Looking for the best ways to know how to choose battery for car in 2023 that long last even after you use it on daily basis? The day your car won’t start isn’t the best time to shop for a new car battery. But according to our research, that’s exactly what most people do.
You will probably have to replace the car battery once or twice during the life of your vehicle because it gets old or worn out from exposure to heat and repeated charging and discharging. A dead battery can be a real hassle, especially if you can’t find your jumper cables or have to wait for roadside assistance.
Taking care of your battery can help get the most service life from it, and being attentive to its condition and age can signal when it is time to begin shopping for a replacement … before you are left stranded.
Below are tips for getting the best battery for your needs.
Get the Best Battery for Your Vehicle
Check Under the Hood
Being attentive to your battery’s maintenance and mindful when the time for replacement is approaching will ensure that you can choose a replacement on your own terms, including properly researching and conveniently scheduling.
Test Batteries Annually
Inspections should be part of an owner’s routine maintenance, but it is especially important to check before taking a long road trip.
Car batteries typically last from three to five years, according to AAA, spanning from 58 months or more in the farthest northern regions of the U.S., down to less than 41 months in the most southern regions.
Ampere Time LiFePO4
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LOSSIGY LiFePO4 Battery
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Renogy Deep Cycle AGM
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Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle
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Battle Born LiFePO4
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Ampere Time 12V 200Ah
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EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro
Though almost all of today’s car batteries are “maintenance-free,” we recommend having your battery load-tested by a mechanic annually once it is 2 years old if you live in a warmer climate or 4 years old if you live in a colder climate. Doing so tests its ability to hold voltage while being used, and the results will let you know when it’s time to start shopping.
The battery’s age is also a strong indicator that it’s time to consider a replacement. The date can be found on a sticker affixed to the top or side of the battery. A battery made in October 2021 will have a numeric code of 10/21 or an alphanumeric code of K-1. “A” is for January, “B” is for February, and so on (the letter “I” is skipped).
A Battery Should Fit Your Car and Driving Needs
Car batteries come in many sizes. Among those that we have tested, there’s significant variation in which is the top performer from year to year, and from size to size. This makes it impossible to make simple recommendations by brand or model. It also means you shouldn’t assume that buying the same battery model you are replacing will get you the same results.
Make sure you get the right size and terminal locations (or type) for your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or an in-store fit guide before shopping.
In some cases, owners can replace an AGM battery with a traditional flooded one to boost longevity in hot climates, but it’s best to consult a mechanic first. Many cars come with AGMs to support an increasing array of electrical components, and the charge system may be configured specifically for an AGM battery.
Make Sure It’s a Fresh Battery
Batteries lose strength over time, even when in storage. For optimum performance, purchase one that is less than 6 months old. Three months is even better. Most have a shipping code on the case. Some use a letter for the month (“A” for January) and a number for the year (“1” for 2021); others use a numeric date.
Recycle Your Old Battery
A battery’s toxic lead and acid can easily be recycled, and most retailers will dispose of the old one for you. When buying a new battery at a store, you will probably pay an extra charge that will be refunded when you return the old battery.
It is important to choose a battery with the longest free-replacement period you can get. A battery’s warranty is measured in two figures: the free-replacement period and the prorated period—which allows only partial reimbursement. A code of 24/84, for example, indicates a free-replacement period of 24 months and a prorated warranty of 84 months. But the amount you’ll be reimbursed usually drops off pretty quickly once you’re in the prorated period.
Be aware that signs of neglect—such as low water levels and improper installation—can void a warranty. So can heavy-duty use, such as for high-end car audio and marine applications, if the battery is not recommended for it.
Get to Know the Battery Types
Car batteries come in two basic varieties: the more traditional maintenance-free and the more advanced absorbed glass mat (AGM).
Batteries once required drivers to periodically top off the water in the electrolyte solution, the liquid inside that is the battery’s power source. Modern maintenance-free batteries consume far less water than traditional “flooded cell” ones. Low-maintenance batteries retain their fluid for the life of the battery, and the caps on these models aren’t meant to be removed. There are still some batteries than can be topped off with distilled water; properly maintained, these may last longer in hot climates.
