Anyone who has owned a vehicle for a few years, or been driving for more than ten, has probably gone through a battery or two in their time. It’s one of the most oft-replaced non-maintenance parts in the automotive industry. They are replaced so often that they are sold at dealerships, auto parts stores, gas stations, and department stores; and many businesses in all four of these categories will actually install them for you as well. But the prices change as fast as the technology in the automotive world. Keeping up with these changes could be a full-time job in itself. Knowing the price of battery replacement depends largely on consumer preferences.
What Preferences? A Battery’s a Battery, Right?
If you mean that every battery has the job of starting the vehicle, you’re right. If you mean that all batteries are the same, think again. Batteries come in different sizes, shapes, and strengths. Choosing the right model for you depends largely on your vehicle make and model, as well as your needs as a driver. The cranking amps of the battery are going to determine the battery’s power in certain conditions. The more power you need, the more cranking amps you’ll want from your battery. The more cranking amps you get, however, the higher the price goes. That’s really the only variable you’ll need to worry about when it comes to purchasing a battery for your vehicle.
If you plan on picking up a battery at one of the above-mentioned stores and doing the work yourself, you’re looking at anywhere from $50 to $140 for just the battery itself. Of course, this giant variation in price is based on your vehicle make and model, as well as your choice of cranking amps and battery brand. The main thing do-it-yourselfers need to remember isn’t so much cost, it’s location. Make sure you locate your vehicle’s battery, and what it will take to remove it, before you make the decision to do it yourself. There are some batteries that are in extremely non-conventional spots. It is usually worth the price to have a technician replace these troublesome energy cubes.
Having It Done
If you prefer to have somebody trained for the job getting his/her hands dirty, then you can expect the price to jump anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on the location of the battery within your vehicle. Some batteries are placed inside the front fender near the wheel well (i.e. – Dodge Stratus, Dodge Intrepid), and some are placed in the rear of the vehicle, accessible through the trunk or under the rear seat. If your vehicle’s battery location is in one of these undesirable spots, you’re probably looking at the upper end of the labor spectrum, driving the total price around $100 to $200 depending on the vehicle and battery chosen. If your battery is in the standard location of the engine compartment (and not buried under fluid reservoirs, fuse trays, and other undesirable objects that only make the job more burdensome), then you can count on the total price being closer to the $70 to $150 range depending on your make, model, and battery choice.
(Please remember that these repair prices can also fluctuate based on geographic location, as well as vehicle make and model; and that these numbers represent averages, not actual prices offered at any specific repair facilities.)