What to Look For When Buying a Car Battery

Are you having difficulties starting your car, or has it been long since you replaced your car battery? Consider getting a new battery if your car engine takes time to start. You may also get a replacement if you notice a sudden foul smell, corroded connectors, and electrical issues in your vehicle.

Replace the battery before it reaches its maximum life span for your car’s electrical components to run on full power all the time. Car batteries get old or wear out when charged and discharged repeatedly or exposed to heat. Replace yours every three to four years for your vehicle’s optimal performance.

A new car battery can help prevent battery discharge problems and take a shorter time to charge. The replacement will also reset your vehicle’s engine management system to boost its road performance. Stick to these seven tips when buying a car battery.

Car Battery Brand

Purchase a car battery from a brand that’s specified by your car manufacturer in the manual. If you can’t afford the battery, get it from another manufacturer, provided its specifications match the recommended one.

Avoid getting cheap batteries, since they may come with defects and perform below average. They will also cost you more when maintaining and replacing them.

Some battery retailers sell car batteries at reasonable prices and offer installation services. Others stock them at affordable prices without providing installation.

Local tune-up shops and service stations are great places to buy car batteries. However, their selection may be smaller, and their offerings may be older than those sold by well-established retailers. Buy a car battery online from a certified dealer for your vehicle’s power needs.

Group Size

The car battery should fit well in the battery tray for it to work well with the engine. Battery trays vary in size depending on the car manufacturer. Refer to the battery section on your car manual to determine your battery group size.

Battery group sizes also refer to the orientation of the battery posts and terminals. If the battery fails to fit, it will be difficult for power to flow through the terminals to other parts.

Consult with your local car supply store for help on the recommended battery size for your vehicle. With this information, you can evaluate your vehicle power needs and buy a car battery.

Cold-Cranking Amp Rating

Cold-cranking amp (CCA) rating measures how well your car battery can power the engine in cold weather. Your vehicle may take a while to ignite in freezing conditions due to engine oil thickening. A high CCA rating implies that the battery is easier to start in the cold season.

The CCA rating on a battery helps determine the amount of electricity it can hold for 30 seconds at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a battery with a high CCA rating if you’d like to use the vehicle in cold weather. If your area features warm weather all year round, you have no need to consider the CCA rating.

Refer to your manufacturer guide to know the recommended CCA rating for a new car battery. Avoid choosing one with a higher or lower rating than what is recommended to prevent electrical issues.

Reserve Capacity

The battery you’re buying for your vehicle should run your car even when the fan belt or alternator fails. Check its reserve capacity (RC) rating to determine its standing power. Refer to the owner’s manual to determine the RC rating recommended for your car model.

Car manuals list RC ratings in minutes or hours, depending on the manufacturer. You can also find these ratings on a battery label or ask a car shop assistant for help on them.

Age

Car batteries stocked for more than six months have a lower price tag than fresh ones. When replacing your car batteries, check the date stamp on the product instead of the cost to get one that will last longer. Choose a battery that is less than three months old for durability and reliability.

Some battery manufacturers use 2-character alphanumeric codes to denote the battery age. The first character on the codes ranges from A to L and represents the manufacturing month. On the other hand, the second character ranges from 0 to 9 and represents the manufacturing year.

Manufacturers usually reset the numerical characters in the date codes at zero each decade. For instance, number 0 represents 2020 while number 1 represents 2021 and so on. If a car battery is labelled L8, it means that its date of manufacture is December 2018.

Sealed or Non-Sealed

Unlike non-sealed batteries, which need to be filled with liquid, sealed ones carry enough electrolytes. On the other hand, non-sealed batteries come with caps that allow you to add water.

Sealed car batteries require little maintenance and are ideal in cold climates.

Warranty

Most auto manufacturers offer a limited warranty on car batteries for up to two years. The warranty will help you get a replacement 12V battery in case the existing one is defective. If you signed up for roadside assistance coverage, the automaker might send a specialist to jump-start your vehicle whenever its battery gets drained.

The battery may also have a manufacturer warranty with terms and conditions specified in your contract. Review the warranty periods for car batteries sold by different retailers to get the best deal.

Check the battery’s label for the warranty date code before buying it. Note that the manufacturer will always test to determine whether your warranty claims are valid.

Need More Help When Buying a Car Battery?

Though a defective battery won’t make your car slower, it will affect other parts of the vehicle that make it perform better. Your checklist for buying a car battery should consider the battery’s age, reserve capacity, brand, and group size. You should also consider the cold cranking amp rating, electrolyte type, and warranty as discussed in this guide.

With our headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, we are a leading supplier of deep-cycle and automotive batteries. We also develop innovative energy solutions to address customer needs across regions like Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

For the best car battery for your vehicle, contact us today.

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