Your car needs a properly functioning battery to run properly. Everyone knows that dreaded feeling when your vehicle won’t start, and many times the battery is to blame. So, how much does it cost to replace your car battery?
It costs anywhere from $50 to $300 to replace a car battery. Doing the work yourself is much less expensive than going to a mechanic, but the price will ultimately depend on your vehicle’s make and model. Parts make up most of the cost and labor is usually only $25-$75.
- How Much is a New Car Battery?
- How Much Does Installation Cost for a New Car Battery?
- Car Battery Prices
- Hybrid Battery Cost
- How Much is a Tesla Battery Replacement?
- Battery Cable Replacement Cost
- How Much is it To Replace Battery Terminals?
- Diagnosing a Bad Car Battery
- How to Change Your Car Battery
- Car Battery Cost Considerations
- Types of Batteries and Battery Construction
- The Bottom Line
How Much is a New Car Battery?
A replacement battery for your car may cost as little as $50 if you’re lucky. However, some vehicle’s batteries are much more expensive and maybe $250 or more. Specialty batteries and luxury vehicle batteries are typically pricier than standard car batteries.
The price for your battery is primarily dependent on the vehicle’s make and model and the type of battery that you purchase. Some car batteries are more expensive because they’re a more well-known name brand or because they come with a longer manufacturer’s warranty.
Other cost factors may include the battery’s size and reserve capacity. If you drive a big SUV or truck, you’ll need a bigger battery than if you drive a compact car. Larger batteries typically cost more than small ones, and they’re more powerful and hold a bigger charge.
Reserve capacity refers to the time it takes for the battery to become fully discharged under normal conditions. A bigger reserve capacity means the battery’s lifespan should be longer, which usually means that the part will be more expensive than one with a smaller reserve capacity.
How Much Does Installation Cost for a New Car Battery?
Having a car battery installed shouldn’t cost more than about $75, depending on where you take it. The dealership will be the most expensive with a private mechanic being much cheaper.
Installing a new car battery is a simple job and doesn’t cost very much. In fact, most retailers (like Advanced Auto Parts or Autozone) will swap out your battery for free when you purchase one from them. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
For example, certain makes and models are too complicated for the technician to change. Often, these vehicles require the computer system to be reset and the battery to be registered to the vehicle using a special scanning device.
Some Volkswagen or Volvo vehicles require battery changes to be done at the dealership, which translates into a greater expense for the owner.
Car Battery Prices
Let’s take a look at some sample prices for new car batteries based on the vehicle’s make and model.
|Sample Vehicle||Sample Battery Brand||Sample Price|
|2008-2021 Honda Civic||AC Delco||$65 – $70|
|2002-2006 Acura RSX||Exide||$150 – $160|
|1999-2020 Audi A4 Quattro||Bosch (OE)||$220 – $230|
|2004-2021 BMW X3||Bosch (OE)||$260 – $275|
|2013-2019 Cadillac XTS||AC Delco||$110 – $120|
|2017-2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV||AC Delco||$140 – $165|
|2011-2021 Dodge Durango||Exide||$175 – $190|
|1999-2017 Ford F350 Super Duty||Odyssey||$285 – $315|
|2001-2019 Hyundai Santa Fe||AC Delco||$85 – $99|
|1998-2001 Jeep Cherokee||AC Delco||$65 – $75|
|2008-2020 Nissan Rogue||Bosch||$190 – $200|
|1998-2020 Volkswagen Jetta||Bosch||$190 – $205|
The variation in prices based on make and model may be due to several factors. The first factor is the battery’s manufacturer. Some brands are more well-known and may be priced higher than others.
In addition, some batteries may also be OEM or meet OE specifications. That means the part is the same (or very similar) to what the vehicle’s manufacturer originally installed. OEM parts are almost always more expensive than aftermarket parts.
Batteries may also be new or remanufactured (sometimes called reconditioned). Remanufactured batteries are usually less expensive than brand new batteries.
In some cases, there may only be remanufactured options available. The expected lifespan is the same no matter if you buy a new or remanufactured battery, so you might as well save a few dollars as long as you buy from a reputable retailer.
Hybrid Battery Cost
Replacing the battery (or batteries) in a hybrid or electric vehicle is usually much more expensive than replacing the ones in a standard vehicle. A replacement battery may cost anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000 or more depending on the vehicle’s make and model.
