How Long Do Lead Acid Batteries Last?

Lead acid batteries are widely used in various applications, including cars, boats, UPS systems, and solar power systems. They are reliable, affordable, and easy to maintain. However, like any other battery, they have a limited lifespan, and sooner or later, they will need to be replaced. In this article, we will discuss how long lead acid batteries last and answer some common questions about their maintenance and repair.

Do Lead Acid Batteries Go Bad?

Yes, lead acid batteries can go bad over time. The main reason for this is sulfation, which is the buildup of lead sulfate crystals on the battery plates. This phenomenon occurs when the battery is not fully charged or discharged, and the lead sulfate crystals are not dissolved. Over time, these crystals can harden and reduce the battery’s capacity and performance. Other factors that can contribute to a lead acid battery’s failure include overcharging, undercharging, exposure to extreme temperatures, and physical damage.

What Kills a Lead Acid Battery?

As mentioned earlier, sulfation is the primary cause of lead acid battery failure. However, other factors can contribute to the battery’s death, including:

  • Overcharging: When a battery is overcharged, it can heat up and cause the electrolyte to evaporate, leading to dry cells and decreased capacity.
  • Undercharging: When a battery is not fully charged, it can lead to sulfation and reduced capacity.
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures: High temperatures can cause the battery to dry out and reduce its lifespan, while low temperatures can slow down the chemical reactions inside the battery and decrease its performance.
  • Physical damage: Dropping the battery or exposing it to vibrations can damage the plates and cause the battery to fail.

Can a Lead Acid Battery Be Revived?

In some cases, a lead acid battery can be revived using a process called desulfation. This involves using a specialized charger that sends high-frequency pulses to dissolve the lead sulfate crystals and restore the battery’s capacity. However, desulfation is not always successful, and it depends on the extent of the sulfation and the battery’s overall condition. If the battery is severely sulfated or damaged, it may need to be replaced.

How Many Times Can a Lead Acid Battery Be Recharged?

The number of times a lead acid battery can be recharged depends on several factors, including the battery’s capacity, the charging method, and the depth of discharge. Generally, a lead acid battery can be recharged between 200 and 1000 times before it needs to be replaced. However, if the battery is regularly discharged below 50% of its capacity, its lifespan can be significantly reduced. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging and discharging the battery to maximize its lifespan.


In summary, lead acid batteries have a limited lifespan and can go bad due to sulfation, overcharging, undercharging, exposure to extreme temperatures, and physical damage. However, with proper maintenance and care, a lead-acid battery can last for several years and provide reliable performance. Desulfation can help revive a battery in some cases, but it depends on the extent of the sulfation and the battery’s overall condition. If you need to replace a lead acid battery, make sure to choose a high-quality battery that meets your needs and comes with a warranty.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.