All cars have a conventional 12-volt battery, but electric vehicles and hybrids have an extra battery to provide energy for electric drive motors. No matter what type of car you drive, the batteries are covered by a car battery warranty. Automakers and battery manufacturers provide car battery warranty coverage to protect against defects, although knowing what battery is covered and for how long can vary by the year, make, model, and type of vehicle you own. It’s imperative to understand warranty claim criteria and procedures. Read on to explore everything about car battery warranties and how to maintain your car battery to claim a warranty.
What Is a Car Battery Warranty?
A car battery warranty protects the battery components from manufacturer’s defects or regular use and against repairs, adjustments, and replacements while you’re covered. Every year, nearly 99 million wet-cell, lead-acid car batteries are produced, and these batteries are used to start the engine and run vehicles accessories such as headlights and other electronic equipment. The typical life of a car battery is around three years, but that may be drastically longer or shorter based on the conditions your vehicle is driven in.
If you have an electric vehicle or hybrid, the automaker covers the battery pack as a specific warranty item. Just like the powertrain and basic bumper-to-bumper warranties, the car battery warranty for electrified vehicles is covered in time and mileage, and it’s usually transferable to subsequent owners of the vehicle.
How Does a Car Battery Warranty Work?
A car battery warranty cover defects that occur during normal use and service of the vehicle. When you buy a new car, the battery is often covered under the basic warranty, but when you buy a replacement car battery, the warranty is covered in months with the replacement usually a pro rated amount based on how old the battery is. One of the determining factors of the battery’s original cost is how long its warranty coverage is – a longer warranty equates to a more expensive battery.
Batteries often have a date code printed right on the top. The warranty code can help you determine whether the product is still under warranty. You can pay attention to the four digits at the top of your car battery, which usually start with a letter, usually a P or S. The first two digits represent the month, the third digit indicates the year, and the final digit denotes the manufacturing plant.
With electric cars, EV components such as the inverter, motor, cables, reduction gear, and charging connectors are covered with dedicated long-duration anti-corrosion warranties. A car battery warranty for EV and hybrid components depends on what brand of car you own, but the coverage can be as high as 10 years or 150,000 miles. Further, a replacement battery is often available at no extra cost if your battery stops working within the warranty period. Here are some examples of what may or may not be covered by a car battery warranty:
The warranty period begins the day you purchase the battery. Many car makers offer separate warranties for car batteries, besides the standard three, five, or seven-year warranties that cover the car components. The warranties often cover the following defects:
- Leakage of battery
- Bulging of the battery case
- Battery fails to start your vehicle
- Battery fails to charge to full capacity
What’s Not Covered
Batteries and their components can be void under the warranty if they show signs of external damage, overcharging, neglect, or abuse. The warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage or physical mishandling of the battery by you or others along with external conditions, such as leaving the battery outdoors.
How To Claim Car Battery Warranty?
You can make a warranty claim for car batteries in case of certain defects or poor functioning. Here’s how you can do it:
- Consult an authorized mechanic to confirm the problem with the battery.
- Contact the nearest authorized battery dealer and register with them. Submit the required details, such as the warranty period and warranty evidence.
- Make a note of the date of manufacture, along with the model and make of the car, while filing the claim.
Types of Car Battery Warranty
Here are the types of car battery warranties available:
Free Replacement Warranty
A free replacement warranty covers any malfunctioning or non-working batteries. The conditions for malfunctions and damages vary among companies. For instance, a majority of companies do not cover non-manufacturing faults, such as sulphation, which occurs when a battery voltage drops below a certain level. An excessive amount of discharge often causes that.
A pro-rata warranty covers damage that occurs before the end of the warranty period. There’s no replacement, but a discount is available on the cost of a new battery in case of damage or malfunction. Most companies don’t cover damage that shows signs of deliberate damage. This type of warranty is also sometimes called a partial warranty since it covers only a portion of the original cost.
This warranty is a combination of a free replacement warranty and a pro-rata warranty. Manufacturers often offer different levels of coverage. For instance, if a company provides a two-year warranty, it may offer a free-replacement warranty in the first year and pro-rated warranty in the second year. If your car battery fails within the pro-rata warranty period, you can claim a new replacement at a discounted rate. In addition to the standard three, five, or even seven-year warranties covering all the components of the vehicle, many car manufacturers also offer separate warranties of seven or eight years for the batteries.
Car Battery Maintenance Tips
It’s important to ensure your battery is performing at its best and remains fully protected by the warranty. Here are some tips that can help you take care of your car battery and preserve its warranty:
- Ensure smart charging of electric vehicles: You can maintain a consistent mid-level charge at home by opting for a slow-charging method, also known as trickle charging. This prevents overcharging and damage to your battery.
- Check car charging system: Make sure the charging system on your electric vehicle is working fine. A periodic check of the EV charging system can prevent overcharging or over-discharging the battery, which could invalidate the warranty.
- Ensure battery and vehicle compatibility: Battery specifications vary from vehicle to vehicle, based on year, make, and model. It’s important that batteries and cars work together to avoid battery failures and rejection of warranty claims.
Your vehicle’s performance can be negatively impacted by a dead or dying battery, including no-start conditions that can leave you stranded. A car battery warranty protects your car from unforeseen defects and keeps it running trouble-free for miles. Taking to an open road has never been easier! Have fun and drive safe!
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.