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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the warranty on my battery?
To obtain a replacement battery, you must present your original battery to an IB Authorized Warranty Dealer or All Battery Center Store that has an appropriate replacement battery in stock. That dealer will have a reasonable time to test your original battery and, if defective, replace it according to the terms of the limited warranty. Please note, the battery must be fully-charged at the time of testing.

Please refer to the Warranty Information Page. To get the phone number for the Authorized Warranty Dealer or All Battery Center Store nearest you, visit the Location Finder. For additional help, contact Customer Support.
Where can I take my battery if it's bad?
We have nationwide warranty on our vehicle batteries. You do not need to take the battery back to the original location where you purchased it. Visit our online location finder to find the nearest dealer near you.

Battery Maintenance

How long do car batteries last?
Car batteries generally last three to five years, but several factors will impact the life of a battery, including hot and cold temperature extremes, high electrical use and drive time. 

Check out our "How to Maintain Your Sitting Car Battery" blog post to learn how you can better preserve the life of your car battery.
How to change a car battery

You can quickly learn to change out a car battery in just a few simple steps, or you can get one of our Interstate pros to do it for you.

Find a Pro >

How to disconnect a car battery
Make sure the engine is cooled down before you begin
  1. Remove the negative (-) terminal first
  2. Remove the positive (+) terminal
  3. Check for and remove any battery holddowns and hardware 
  4. Remove the old battery and set it aside
How to connect a car battery
  1. Set the new battery in place
  2. Reinstall any holddown brackets or hardware
  3. Connect the positive (+) terminal first
  4. Connect the negative (-) terminal

Then you can take the old battery to your nearest Interstate pro so they can recycle appropriately for you. Or you can always reach out to that pro to have us replace that battery for you. 
Find a pro >

You can also view our “How to Replace a Car Battery” page for a video demo.
How long does it take to charge a car battery?

A standard charger takes around 2-4 hours to boost a battery enough to start the engine and 10-24 hours to charge a car battery completely.

Need a car battery charger? Find the Interstate All Battery Center nearest you.

How to charge a car battery

Eventually, we are all faced with a dead battery, but you have to decide whether to charge it yourself or have it done for you.

How to charge a car battery with a charger
  1. Before connecting the charger, make sure your ignition and charger are off
  2. Connect the red/positive (+) clamp to the positive terminal
  3. Connect the black/negative (-) clamp to the negative terminal
  4. Adjust the volts, amps and timer (consult your car manual and charger directions for specifics)
  5. Turn on the charger
  6. Turn off the charger once you've got a charge
  7. Disconnect the negative clamp, followed by the positive clamp

And you are done!

You can also check out our "How to Charge a Car Battery" page for a complete video on this process.

How to charge a car battery without a charger

If you don't have a car battery charger or feel you need help, reach out to an Interstate pro today.

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Will driving a car fully recharge a battery?

Under normal conditions, the alternator is more than adequate to keep the battery fully charged. If the battery becomes deeply discharged, the alternator may not be able to fully charge the battery. The three main factors affecting charge is the amperage, voltage and charge time.

  1. The amperage or current output of an alternator is more than adequate to power the vehicle and charge the battery as long as the vehicle is driving down the road. At idle, the current is lower and may be less than adequate.
  2. The charging voltage required to fully charge a deeply discharged battery is higher than the alternator can produce. Since the alternator keeps the voltage on the low side to protect the electronics in the vehicle, it will dramatically increase the time needed to get the battery fully charged.
  3. Charge time. Under normal conditions, driving for 15 to 20 minutes is an adequate charge. If the battery becomes deeply discharged, it will take many hours of driving to charge it. If the vehicle had to be jump-started, the battery may not ever get up to a full state of charge unless a charger is used.
How many volts is a car battery?

A charged car battery should measure 12.6 volts or higher. This number will increase to somewhere between 13.7 to 14.7 volts with the engine running. If a car battery drops to 11.9 volts or below, the battery is considered dead.

Have doubts about your car battery? Find a pro now for a free battery test.

How do I jump a car battery?

A jump-start with jumper cables and another vehicle is typically the most common solution when a car battery dies.

How to jump a car battery

  1. Connect the red/positive (+) clamp to the positive terminal of the bad battery
  2. Connect the red/positive (+) clamp to the positive terminal of the good battery
  3. Connect the black/negative (-) clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery
  4. Connect the opposing end of the black/negative (-) clamp to a piece of metal on the body of the car
  5. Turn on the car with the good battery and give it a rev
  6. Turn on the car with the bad battery and let it charge
  7. Remove the clamps in reverse order without letting them touch.

You can also check out our "How to Jump-Start a Car" video page to see a hands-on demonstration.

How do I test a car battery?

To properly test your car battery, you'll need a multimeter. You can find one at any auto part store or online.

