A car battery helps to power your car’s engine and provides charge for all the electrical and electronic accessories in it. If your engine takes a longer time to crank and start you need to visit a garage for “load test” of your battery. Load test helps you identify whether your battery is holding a charge or not. If it’s weakening, it’s time to get a new battery.
Once you have decided where to buy a car battery from, it’s time to select the right one for your car.
Whether you buy a maintenance free battery or a regular one, you need to consider size, cold-cranking amps, reserve capacity and many other things to buy the most suitable battery for your car.
Here’s what you should consider when buying a new battery:
- Different vehicles have different driving styles and varying demands. It’s important to determine which battery is suitable for those demands – whether it’s a conventional battery that’s low maintenance or maintenance free, a deep-cycle or AGM battery.
- If you’re looking forward to gear your vehicle with numerous electronic features and plug-in accessories, you should consider a deep-cycle battery or a battery made with advanced technology like AGM.
- Check for maintenance free or low maintenance batteries
- Maintenance free batteries don’t need water.
- Low maintenance batteries are unsealed and use distilled water. This is an important factor to consider if you live in hot climate.
- In a regular battery, the electrolyte level has to be checked regularly while a maintenance free battery has no such requirement.
- A maintenance free battery is more expensive than low maintenance battery but it has the added advantage of worry-free operation.
- Battery size
- Consult a replacement guide to find the battery group size that works for the make and model of your car.
- Consider group size, which refers to the outside dimensions of the battery and the placement of the terminals.
- If you’re not so sure about the car manual description, get help from the auto supply store employee to help you with the correct battery size.
- Keep driving needs and climate in mind
- High temperatures are hard on car batteries. The electrolyte solution in car batteries evaporates more rapidly, hence, unsealed batteries are better for the hot climate.
- If you drive long distances on regular basis, a battery with a longer running life is important for your daily usage.
- If you primarily have short start-and-stop trips, you need a battery that holds charge for longer time as short trips don’t give much time to your battery to recharge.
- Check cold cranking amps (CCA) & cranking amps (CA)
- These two values are critical, especially if you live in a colder region.
- CCA indicates a battery’s ability to start a car at 0°F (-17°C).
- CCA determines the amount of current the battery delivers to your car’s starter.
- CA defines the amount of current your battery delivers to your car when temperature is 32°F (0°C). This rating is usually higher than the CCA.
- CCA is relative to how much lead a battery has inside it. As the lead increases, the CCA increases and so the cost of the battery increases.
- Reserve capacity (RC)
- Reserve capacity is the indicator of how long a fully charged battery can continue to operate essential car accessories if the vehicle’s alternator fails.
- It identifies the time period for which the battery can deliver a constant current of 25 amps at 80°F without falling below the minimum voltage.
- According to standard automotive battery with 6 cells, 1.75 volts per cell is the value needed to keep your vehicle running.
- C20 capacity
- C20 capacity is an indicator of energy stored in a battery. It is the energy a battery can deliver continuously for 20 hours at 80°F without falling below 10.5 volts.
- Some premium batteries also define their C20 capacity in ampere-hour (Ah).
- In general, for CCA, RC and C20 ratings, the higher the number, the better. However, there are still other factors to consider when choosing the right battery.
- Select a battery that has been on the store shelf for less than six months
- The date stamp code gives you a battery’s manufacturing information.
- The first two characters on the stamp are a letter and a digit. They may be interchanged. Some batteries have letter first while others have digit first.
- The letter always stands for the month. Example, A stands for January, B for February, etc.
- The digit always specifies the year of battery manufacture. Example, 5 stands for 2015, 6 for 2016.
- Always check the date stamp and never buy a battery that has been on the shelf for more than 6 months. If you can’t figure out the date, ask for assistance from an employee of the shop.
Although some vehicles may accommodate a battery that’s not exactly meant for them, it’s the best practice to use a battery approved for your vehicle by the company manual and according to its needs.
If you’re not sure where to buy a car battery that’s good quality at a reasonable price, The Battery Place in Nambour, Queensland is your one stop solution. They have all kinds of batteries for cars, marine, heavy vehicles, agricultural vehicles and maintenance free battery. They also deal in different types of battery accessories and battery services. Visit today or call for a pickup and drop service.