with routine maintenance like changing the oil, rotating the tires, and replacing air and fuel filters, among other things. Actively maintaining these things can help extend the life of your vehicle and keep you safe on the road.
Another critical car part is the car battery. Like some batteries used in cameras, gaming controllers or other types of electronic devices, a car’s battery can lose its ability to hold a charge, corrode or fail altogether. When you’re not expecting it, this can cause frustration and inconvenience. Therefore, it’s a maintenance item you need to watch.
However, whether or not you’ll have to buy a new battery outright will depend on several factors, including your vehicle’s circumstances like current warranty coverage and the battery itself.
What Causes a Bad Battery?
Replacing a dead or dying battery is one of the most common repairs you can face when owning a vehicle, especially during the fall and winter months. Both extreme temperatures and infrequent driving can cause the battery to fail. However, there are several signs you can look for to tell if our battery is going bad:
- The car starts slowly.
- The headlights are dim.
- The battery is fat.
- The check engine light is on or flashing.
- There is a sulfur smell coming from under the hood.
- The vehicle starts and then dies.
Unfortunately, not every battery will display signs that it’s dying. But you can take proactive steps to prevent battery failure by:
- Keeping your battery charged,
- Checking the battery terminals for corrosion,
- Cleaning the posts and clamps when necessary, and
- Refraining from powering accessories for long periods.
The lifespan of a car battery is about five years, which averages roughly 60,000 miles. If you’re nearing this time frame or believe there’s a problem with your battery, you can ask for a battery test when you take your car in for an oil change or tune-up, or you can go to a local Autozone. Instead of waiting and worrying, the technicians at Autozone can quickly test your battery and identify any issues.
Does a New Car Warranty Cover the Battery?
A vehicle’s original factory bumper-to-bumper warranty is a manufacturer’s promise that its automobile will function appropriately for the contract’s duration. In other words, should anything break down or stop working, the manufacturer will repair or replace it for free. Typically, the bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
If a problem with your car’s 12-volt battery occurs during that time frame, the warranty will likely cover its replacement. Still, every manufacturer is different, making it critical that you know and understand the terms of your contract. Let’s look at a few manufacturer warranty examples:
Kia Warranty Coverage
Kia will cover the original battery in any of their vehicles for 3 years/36,000 miles. However, it has to be 100% defective for the warranty to kick in and replace it. That being said, Kia does give 5 years/60,000 miles of 24/7 roadside assistance to their drivers, which is helpful when you have a dead or drained battery and need a tow or a jump-start.
Hyundai Warranty Coverage
Under the original factory bumper-to-bumper warranty, Hyundai covers a 12-volt battery for 3 years/36,000 miles. However, this protection only applies to the original owner. The company also offers a lifetime hybrid battery warranty for all Hyundai hybrid and electric batteries. Again, this only applies to a vehicle’s first owner. Subsequent owners receive 10 years/100,000 miles coverage for hybrid and electric batteries.
Mitsubishi Warranty Coverage
Mitsubishi’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty protects batteries for the first 24 months. But if the battery fails during the third year of ownership, Mitsubishi will replace it at half-price. Additionally, the company will cover 100% of the labor costs.
Does a Car Warranty Cover the Battery for Used Cars?
Your vehicle’s manufacturer may offer an extended warranty or vehicle service contract (VSC) that you can buy that covers battery failure. However, this ultimately depends on the manufacturer and the details of the policy agreement. Generally, the car industry regards batteries as wear-and-tear items because they wear out over time and need to be replaced.
If you find your original coverage has expired or does not cover a battery replacement, look to your battery’s manufacturer. Companies like Walmart (Everstart battery), Duracell (Power Battery), Autocraft (Gold Battery), and Autozone offer warranty coverage. AAA also provides up to 36 months of warranty protection for its batteries. If you are unsure of your battery’s warranty status, you can look for the date code on the top label of the battery itself.
How Much Does a New Car Battery Cost?
Any unplanned expenses can stretch your budget and cause unnecessary stress. But when your car battery fails, it also inconveniences your ability to get from point A to point B. According to RepairPal, you can expect to spend between $316 and $326 to replace your battery.
Is Additional Vehicle Breakdown Coverage Beneficial?
Yes! One of the most proactive steps you can take to gain peace of mind before your car battery dies is purchasing an extended warranty from a reputable provider. Many offer added benefits like:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Trip-interruption services
With these services at your fingertips, you can rest easy knowing you are covered should your car break down unexpectedly. We’ve compiled a list of top-rated providers and provided a list of pros and cons after a thorough review process. Take time to review these options and choose the plan that works for you. You can start searching for an extended car warranty that fits your needs and budget by looking at our protection program reviews today.