How to test a car battery with a multimeter
  1. Turn on the headlights and leave them on for about two minutes
  2. Set the multimeter to 0 to 20 volts
  3. Turn off the headlights
  4. Locate the battery and connect the multimeter to the positive and negative terminals
  5. Check the multimeter screen
  6. It would be best to have a resting voltage of around 12.5 volts.
  7. Now, start the car
  8. Take a look at the meter

You want to have a voltage higher than 13 volts. If the voltage is lower than 13 volts, you could have a bad alternator or battery.

If your battery does not reach 13 volts, you can always try and clean the connectors or give the battery a charge.

You can also check out our "How to Test a Car Battery" page to see a battery test in action.

How to test a car battery without a multimeter

If you don't have a multimeter, you can always take your vehicle to one of our Interstate Batteries pros. We're always here to help you determine your battery's health.

Find a pro now >

How often do I need to replace a car battery?

Car batteries typically last three to five years, but it all depends on the climate and how you drive. If your car battery begins to die, you can often look for warning signs to keep from getting stranded like:

  • slow engine crank
  • battery warning light
  • dimming headlights or interior lights

Suppose you are experiencing any of these symptoms or don't know precisely when to replace a car battery. In that case, you should consider scheduling a complimentary battery test with one of our pros today.

Find a pro now >

Why does my car battery keep dying?

Some common causes for car battery death include:

  • Loose or corroded battery connections
  • Persistent electrical drains
  • Charging problems
  • Constantly demanding more power than the alternator can handle
  • Extreme weather conditions

If you are still unsure how to tell if your car battery is bad or know if your car battery is dead, you should reach out to one of our Interstate Batteries pros for a free battery test today.

Find a pro now >

How do I safely clean corrosion off of a car battery?

Corrosion can hurt your battery's performance. It can also affect your car's electrical system as a whole. So you'll want to know how to clean car battery corrosion correctly.

  1. First, put on safety gloves and glasses.
  2. Detach your battery's negative cable. Then disconnect the red, positive cable.
  3. Get an old toothbrush, some baking soda and water.
  4. Create a cleaning solution of one part baking soda to five parts water.
  5. Then, scrub the terminals with the toothbrush and baking soda mixture.
  6. Rinse with water.
  7. Finally, dry everything off before reattaching cables.

Attach the positive cable first and then the negative cable.

If your battery still looks questionable, be sure and have it checked by an Interstate pro as soon as possible.

Find a pro now >

How do I keep my battery clean?

Keeping your battery clean is a great way to extend its life. Keep the terminals and the battery case clean. Visually inspect the terminals and cables for signs of corrosion at least once a year, especially in hot temperatures. Keep the top of the battery clean of heavy dirt and oil to reduce the risk of electrical transients between the positive and negative posts, which will result in a quicker discharge.

Battery cleaners are available. Use them to clean the terminals, cables and the battery case. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and water. Ensure that the caps are left on the battery during cleaning so that nothing gets into the battery. Once the acid is neutralized, rinse the battery with water. After cleaning the terminals and cables with a wire brush, reinstall the battery cables and use a terminal protector spray to protect the terminals from future corrosion.

Golf Cart Battery Installation and Maintenance
Click here to learn more about golf cart battery installation and maintenance.

Battery Safety

Can I overcharge a battery?

Yes. A battery that swells and becomes hot to the touch is also a direct result of overcharging and can be very dangerous and even explode. Always use the correct charger when charging a car battery, and have it checked periodically by a specialist if charging must be done frequently. Pay attention to labels that indicate exactly how the battery should be charged; this helps eliminate overcharging and possible harm and injury.

How do I know when it is time to replace the battery in my car?

There may be little or no warning, however, if any of the following happens, your battery should be tested immediately:

  • Motor has difficulty cranking over
  • Battery indicator light on the instrument panel stays lit for extended periods after starting
  • Headlights dim when the engine is idling, or  
  • Clock starts to lose time after the vehicle sits unused for several days 

All of the symptoms described above can also be attributed to a discharged battery or charging system problems.

Note: To maximize the vehicle’s battery/charging system service life and performance, Interstate Batteries recommends having your vehicle battery tested at least semiannually or every time the oil is changed.

How should I store my battery, when not in use?

Clean the battery case with baking soda and water and scrub the terminals with a wire brush. Check the water level and add water if needed. Test your battery with a hydrometer and/or a voltmeter to ensure the battery is fully charged. If needed, charge your battery. Check the water level and state of charge every 45-60 days. If needed, add distilled water and charge.

NOTES: Batteries stored in a discharged state are susceptible to freezing in cold weather and sulfation. A fully charged battery will not freeze unless the temperature reaches approximately 75° F (24° C) below zero. But if discharged, it can freeze at 15° F (-9° C).

Store your battery in a dry, cool, well-ventilated area and out of the reach of children and pets.

