Did you know that there are nearly 100 million new car batteries produced each year alone? Most batteries weigh over 13kgs and they usually contain at least half a litre of sulfuric acid solution called battery electrolyte.
Your car’s battery is a vital component as it supplies the required electricity to power the headlights and other electronic equipment. However, they don’t last forever. Every 2-3 years, you might need to buy a new car battery and it’s important to know how to select a compatible one.
This article teaches you everything you need to know about buying a car battery depending on your car’s make and model. Keep reading to expand your automotive knowledge.
1. Check Your Car’s Instructions Manual
Car’s batteries are based on the same principles, but their size can differ. These components are categorized in “groups”, depending on the make and model of each vehicle. For example, if you have a car equipped with the latest technologies, it might have a higher electrical demand in comparison with old vehicles.
Therefore, make sure that you check the car’s instructions manual and see what type of battery you need. You can also visit a local auto shop and let the guys out there help you find a compatible battery, depending on the type of vehicle you have. If you don’t want to visit a shop, information about car batteries can also be taken from online websites.
2. Look at the Cranking Amps Value
The cranking amps (CA) refers to the starting power of your battery. This value should correspond with your vehicle’s requirements, so make sure that you pick the right one. It refers to the number of amperes your battery has and can deliver for a period of about 30 seconds to start your vehicle.
During these 30 seconds, the battery will start rotating the crankshaft while having sufficient voltage to support the ignition system. Once the engine is turned on, it will take the job of rotating the crankshaft and moving the wheels.
3. Look at the Cold Cranking Amps Value
The cold-cranking amps (CCA) is also important and similar to the cranking amps value. Different climates can impact the health of a battery in various ways. The cold-cranking amps refer to the number of amperes available in a temperature of around -18 degrees Celsius.
If you live in a cold climate, the CCA value is very important. If this value is high, it means that your battery is powerful enough to start your car in a freezing winter morning.
4. Check the Battery Warranty
Every car battery manufacturer offers a warranty period for their products. In most cases, car batteries come with a warranty period of at least 1 years.
You might be happy to find out that most of today’s batteries are very safe and technologically advanced. Although they might come with warranty periods of 1 years, some of them can last up to 5 years. This saves you money and time since you don’t need to worry about buying a new battery for years to come.
5. Go For a Maintenance-Free Battery
Back in the day, you would have to put distilled water in your car’s battery from time to time. However, today’s batteries are much more advanced and maintenance-free. If you go for a new battery model, you don’t have to add distilled water or do other maintenance tasks. Most modern batteries are also sealed shut, so they cannot be accidentally opened.
6. Make Sure Your Battery Has a Carrying Handle
A carrying handle is more than necessary for a car’s battery since these devices can weigh up to 18kgs. When you need to change the battery, the handle will make it easier for you to lower it in its special compartment near the engine. The handle needs to be made from metal or a high-quality and durable plastic to prevent damages and injuries.
7. Check the Reserve Capacity
A battery’s reserve capacity is also important. It refers to the amount of “juice” or electricity left in the battery if the charging system fails. This reserve electricity can also be used when your car is turned off, but you leave the headlights on. It depends from model to model, but most batteries should be able to hold a charge for about 1-2 hours when the car’s engine is turned off.
Keep in mind that if this reserve capacity is depleted, you might not be able to start the vehicle. You’ll eventually need a jump-start kit to power on the engine which eventually activates the alternator which recharges the battery. As a rule of thumb, the larger the reserve capacity of your battery, the better.
8. Check the Battery Life
Manufacturers measure battery life in the total number of cycles. A complete cycle is when a charged battery gets fully discharged. Most batteries can be charged and discharged thousands of times before you can see a significant drop in performance or the battery becomes unusable.
Various car batteries come with a different number of cycles. For example, most of them have about 2,000 cycles and they can be used for years to come. More modern batteries or those with a larger capacity might have 5,000 cycles.
Are You Ready To Buy a New Car Battery?
As you can see, it’s not that difficult to buy a new car battery once you know the basics. As long as you check the instructions manual and/or speak with a mechanic, you’ll be able to make the right choice when it comes to buying a battery.
By the way, if you want to learn more about batteries, their types, uses, and technology behind them, check out our dedicated page on automotive batteries. You’ll discover interesting information about sealed and maintenance-free batteries as well as those designed for high performance!