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Drivers are Keeping their Cars for 12+ Years

But are They Changing their Maintenance Habits? 

With rising new and used car prices and a shortage of cars at dealerships, research firm S&P Global Mobility recently reported that the average age of vehicles on U.S. roadways hit a record high of 12.2 years in 2021, increasing for the fifth straight year in a row. Interestingly, with drivers keeping their vehicles longer, CTEK, the leading global brand in battery charging, also found that drivers’ maintenance habits weren’t always on par to upkeep their vehicle’s headlights, tire pressure and brake checks — especially the often-overlooked car battery.

Over time, vehicle usage can affect battery degradation until they can no longer provide enough power to start an engine. However, on average, this could take three to five years. For cars driven mostly on short trips, these batteries may not fully recharge and could even naturally self-discharge in vehicles parked for extended periods at an airport lot. If heat, high loads placed on the vehicle, and improper charging come into play, these variables can also contribute to battery life and performance.

CTEK predicts that as many as 50 percent of vehicles on the road today has a battery that requires attention because it is either below 12.4 volts in need of a charge (just 75 percent charged) or needs replacing altogether. This means that half of the driving population is at risk of battery failure which could happen at the most inconvenient time! Especially with people holding on to their vehicles longer, the greater the risk of battery failure.

Bobbie DuMelle, Executive Vice President at CTEK North America says, “Our car battery is not just there to start the vehicle. It supports your car to run the many on-board computers powering lights, air conditioning, safety features, infotainment, seat adjustments and more. By regularly charging your vehicle battery once a month, our tests have identified that a battery maintenance charger like the CTEK MXS 5.0 will keep the car battery fully charged, significantly extending its service life by as much as three times longer.”


The CTEK MXS 5.0 offers a unique approach to battery care. It is a fully automatic charger and maintainer with a built-in automatic temperature sensor that can help to extend battery life and protect against a dead battery. While it’s the perfect charger for your car, it can also be used on motorcycles, ATVs and 4x4s. The MXS 5.0 also has a special reconditioning function that restores deeply discharged batteries, unique maintenance charging, and the charging of demanding AGM RV batteries (i.e., Optima).

“Having owned several of another ‘popular’ brand of charger, the CTEK is far and above superior in every possible category. WELL worth the miniscule additional cost. ”