Is it bad to set a car battery on concrete?
Today, the type of plastic (polypropylene) used in battery cases is a great electrical insulator. Also, tremendous technological improvements have been made in the seals around the battery posts and vent systems, which have virtually eliminated electrolyte seepage and migration. So, it's OK to set or store your battery on concrete. A battery's rate of discharge is only affected by its age, the temperature outside and the way the inside of the battery is made.
Should I keep my alkaline batteries in the refrigerator?
No, storage in a refrigerator or freezer is not required or recommended for batteries produced today. Alkaline batteries typically lose less than 1% of their charge per month. Cold temperature storage can harm batteries if condensation results in corroded contacts or label or seal damage due to extreme temperature storage. To maximize performance and shelf life, store batteries at normal room temperatures (68° F to 78° F or 20° C to 25° C) with moderated humidity levels (35% to 65% RH).
Should I remove alkaline batteries from devices that I’m not using?
Only if you are not using the device for several months. It’s a good idea to test batteries that have not been used recently because they will continue to self-discharge. Remove dead batteries from devices to prevent leakage.
What causes a vehicle battery to freeze?
A fully charged battery will not freeze unless the temperature reaches approximately 75° F below zero F (-60° C). But if discharged, it can freeze at 15° F (-9° C). Keeping a battery fully charged will prevent it from freezing.
What causes an alkaline battery (AA, AAA, C, D, 9V) to corrode and leak?
Heat is the biggest culprit. Store new, unused batteries in a cool, dry place.  When installed in a device, keep the device out of extreme or prolonged heat. Over time all alkaline batteries can begin to leak due to casings breaking down. All batteries self-discharge whether installed or not, but an installed battery is more likely to experience leakage.  Make sure batteries are removed from a device that is not being used for several months.


How much is a car battery?

The cost of a car battery depends on the make and model of your vehicle and the type of battery your car requires.

Not sure where to buy a new car battery? Check out our pro locator now, and let us help you find the correct car battery for your vehicle.

What is the best way to find out pricing for the products you carry?
To verify pricing, contact your closest Interstate Batteries dealer or All Battery Center directly. They can provide you with the exact pricing as well as alert you to any current deals.
Can I buy an Interstate battery online and pick it up at my nearest dealer?
Not at this time.
Do you offer coupons/discounts on vehicle batteries?
Discounting is up to the discretion of each local store and dealer. Please contact your store or dealer directly to inquire about any current promotions they may be offering. If shopping at an All Battery Center, you can view current local offers under the Promotions tab on the individual store pages.
I do not see detailed product information for some of the All Battery Center product categories. What is the best way to find out if a specific type of battery or product is available?

Our All Battery Centers carry our full line of Interstate SLI (Starting Lighting Ignition) batteries for your automotive, marine and golf car needs. You can use the Battery Finder on this site to find the right battery for your make and model.

For all other types of batteries and products, you can contact your closest All Battery Center location by email or phone to get expert advice regarding a product or specific battery for your device. They can ensure you not only get the right battery for your device, but also verify it is in stock and have it ready for pick up. You can also check our Part Lookup and Cross-Reference Database for more information before contacting or visiting your local store.


How does Interstate transport the batteries for recycling so that they arrive safely for recycling?

At Interstate, we take battery recycling seriously. We work to ensure proper handling and recycling of spent lead-acid batteries – that's why we commit to the Interstate Batteries Green Standard.

The Green Standard is our system of proprietary recycling and battery handling practices designed to meet and exceed federal and state transportation and environmental regulations.

When you choose Interstate Batteries, your batteries are handled from start to finish in a closed loop system by Green Standard-certified personnel. These individuals are trained to ensure that batteries are properly and safely transported, stored and packaged, so they can be sent to an approved recycling facility.

How is a battery recycled?

The process of recycling spent lead-acid batteries is two steps: separating the old battery’s components and then refining those components for new battery manufacturing. Batteries have three basic components: lead, electrolyte and plastic. The plastic follows the industry’s common recycling process, and is often reused for making new battery cases and covers. Since mining for lead is the least efficient way to make new batteries, every ounce of lead possible is recaptured for new battery manufacturing. The lead is melted down into ingots for easy transport and manufacturing. Some of the battery’s electrolyte, a mixture of sulfuric acid and water, is reusable for new batteries. The rest is neutralized and used for manufacturing textiles, laundry detergent and glass.

Interstate Batteries claims to recycle more batteries than it sells. How do you do that?
It doesn’t have to be an original Interstate purchase for us to collect and recycle it. We partner with more than 200,000 dealers across the nation to collect their spent lead-acid batteries and ensure they get sent directly to recycling facilities. Interstate also purchases scrap batteries and recycle them as part of our ongoing effort to protect the environment.
What types of batteries can be recycled?
Visit our Recycle With Us page to learn about the different types of batteries we can help you recycle.
Where are your batteries recycled?
Interstate works with EPA-registered recycling facilities that specialize in recycling lead-acid batteries.
Where can I recycle my old batteries?