How do you know when your battery needs to be replaced?. Good question. If you live in Michigan, the average life of a battery is about 5 years. Some batteries last a little longer and some are no so lucky. Here are a few tips from Ron’s Garage to maximize the life of your battery. First, these are a few things that will shorten the life of a battery, one of the big killers of battery life is to drain your battery completely dead. If you drain your battery to that point you can expect to take up to a year off the life of your battery. The more jump starts you need the shorter your battery will live. So make sure your lights are off and no warning chimes are ringing when you exit your vehicle. Another big killer of battery life if vibration, we see a lot of batteries with missing hardware that holds the battery down and in place. Not only is this dangerous it shortens the life of your battery, make sure your battery is fastened down properly and not moving and bouncing around. Battery capacity (how many amp-hours it can hold) is what actually determines if you have the power to start your can at any given time. The capacity is reduced as the temperature goes down. and increases as the temp. goes up. This is why your car would not start on that 1st cold winter morning, but seemed to work fine the day before the temperature dropped. A battery in perfect condition will loose approx. 50% of it’s capacity at -22 degrees F, at 32 degrees F capacity is reduced by 20 percent. So if your battery capacity is only at 50% or so you need a new one. (or a good set of jumper cables). If it were 70 degrees here everyday and your battery was properly installed and you never left your headlights, on your battery could last 10 years or more. Ron’s Garage in Ann Arbor sells and installs the Napa Legend Batteries as well as batteries from Exide Technologies. Ron’s Garage will also check your charging system to assure your new battery will last.