How Long Should A Car Battery Hold A Charge?

How Long Should A Car Battery Hold A Charge?

How long should a car battery hold a charge? The life of a car battery can be very long sometimes longer than the car itself. But you may want to keep an eye on it just in case. The good news is that a fully charged battery will last for a couple of years, but you can extend the life even further by keeping an eye on it.

The life of a car battery depends on many factors, including how often you use it, the type of car, and the conditions it’s used in.

Have A Look At How Long Should A Car Battery Hold A Charge?

The short answer is about four hours. A longer answer is to look at the battery chemistry.

In the old days, car batteries were lead-acid. These batteries had a capacity of about 1000 mAh per cell. That’s about two-thirds of a full charge in one hour.

Today’s lithium-ion batteries are much better at retaining their charge. They can retain a full charge for upwards of four hours and usually much longer. This means your car battery will last for longer.

But the important thing to know is that it still can’t hold a charge for more than four hours. Once it drops below 90% charge, it can only retain a fraction of its capacity. If you need more power than that, you’ll need to recharge it.

STEP 1 – Know Your Battery Type:

When you’re looking at buying a new car battery, it’s a good idea to know what kind you have. Knowing the type of battery can be the difference between needing to get a new one immediately and getting one a couple of days or weeks before you need to replace it.

The most common battery types are lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH). Lithium-ion batteries are much better at retaining their charge than NiMH batteries.

A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know about each of these types of batteries.

STEP 2 – How Long Should A Car Battery Hold a Charge?

Once you know what kind of battery you have, you can calculate how long it will hold a charge.

To find out how long your battery will hold a charge, multiply the number of hours you want your battery to hold a charge by the capacity of the battery in mAh.

For example, if you want your battery to hold a charge for two hours, multiply 2 by 1000 to get 2000 mAh.

So if you want your battery to retain a charge for four hours, you’d want to multiply 4 by 1000. This is 4000 mAh.

STEP 3 -Recharge Your Battery:

It’s important to recharge your battery when you’re done driving. Leaving a battery that has dropped below 90% charge sitting in the car overnight will reduce the amount of time you can drive on a single charge.

So after you finish your drive, let your battery recharge fully before you head home.

 STEP 4 – Make Sure the Battery Is Fully Charged:

Your car battery is always at its best when it’s fully charged. When you plug your car in, the car charger should tell you if the battery needs to be charged or if it has enough juice to start. If you’re not sure whether the battery is fully charged, open the hood and check the voltage level. If you see a reading of 2.6V, you’re good to go.

STEP 5 – Keep an Eye On the Battery Voltage Level:

Most cars will alert you when the battery is getting low. If you don’t have that feature, you can still keep an eye on the voltage level using a voltmeter. You can buy an inexpensive voltmeter online for less than $3. If you’re worried about tampering, take the voltmeter off the car and use it on a test strip in your own car.

That way, your meter will show you how many volts are in your battery before you start driving around. You can also test the voltage with your car’s onboard diagnostic system.

STEP 6 – Don’t Overcharge:

If you’re just starting out, don’t overcharge the battery. This isn’t necessary and could damage the battery. Instead, aim to charge the battery fully once every two months.

So the question is, how long can you run your car on a single charge?

I’ll share some data from my experiments here.

The data has been taken from different sources, but the methodology is consistent:

I tested three different cars on a single charge and measured the total distance I could travel before the battery needed to be recharged.

To Sum Up: 

The answer is “it depends.” It depends on the type of vehicle you drive, the climate where you live, and the amount of energy you use while driving.

As a general rule, if you are planning on using your car for several hours, you can expect your battery to last a few days, depending on the weather.

However, if you are planning on driving for only one hour or less, you can expect it to last about an hour.

In either case, it’s best to keep your battery in good condition by keeping it charged. If you don’t have the time to keep your battery charged, buy an external battery charger to help you out.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to reach out via this link if you’d like to sign up for my coaching program.


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Yusuke Kohara
By Yusuke Kohara

Hi, my name is Yusuke Kohara. I'm a research scientist with 20+ years of experience in the battery industry. My knowledge and expertise has been applied to power electric vehicles, mobile electronics, and more! I am also a true car enthusiast. It’s not just about cars for me - it's about all things automotive! I enjoy helping others find their perfect vehicle by providing detailed buying guides as well as reviews on different types of batteries from various manufacturers across the world.



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