A lead-acid battery will generally cost significantly less than an absorbed glass mat battery. However, it will not hold a charge for as long and is less able to tolerate a deep discharge.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
AGMs are built to better stand up to repeated draining and recharging cycles than standard batteries. They are becoming standard equipment in more cars because modern features such as fuel-saving stop-start systems, electronic safety and convenience features, and power outlets for mobile electronics all increase the demand for power.
But AGMs can cost 40 to 100 percent more than highly rated conventional batteries. Consider buying one if you sometimes don’t use your vehicle for long periods and the battery loses its charge. An AGM battery can better tolerate a deep discharge, and it is more likely to fully recover if it is accidentally drained.
Get the Right Fit
Batteries come in a variety of sizes. It’s important to choose the right one to ensure that it fits securely and provides sufficient power. If the terminals are in the wrong place, your car’s cables might not reach or they might not fit securely. Check your owner’s manual or an in-store fit guide. Many retailers will install the battery free of charge.
Size 24/24F (top terminal): Fits many Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan, and Toyota vehicles.
Size 34/78 (dual terminal): Fits many large Chrysler vehicles and many 1996 to 2000 GM pickups, SUVs, and midsized and large sedans.
Size 35 (top terminal): Fits most Japanese nameplates, including many recent Honda vehicles and most Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota vehicles.
Size 47 (H5) (top terminal): Fits many Buick, Chevrolet, Fiat, and Volkswagen models.
Size 48 (H6) (top terminal): Fits many European as well as American vehicles from Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
Size 49 (H8) (top terminal): Fits many European and Asian vehicles from Audi, BMW, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz.
Size 51R (top terminal): Fits many Japanese vehicles from Honda, Mazda, and Nissan.
Size 65 (top terminal): Fits large cars, trucks, and sport-utility vehicles from Ford or Mercury.
Size 75 (side terminal): Fits some General Motors midsized and compact cars and a few Chrysler vehicles.
How We Test
CR evaluates car batteries in three ways:
Cold-cranking amps (CCA) is a measure of how well the battery starts an engine during extreme cold weather. We use a freezer to simulate winter conditions, cooling batteries to 0° F, and rate batteries based on their performance.
We feel that our CCA test is based on more realistic charging voltages and amperage demands than typical manufacturers’ tests, and our results show each battery’s relative cranking power, regardless of manufacturer’s claims.
Reserve capacity indicates how long a battery can run a vehicle if the charging system—the alternator, stator, and rotor—fails. It’s also a measure of how long you can accidentally leave the headlights on and still get the car started without needing a jump-start.
To test reserve capacity, our engineers measure how long it takes a fully charged battery to be discharged down to 10.5 volts, which is considered to be fully discharged. At that level, the car will be unable to start without a jump-start. We consider 1½ hours of power to be average. Higher-scoring models can supply power well past 2 hours.
Battery life is measured by repeatedly discharging and recharging each battery about 3,000 times at a test temperature of about 167° F for 15 weeks or until performance drops to unacceptable levels.
This simulates the hot underhood conditions a battery can face during the summer, the hardest time of year for batteries because of the heat. Frequent high temperatures are very tough on batteries, increasing plate corrosion and more quickly vaporizing the electrolyte needed for current. Long life is especially important if you make many short trips that don’t allow much time for recharging. The higher the score, the longer the battery will be reliable.
Handle or Loop
A plastic handle or loop makes it easier to lift and carry batteries, which can weigh between 25 and 60 pounds; just as important, it aids in lowering the battery onto the tray in tightly packed engine compartments.
If your vehicle is going to be idle for an extended period of time, consider having a float charger to keep it charged. Also known as trickle, storage, or maintenance chargers, these prevent excessive discharge during extended periods when your battery isn’t used.
Most have built-in circuitry to prevent overcharging, although some models do not and can damage a battery by overcharging it. Even though a float charger automatically monitors and charges the battery, it is still best to periodically take a look to make sure that everything is still in good working order.