Still, unlike standard car batteries, they won’t always need to be replaced during the vehicle’s lifetime. For example, most Toyota hybrid owners report never having to replace the batteries during the time they owned the vehicle.
Not to mention, starting in 2020, Toyota began offering a warranty special for their battery packs covering the part for 10 years or 150,000 miles.
Also Read: A More Detailed Post About Hybrid Battery Prices
What Kind of Battery Does a Hybrid Use?
Hybrid vehicles typically use lithium-ion, nickel hydride, or sealed lead-acid batteries. The type of battery and its composition will impact the battery’s lifespan and cost.
Here are some examples of common Hybrid vehicles and their batteries:
|Toyota Prius||Nickel-metal hydride||201.6|
|Toyota Highlander||Nickel-metal hydride||280-650|
|Ford Escape||Nickel-metal hydride||220|
|Honda Insight||Nickel Hydride D||144|
|Saturn Vue||Nickel-metal hydride||36|
How Much is a Tesla Battery Replacement?
A fully electric vehicle like a Tesla has a more powerful battery than a hybrid vehicle. As such, the cost to replace the battery is significantly more expensive. Replacing a Tesla battery costs anywhere from around $7,000 to as much as $15,000.
However, most people should never have to replace their Tesla’s battery outside of the vehicle’s warranty period. Most times, a failed battery is due to improper use and charging. The batteries are designed to last longer than the vehicle’s body, so they should continue to work as intended well beyond the normal ownership period.
Tesla batteries have a capacity of over 500,000, but sometimes if there’s a defect or damage to the battery unit, it may need to be replaced.
Battery Cable Replacement Cost
Replacing your vehicle’s battery cables costs between $75 and $250. You may be able to do the job yourself for just the cost of parts, otherwise, you’ll be paying whatever your local mechanic or dealership charges for labor.
Your battery cables transport power from the battery to the rest of your vehicle’s components that require an electric current to operate. If the cables start to break down or become physically damaged, they may not work properly.
If your car doesn’t start or if it sounds like it’s struggling when you turn the key, it could be a problem with your battery or cables. Many auto parts stores do Free battery tests, so if your battery test is good, you’ll know it could be the cables causing the issue.
Battery cables usually last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles, so it’s possible that you’ll need to replace them during your vehicle’s lifetime.
How Much is it To Replace Battery Terminals?
Replacing battery terminals is very inexpensive, and you can do it yourself for as little as $10 or less. If you’re not experienced with working on cars, you can take the vehicle to a mechanic where you should expect to pay around $75 to $125 for the job.
Battery terminals are the nodes on your battery where the cables connect. Each battery has a positive and negative terminal.
In many cases, you don’t need to replace a battery terminal but you may need to clean it. Corrosion and buildup can occur on your battery’s exterior and terminals, causing problems for the connections and even preventing the vehicle from starting.
How To Clean Corroded Battery Terminals
Before you pay to replace your battery terminals, try to clean off any corrosion to help them work as intended. Follow these simple steps:
Wear protective eye goggles and heavy-duty gloves to prevent eye or skin irritation.
You’ll need an old toothbrush or wire brush and one cup of water mixed with a tablespoon of baking soda.
Dip your cleaning brush into the baking soda solution and scrub any corrosion that you see on and around the battery terminals.
Wipe off residue with a clean, dry cloth.
Diagnosing a Bad Car Battery
No one wants to have car trouble, but a problem with your battery may be one of the simplest and least expensive to repair. It also typically happens somewhat slowly over time rather than a sudden failure like other car problems.
Car batteries have a lifespan of three to five years, so if yours is older than that it may be time for a replacement. Over time, the battery wears down due to charging and discharging and general use. Environmental factors can contribute to a battery’s degradation such as excessive heat or cold. If you live somewhere with extreme temperature highs and lows, your battery may fail faster than expected.
The most common symptom of a bad car battery is if the engine doesn’t start right up when you turn the key. If you hear it turn over more than once or if you hear a whirring sound before the car starts then it’s time to get your battery tested.
Another battery symptom is a clicking noise or when the engine sounds like it’s trying to start but doesn’t. If you can give the car a jump and it starts then you know it’s probably a battery issue.
If your dash lights and accessories work but the car won’t start, it means that the car is receiving power but the battery may not have enough juice to start the car. In that case, you should definitely have your battery tested.
