There are countless models of cars out there in the world today, which means there are an ever-varying array of car batteries as well. With such a large selection, it can be downright complicated trying to find the right one for your vehicle. You need to be able to rely on your battery to get you through difficult weather conditions, long car rides, to keep your smartphone battery charged, run safety accessories, and much more. To get the difficult part out of the way for you, we’re here to ensure you know which car battery is best for your car.
Before you do anything else, you must first make sure that the battery actually works with the make and model of your car! It doesn’t matter how durable or efficient it is if it’s not even compatible with your vehicle. Before you go spend some cash on one, ensure that the size is right in width, height, and length. Moreover, the battery’s terminal type and placement need to work with your vehicle. If you’re unsure, simply consult your owner’s manual.
Next, you’ll need to figure out the type of battery you want! Let’s take a look at each so you can begin to narrow down your options.
Starting – A starting battery is the most common type you’ll see, and if your vehicle won’t start you’ll probably be looking here. These will supply power to the starting motor and ignition, so don’t expect consistent supplies of power. As you can probably imagine, these need to be recharged frequently.
Tip: To help avoid this situation, try picking up a battery tender. These are made to keep your battery charged and at the proper storage voltage.
Deep Cycle – These are significantly more expensive than the former, though the offer much more power and durability.
Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) – These are nice options if you’re trying to avoid dealing with regular maintenance. These sealed batteries are virtually leak resistant as well, so they’re one of the safest routes you can go.
Lithium-Ion – You’ll find these in hybrid or electric vehicles, typically. They’re notably more compact and lightweight than your average battery, though are made to hold more energy. The downside here is that their lifespan is quite a bit shorter than the others, and aren’t as widely compatible with cars.
Wet Cell – Finally, if you’re on a budget, check out the wet cell options. They do need frequent maintenance as they are not sealed like their VRLA counterparts and require you to regularly replace lost fluid over time.
While it’s not a rule, you can generally get a pretty solid idea of how long your car battery is going to last by evaluating the price. The majority are rated for 5 years, so first make sure you actually want to keep the same vehicle for that long.
Adding onto that, check the manufacture date of the battery. Some brands use the easy month/year format, while others will use a type of code consisting of various letters. Just make sure that you have the newest battery possible so you can get the most out of your purchase and don’t risk getting stranded somewhere because it’s not working as it should.
This point kind of goes hand in hand with the previous one, but take a look at how long the warranty is that comes with the battery. You can have a pretty good concept of the kind of quality the battery offers by looking at how long the warranty is. Sometimes, the coverage may not be so straightforward and easy to understand as many come with battery codes. You may see a configuration like “12/24” which means you get a free replacement period of 12 months, and a prorated warranty of 24 months. We do recommend finding a battery with at minimum, a 5-year warranty, though.
Aside from grabbing a battery tender, make sure you’re regularly revising your battery terminals and cables to check for corrosion. A corrosion buildup can not only make the connection less efficient but can even prevent your car from starting.
If you do happen to see some corrosion, grab a post cleaner or wire brush and gently remove it. Once that’s finished, paint on a layer of protective grease to help avoid said corrosion in the future.
If you’ve chosen a battery that requires regular maintenance, like a wet cell selection, make sure to pop the caps on the electrolyte cells every so-often and top off with water if necessary.
Now that you’re aware of all the steps to choosing the best car battery for your vehicle, which model will you be selecting? As long as you follow our tips, we’re sure you’ll be successful in your decision. Thanks for tuning in with us and we’ll see you again shortly!