Portable battery jump starters allow for convenient jump-starts without having to connect two cars. New, smaller models make it easier than ever to include one in your car emergency kit. BATTERIES
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BATTERY FOR YOUR CAR
At some point, even the best car batteries die. Now, you could just choose the first one on the shelf, but that may not be the best decision for your car. With a little help from your friends at Firestone Complete Auto Care, you’ll be a car battery pro before you can say “car battery cold cranking amps!” (Now try to say that five times fast.) Read on to see what you should look for when choosing a new replacement battery!
GET THE RIGHT BATTERY SIZE.
You want a battery that’s reliable and works well for your car, but car batteries aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of product.
To work for your car, a battery needs to have the right voltage, size, and terminal placements. For example, Consumer Reports notes that a Ford SUV will usually use a size 65 top terminal battery, while an old GM pickup truck will usually take a size 34/78 dual terminal battery. To see what kind of battery would fit your make and model, check out our easy Battery Finder tool or come see one of our knowledgeable technicians at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care.
COMPARE CAR BATTERY QUALITY, BRAND, & AGE.
To work well, a battery should be well-made and fresh. To ensure you purchase a high-quality battery, check out its industry reputation and ratings. When it comes to the specific battery you get, make sure you’re getting a fresh one, since batteries lose strength over time (even in storage). In other words, it’s probably not a good idea to buy a car battery off of Craigslist. Ideally, you want a battery no older than six months. You can typically check the battery’s age by looking at its case. Some brands use a numeric date, others use a code with a letter for the month and a number for the year. So “A6” would mean “January 2016” while “H5” would mean “August 2015.” Get the gist?
Here at Firestone Complete Auto Care, we do the hard work for you and make finding the best battery easy.
BATTERY LIFE: How to choose battery for car
You want a battery that won’t send you back to the shop. When it comes to longevity, not all batteries are created equal.
Car batteries keep your car running longer by constantly recharging. Unfortunately, some batteries don’t take this constant flow of new energy too well. These batteries decrease in power with each recharge until they’re dead weight under the hood. For more details on how batteries work, check out How Does A Car Battery Work?
If you’re worried about how long your new battery might last, go to ConsumerReports.org and compare battery-life, reserve-capacity, and cold-cranking amps test scores.
- The battery-life test is the most important and measures a battery’s ability to withstand being recharged thousands of times over multiple months.
- The reserve-capacity test measures how long a battery can supply power after its charging system fails.
- Finally, the cold-cranking amps test is important if you live or drive in cold climates. It measures the current available at 0º F to make sure you don’t get stranded in sub-zero temperatures. Brrr!
OPT FOR THE LONGEST BATTERY WARRANTY.
You want a battery that’s guaranteed. Not only does a good warranty demonstrate a manufacturer’s confidence in their product, it helps protect you if anything goes wrong.
All things being equal, you want the battery with the longest free replacement period. Most battery warranties have two parts: a free-replacement period and a limited performance warranty. Although you may get partial reimbursement during the latter period, the amount you’ll be reimbursed upon battery failure won’t match that of a free-replacement warranty.
If your battery is under warranty, make sure to take a peek at its condition. Signs of neglect such as low-water levels or improper installation can void some warranties. By getting one of our expert technicians to install your new battery and keep it running smooth with regular checkups, you could save yourself a headache (and significant expense) down the road.
WHERE CAN I GET THE BEST BATTERY FOR MY CAR?
The best car battery fits the bill for all four categories: size, quality, life, and warranty. To choose the best battery for your car, check your owner’s manual and head to FirestoneCompleteAutoCare.com today. There, you can compare battery prices, sizes, warranties, and more. Simply choose your car’s make, model, and year from our easy drop-down menu and we’ll make the comparison process quick and easy for you, so you can get back on the road. Schedule an appointment online and visit Firestone Complete Auto Care for a new replacement battery near you! We’ve got your back (and your battery).
Has it been taking longer than normal to start your vehicle the past few mornings? Has your car been jump started quite a bit lately? If you answered yes to either of these questions, it might be time to replace your car battery.
There is no worse feeling than being afraid that your car won’t start the next time you put the key in the ignition. You rely on your vehicle to get you to work, to take the kids to school and to pick up groceries; now is the time to get this issue taken care of, before you need to call for a tow truck.
