It’s the dreaded moment. You hop into your car ready to go. Turn the key and…nothing.
When a jumpstart isn’t going to cut it, it’s time to purchase a new battery. But, if you’re new to the process, you may not be familiar with all the factors to consider before buying a car battery.
Luckily, we’ve put the top tips into one easy-to-read list. Continue reading for everything you need to know!
1. Check Your Owner’s Manual
Buying a car battery yourself rather than through a dealership or mechanic can save you some money. But it’ll be a complete waste if you buy the wrong battery for your vehicle.
That’s why you’re going to need to pull out that handy owner’s manual that came with your car. The manual should tell you the size of the battery your car requires. If you don’t purchase the right battery size it won’t be able to properly fit in the battery tray which could cause vibration that might damage the battery.
The owner’s manual will also provide you with the type of battery needed for your car. This will help you choose one that has terminal locations in the right place. If you can’t find your owner’s manual you can also look up your vehicle on the in-store fit guide.
2. Reserve Capacity
On top of making sure your battery will fit correctly into your car, it’s also important to note the performance of the brand and model.
Look into the top-performing batteries for the year. This can vary from year to year and size to size so be sure you find a brand and model that has gotten a good rating.
You can also purchase a battery that has good reserve capacity. This is the amount of time that a battery can run on its own without the power of the car. Having a high reserve capacity can help prevent your car from going dead if you forget to turn the lights off.
3. Make it Last
The longevity of your car battery’s lie can depend on the conditions your battery is in. For example, for cars located in cooler northern climates, a battery can last around three to five years. Meanwhile, in hotter locations, a car battery may only last for one to two years.
Having your battery tested after one year in a hot climate and three years in a colder one will give you an idea of when you need to have a new one on hand. If you do live in a colder climate you may want to consider purchasing a battery with Cold Cranking Amps (CCA).
The Cranking Amps (CA) refers to the amount of energy needed to start your vehicle at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold Cranking Amps refer to the power needed to start a battery at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider a battery with CCA if you live in a frigid climate so you won’t get caught out in the cold!
4. Get a Warranty
Another factor when purchasing a new car battery is a warranty. Choose a battery that has a longer warranty and allows for the battery to be replaced for free. There will most likely be a free replacement period combined with the prorated period.
This lets you receive a partial reimbursement of the total cost for a certain time period.
5. Choose a Maintenance-Free Car Battery
Car batteries can come in two types. There are low-maintenance and maintenance-free batteries. Maintenance-free batteries are sealed and don’t need the liquid electrolyte to be replaced throughout the battery’s life.
The low-maintenance batteries require you to add distilled water occasionally and have unsealed caps. Batteries that require maintenance need to be serviced every six months. They could stop working without regular maintenance, which means you would have to buy a new battery.
If you want to avoid the added stress, then keep it simple and purchase a battery that is maintenance-free.
6. Is Your Battery Fresh?
The freshness of a battery can determine how long it will last and how well it works. Consider the freshness of a battery before purchasing it. You can determine the battery’s freshness by searching for the year and month it was manufactured.
This is usually listed as a number and letter for the month on the battery. We recommend purchasing a battery that is less than six months old. The newer the better!
Be aware that if you own an electric vehicle replacing the battery will require professional assistance.
7. You Get What You Pay For
As with most things, spending a little extra money upfront can save you further hassle in the long run. Purchasing a battery that lasts and has a more powerful Ampere Hour (Ah), could keep your battery running in the long run.
Nobody wants to be stranded somewhere without a working battery. For your own safety, find a battery that comes well recommended even if that means spending a little extra.
Find the Best Car Battery for You
We hope these tips to finding the right car battery will help you in your shopping experience. When it comes to purchasing a car battery, cutting corners could leave you stranded.
If you are unsure about the replacement of your battery, be sure to contact your mechanic and have them take a look at it. Your safety is a priority when replacing your battery and there are dangers involved.
Looking for the best battery for your vehicle? Check out our quality car batteries here!