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Dear Rob:

I have a 2003 Honda Accord bought at 122,000 km. its factory battery starts up 49 out 50 times at first turn of ignition.

The Cold Cranking Amps was rated "good" 6 months ago (routine test). Today it's low and they will repeat test next week. If it's still low next week should I replace the battery even though its working fine – given they say that the battery may suddenly fail?

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Thank you very much, Radha – Dundas, ON

Great question Radha and timely given the time of year.

To start with, batteries can be depended on for about three years – that's it. The fact that you still have the original battery in the car attests to a few things:

1. Obviously your Accord has been maintained

2. It's a Honda…

3. You're very lucky!

Radha, you've been given the straight goods and it sounds like your service department is looking after you. Given its age, I'm not surprised that the battery has lost life. This is not all bad news. As I mentioned the typical of the life cycle of an automotive battery is three years, and you've been grinding away at yours for eight years.

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They would have used the CCA rating on the battery as the starting point to perform a carbon pile test, which is the typical shop test.

Have your shop replace your very old battery and - go buy a lottery ticket. Maybe your luck with car batteries will spill over at the lottery counter.

Send your automotive maintenance and repair questions to Globe Drive experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com

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