First things first
Before you rush out and buy a new battery, you need to make sure that a dead battery really is the cause of your problem. First, examine the battery and make sure there are no loose connections or frayed wires that could cause your battery to fail.
You’ll also want to check your car’s charging system to make sure this isn’t the issue. Your mechanic can help you with this. Many auto parts stores also have diagnostic equipment that can tell you if your charging system needs attention.
If everything checks out with the battery wires and charging system, you’ll want to do your homework before buying a car battery. There are many things to consider to ensure that you get the right battery for your car and driving habits.
Know before you go
Before heading to the store, check your owner’s manual or look at the old battery to ensure that you get the right type and size of battery.
Types of batteries
Most of today’s gas-powered vehicles use either a traditional lead-acid battery or an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery. Please note that if you have an electric or hybrid vehicle, it could use a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery or a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
Most modern lead-acid car batteries are maintenance-free with no need to add water as in years past. Lead-acid batteries are typically cheaper than AGM batteries but they don’t hold a charge for as long and they aren’t as likely to recover if accidentally drained.
AGM batteries are designed to handle repeated draining and recharging cycles than traditional lead-acid batteries. With the rise of phones and other electronics being used in today’s vehicles, AGM batteries can keep up with the increased power demand. An AGM battery will cost more – you could pay up to 40% more as compared to a traditional lead-acid battery.
Cranking amps and cold cranking amps
Two important measurements of a battery’s power are the cranking amps and cold cranking amps. Cranking amps measures your battery’s starting power for moderate climates (32°F and above). Check your owner’s manual for the minimum amount of cranking amps recommended for your vehicle.
If you live in a cold climate, pay close attention to the cold cranking amps number. This measures a battery’s starting power in cold temperatures (0°F). Never purchase a battery that has fewer cold cranking amps than what is recommended by your owner’s manual. You might find yourself stranded in the cold with a dead battery.
For both the cranking amps and cold cranking amps, the higher the number typically results in a better performing battery.
A battery’s reserve capacity is the amount of time the battery delivers the maximum amperage before discharging completely. The higher the minute rating, the more likely it is that the battery can power through a situation like the lights being left on while you are in a store.
The warranty on a car battery can vary between manufacturers. Some warranties feature a free replacement for the life of the warranty; others offer a prorated warranty that allows for only partial reimbursement. There are also warranties that may offer a combination of these two different types of warranties.
When comparing batteries, be sure to read the fine print of the warranty and understand if it is a full replacement warranty or a prorated warranty – it could greatly affect how you rate a particular battery.
Your Guide to Choosing a Replacement Car Battery
Your car battery is located under your vehicle’s hood. Not only does it provide the electricity needed for your door locks, sliding windows, lights, and other car accessories, but it also allows you to start your vehicle. The moment your battery dies, your car is no longer functional.
Like other motor-vehicle components, batteries wear out over time and need to be replaced. Do-it-yourself car-battery replacement can be a real money saver, but how do you make sure you’re choosing the right battery? There are five important factors that must be considered when searching for an appropriate replacement battery.
5 Important Factors in Choosing a Car Battery
- Reserve Capacity
- Cold-Cranking Amps
1. Determine Your Car’s Battery Group Size
It is important that your car battery fits snugly and securely in its battery tray. A car’s battery tray will vary in size depending on the manufacturer, but most are designed to accommodate batteries of a specific group size.
Your car’s battery group size can be found in the battery section of the owner’s manual. If you no longer have access to your original owner’s manual, you may also consult the reference guides provided by battery retailers to determine the appropriate battery group size for your car.
Common Battery Group Sizes
- Size 75: Most General Motors cars
- Size 65: Large-bodied Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars
- Size 35: Recent Honda, Nissan, and Toyota cars
- Size 34: Most Chrysler cars
- Size 34/78: Some Chrysler and General Motors cars
2. Choose a Battery Brand
While there are many car-battery brands on the market, most are fabricated by just a few manufacturers. Some brands share a name with their manufacturer (e.g. the manufacturer Exide produces batteries with the same name).
Ideally, you should buy whichever battery brand is specified in your vehicle owner’s manual. If you find that the recommended brand is too expensive and you want to do some cost-cutting, be sure to choose only batteries whose specifications meet the requirements outlined in your owner’s manual.