Sometimes, you may see a battery light illuminated on your dashboard. Contrary to what you might think, this light doesn’t indicate a problem with your battery. The battery light comes on when there’s a problem within your vehicle’s charging system. In many cases, it’s an indication that the alternator may be failing, so you should get your vehicle to a shop as soon as possible.
How to Change Your Car Battery
Changing a car battery is a simple job that most people can do on their own. As long as you can get a ride to the auto parts store to purchase a new battery, you should be able to change it yourself. Or, you may be able to get a jump to give your car enough power to make it to the shop.
Follow these steps to change a car battery:
Safety first – wear eye protection and heavy-duty gloves when handling a car battery.
1. Ensure the engine is cool before you begin working.
2. Ensure the vehicle is in park and the emergency brake is engaged.
3. If the vehicle is in a driveway or other incline, put something behind the tires to prevent rolling.
4. Open the vehicle’s hood (or trunk, if the battery is located in the trunk) and locate the battery. Consult the owner’s manual if needed.
5. Locate the battery’s terminals. The positive terminal normally has a red cover and (+) sign, while the negative terminal has a (-) sign and may have a black cover.
6. Starting with the negative (black) terminal, use a socket wrench to loosen the nut.
7. Remove the negative terminal.
8. Loosen the nut on the positive (red) terminal using a socket wrench.
9. Remove the positive terminal.
10. Locate the battery clamps that hold the battery in place. There could be several depending on your vehicle.
11. Use a socket extension (if necessary) and remove all battery clamps.
12. Remove the battery by lifting the handle or using a battery terminal puller. Be careful not to tip or jostle the battery to prevent acid leaks.
13. Clean the battery terminals.
14. Get your new battery and remove the plastic covers from the posts.
15. Place the replacement battery in the tray, ensuring the positive (red) and negative (black) ends are lined up with the correct terminals.
16. Connect the positive terminal first and tighten the terminal with a wrench, then repeat with the black terminal.
17. Reinstall all clamps and tighten them so the battery is secure.
Car Battery Cost Considerations
Depending on the vehicle’s make and model and other factors, the cost for your battery may vary quite a bit. There are several considerations that impact your decision for purchasing a battery and how much it will cost.
For example, older vehicles and very common, standard cars typically have less expensive batteries than high-performance, luxury vehicles. As cars become more technologically advanced and have greater performance demands, they need more powerful batteries.
Batteries are rated by cold cranking amps (CCA) which rate the battery’s performance in cold temperatures. If you live somewhere very cold, it would be worth it to pay the extra money to purchase a battery with a higher CCA rating.
The battery’s warranty and lifespan also influence the price and battery’s performance. You can purchase a battery that’s warrantied to last longer but you should expect to pay a higher price for the battery. However, it may be worth it for you if you live somewhere where temperatures are harder on your battery or if you drive your car more than average.
Types of Batteries and Battery Construction
There are two types of batteries – flooded lead-acid and absorbed glass-mat (AGM) batteries. The type of battery and how it’s constructed will have an impact on the battery’s performance and its cost.
Flooded lead-acid batteries are typically less expensive than AGM batteries. They’re made up of six cells inside a case with electrolyte fluids.
AGM batteries are newer and more advanced. They use fiberglass separators inside the battery with the acid absorbed into the separator. This is a spill-proof battery and has a longer life than the other battery type. They also hold a charge longer than the flooded lead-acid variety, even if the battery sits unused for a long time.
So, the higher price is typically worth it for the quality of the battery that you’ll get.
The Bottom Line
Replacing a car battery is a simple but essential repair. It’s something you can do yourself to save some money, or you can find an auto parts store that will swap it out for you. The biggest expense is the battery itself, which can be under $100 or over $300 depending on your vehicle’s make and model and the battery’s specifications.
Care and maintenance can help extend your battery’s life. Keeping the terminals clean and testing your battery regularly will help extend the life and help you avoid any surprises from a dead battery.
You can save money by purchasing your battery from a parts retailer that will swap it out for you for free. Always consider the value of a longer warranty or longer lifespan and whether the added cost makes sense for your uses and situation.
Considering a brand new versus remanufactured battery is another way you could find an expensive battery at a lower cost. As long as you purchase it from a trusted retailer, you should get a comparable warranty and a good quality battery even if it’s refurbished.