How Long Does a Ford Expedition Battery Last?

OPTIMA Batteries
Las Vegas, Nevada

The last Ford Bronco rolled off the assembly line in 1996, but Ford enthusiasts looking for a full-sized Ford SUV wouldn't have to wait long for a replacement. Ford introduced the four-door Ford Expedition SUV in 1997. As some of these Expeditions have been on the road for over 20 years now, a common question is how long the battery lasts in an Expedition? There isn't a set answer, because there are a variety of factors that enter into the equation of battery lifespan.

Battery Quality

The first is the quality of the battery. Battery manufacturers often offer different options for replacement batteries at different price points, with different warranty coverage. The most-affordable batteries for a Ford Expedition can often be half the price or less of the most-expensive options. However, those cheap batteries may also have a warranty measured in days, versus a multi-year warranty for more-expensive options.

If you're going to sell your Ford Expedition and you just need a battery to get it started and don't really care how long it lasts, it probably makes a lot of sense to buy the cheapest battery you can find. The quality of a battery is often reflected in the weight of the battery. A more expensive D34/78 YELLOWTOP battery for an early-production Ford Expedition may weigh more than 43 pounds, while a cheaper, larger Group 65 battery may weigh less than 39 pounds. However, if you plan on holding onto your Ford Expedition, we'd recommend choosing a quality replacement battery and OPTIMA Batteries can last up to three times as long as their flooded counterparts.

The newest Ford Expeditions are very demanding from an electrical standpoint and as a result, they are using batteries far larger than what was found in previous generations of Ford Expeditions. The 2019 Ford Expedition pictured above uses an OPTIMA DH7 YELLOWTOP battery, which weighs more than 60 pounds! The bigger battery isn't needed for a bigger engine and more cranking power. The newest Ford Expeditions (as of this writing) use a 3.5-liter V6 that is smaller than either of the V8 engines from the previous generations, but they need a larger battery for the increased electrical demands. As we said before, there is often a correlation between the weight of a battery and the quality, as heavier batteries tend to have more active material inside of them and in the case of OPTIMA batteries, 99.99% pure virgin lead and robust cast straps to connect the cells.

Where is the battery used?

Location, location, location. Surprisingly, location makes a difference in how long a battery lasts. More extreme climates, both hot (Phoenix) and cold (Fairbanks), tend to be harder on car batteries, while more moderate climates, like San Diego, tend to be easier on batteries. While some may blindly suggest any battery in any vehicle will last about three to five years. We know that's not the case, because quality batteries will last longer than cheaper ones, but batteries in more moderate climates will also last longer than those in extreme environments

How is the battery used?

Batteries are consumable items with finite lifespans, just like tires. If you buy a set of tires and never use them, but park your car in direct sunlight, where the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays shine on the tires all day long, the sun will eventually break down the rubber and the tires will wear out without ever having driven a mile on the road. A similar situation can happen with car batteries that sit unused.

An Expedition's charging system is designed to maintain battery voltage near a full state of charge. If the Expedition never gets driven, the battery voltage won't be properly-maintained and electrical demands from the Expedition (clock, integrated alarm, presets, Wifi/SYNC, etc...) will eventually discharge the battery. Whenever any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and is left sitting in that state, sulfation will begin forming in the plates, which diminishes battery capacity and lifespan. 

Even if you drive your Expedition regularly, but the trips are primarily short in duration and low in speed, the Expedition's charging system may not be able to properly-maintain voltage in the battery. A daily 30-minute highway commute at speed might be close to ideal for maintaining proper battery voltage, but if kids sit and watch videos and charge devices while the engine is off in the parking lot at the soccer fields three nights a week, the charging system will have a hard time maintaining proper battery voltage and may experience premature failure, which is a far more expensive repair than simply replacing a battery.

So what can you do to maximize the lifespan of the battery in your Ford Expedition? Choose a quality battery (and our battery finder at the top of the page can help) and keep the voltage properly-maintained. We recommend that even in vehicles that see regular use, it's a good idea to charge the battery overnight once a month, just to make sure voltage is being properly-maintained. 

Charging your Expedition's battery with a battery charger has never been easier, as OPTIMA's Digital 400 maintainers and Digital 1200 chargers have one-touch functionality that is safe and easy for anyone to use, whether they are a professional mechanic or complete novice when it comes to anything mechanical. We're so confident regular use a battery charger will extend the lifespan of your battery, we'll add a full year of free replacement warranty coverage to your OPTIMA battery, when you buy your OPTIMA battery and a Digital 1200 charger from us at the same time!