How To Tell The Age of Your Car Battery

Your car battery depreciates with time. You can tell how old it is by checking the top or side for an engraving that depicts the manufacturing date. 

The way a car battery has been engineered, it depreciates over time. You will get the best service for the first few years, but the performance will reduce afterward. Knowledge about your car battery age is essential because it will save you substantial trouble. 

Most times, the cause of car battery problems is aging. When it has exceeded its lifespan, it may begin to malfunction to signify that it is time for a change. Telling the age of your car battery is vital and easy, which is why we have written this blog post. We will also show you how to check essential battery dates and what they mean. So, stay right here! 

Check the age of your car battery 

The first way to determine the age of your car battery is to keep a record of when you purchase it. If you buy a brand new car, it will undoubtedly come with a brand new battery. 

Another method will be keeping a record when you have recently replaced your battery. If you have chosen a brand new one, you can easily keep track of the age. You will get a receipt for the battery for referral when the need arises. 

Many people find that used cars are better for them financially. A method you can use to check the age of both old and new vehicles is to look under the hood. 

You will see a sticker with the inscription of the date on it. If your battery was manufactured in 2021,  “10/21” will appear on it. 

Not all batteries have stickers that provide more information about manufacturing, but they contain direct inscriptions, which you can find on the battery cover or the battery itself. It is a code that states the year and month of production for the battery. 

Finally, you can estimate the age of the battery by checking the battery terminals for the amount of corrosion on it. The more you find, the stronger the chances of dealing with an older battery.

How to tell the age of your car battery

What does the sticker on a car battery mean?

The sticker on a car battery is used to indicate the production date. It can be in the form of numbers or letters. If your battery manufacturer has used numbers, you can interpret an engraving like “12/09” to mean manufactured in December 2009. 

In contrast, some manufacturers use letters and numbers to indicate the manufacture date. “A” represents January, “B” means February, and on it goes until we run out of months of the year. However, you will likely not find manufacturers that use “I,” which explains why you may see some batteries that include “M.”

If you pop the hood on your vehicle and an engraving labeled “M-17,” then your battery was manufactured in December 2017. This also means you need to get it tested soon, as it is nearing the end of its lifespan. 

Depending on the car you own, your manufacturing information may come on a round sticker. The date can be indicated using only numbers or a combination of numbers and letters. Alternatively, some manufacturers use hot-stamped cryptic letters found on the side of the battery. This appears like a code that you will seamlessly read when you are done with this article. 

The format involves using numbers to indicate the production year and letters to indicate the manufacture month. 

Ultimately, the warranty can be calculated using the service date, which the manufacturer ticks upon completion of production. 

What does the date on a car battery help with?

The date on a car battery can help you determine what is wrong with your car. Suppose your battery is still within a suitable age. In that case, you or the workers at your auto shop can eliminate the possibility that your vehicle is experiencing problems caused by an old battery. 

The date on your car battery is a vital piece of information that can save you loads of money. When you notice that there is some difficulty in starting your car or keeping it on, you can check the date on the battery for guidance. If it has passed a significant number of years, say five years or more, then we consider the possibility that an old battery is a cause. 

Understanding the date on your car battery will save you a ton of stress. This way, you can anticipate when your car will likely give you problems and prevent them ahead of time. 

Different Codes for Battery Brands 

If you use AC Delco batteries, you will encounter a five-character code stamped on a sticker. The sticker is found at the top of the battery. Usually, it begins with the letter “P” or “S.” 

The first letter is not nearly as vital as the remaining four, which indicate the production year, the month of production, and the plant where it was produced. For instance, S079M means the battery was produced in July 2019 in manufacturing plant “M.” 

On the other hand, AC Delco also stamps a three or four-character battery code onto the top corner of car batteries. For instance, 3ET can be interpreted as: 3 – the production year 2013. “E” represents the month, May, and “T” indicates the production plant. 

Interstate batteries are pretty easy to interpret too. They come in a series of four to five characters, usually engraved on the battery or a sticker at a corner of the battery. 

For Napa batteries, you will find the engraving on the top or side of the battery. It comes in a four-character code; the first two indicate the year and month, while the latter represents the production line. Some Napa battery codes are as long as 15 characters, but only the first two are needed. 

What are the signs that you need to change your battery?

Beyond telling how old your car battery is, you will be well informed when it is time for a change. Even when you have properly maintained your battery all the years, it will eventually give in to wear and tear. So, what are the signs? They include: 

A slow-turning over engine 

Ordinarily, your car battery should be strong enough to power your engine. The first ignition should result in a healthy and smooth turn over. However, when dealing with an old car battery, the current capacity may be too weak to power the engine. 

It succumbs more to the weather 

Hot and cold temperatures affect car batteries. They can cause corrosion, sulfation, and difficulty preventing speedy discharging. If you find that your car battery dies more often or has more difficulty turning over in any of these periods, then you may need to check the sticker on your car’s battery. 


Car care and maintenance are incomplete when you do not know the age of your battery. Fortunately, it is easy to check and interpret the vital information that you can use to prevent financial strains that are battery or car-related. 

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