You may be tempted to buy the cheapest brand available, but this is usually not advisable. Cheap batteries are often rife with defects and tend to perform poorly in the long term. Purchasing a cheap battery may save you money now, but in the long run, maintenance and replacement will likely cost you more than you saved in the first place.
Battery-Service Centers That Sell and Install Reasonably Priced Car Batteries:
- Pep Boys
Battery Retailers That Sell Reasonably Priced Car Batteries but May Not Offer Installation:
- Trak Auto
- Sam’s Club
You can also buy car batteries from local service stations and tune-up shops, but selection may be limited and the batteries they stock may not be as fresh as those offered by larger retailers.
3. Check the Battery’s Age
Newer batteries tend to perform better and last longer than older batteries. Be sure to check the manufacturing date on any replacement batteries you are considering purchasing for your vehicle. Generally, a battery is considered “fresh” if it is less than 6 months old.
Unfortunately, manufacturing dates are rarely listed in conventional notation. Instead, 2-character alphanumeric codes are used to express the age of a car battery. The first character will be a letter from A to L, representing the month of manufacture; the second character will be a number from 0 to 9, representing the year of manufacture.
How to Interpret Battery Age Codes
- The letter indicates the month: A is January, B is February, C is March, and so on.
- The number indicates the year: 0 is 2010, 1 is 2011, 2 is 2012, and so on.
4. Check the Battery’s Reserve Capacity
A battery’s reserve capacity rating (RC) refers to its “standing power.” This is the amount of time the battery can continuously supply the minimum voltage necessary to run your car should the alternator or fan belt fail. With an excellent reserve capacity rating, your car can run on its battery alone if the alternator stops working.
Do not simply select the battery with the longest reserve capacity you can find. Consult your owner’s manual to learn the recommended reserve capacity rating for your particular car model. Only choose batteries whose RC ratings fall within the recommended range listed in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Battery RC ratings are generally listed in minutes. If you can’t find the RC rating on a battery’s label (some labels do not list this information), check the product literature or ask a store assistant.
5. Check the Battery’s Cold-Cranking Amp Rating
Cold-cranking amps (CCA) measure your battery’s ability to start your car during extremely cold weather. During freezing conditions, many vehicles are difficult to start (ignite) due to the thickening of engine oil.
The cold-cranking amp rating listed on a battery refers to the number of amps a battery will be able to support for 30 seconds at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Choosing a battery with a high CCA rating is a good idea if you plan to use your vehicle in a cold climate.
Don’t Confuse CCA With CA
CCA (cold-cranking amps): This indicates how much electrical power the car battery can deliver to the car’s starter motor at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
CA (cranking amps): This is another measure of electric current in the battery, taken at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, a battery’s CA rating is higher than its CCA rating.
How to Choose the Right Cold-Cranking Amp Rating for Your Car
- Check your owner’s manual, and stick to the CCA rating specified for your car battery.
- Do not choose a battery with a CCA rating significantly lower or higher than what is recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
- If a battery with your car’s exact CCA rating recommendation is not available, you may choose a battery with a slightly higher rating than is specified in your owner’s manual.
Additional Car Battery Tips
- Your car’s battery may be covered by your vehicle’s warranty; check on this before purchasing a new battery from a retailer other than your car dealer.
- If your car is no longer under warranty, dealerships will likely charge more than other battery retailers for products and labor.
- Installing used car batteries can be dangerous. Buy new batteries whenever possible.
- If your battery begins to fail, start searching for a replacement immediately. You are more likely to find a good deal if you shop around than if you become stranded and need to buy a battery at the first retailer you come across.
- A new car will normally need a battery change after 3 to 4 years.
- Car batteries are not maintenance-free. You must check your battery regularly to keep it in good shape. Keep the terminals, cables, and connectors clean and free of corrosion. Use a wire brush and a baking soda/water mixture to scrub away any accumulated whitish, greenish, or bluish material on the battery terminals.
- Check your battery connections frequently. Make sure that the cables and posts are securely connected.
- Consider keeping a portable battery charger inside your car for emergency use.
- Jump-starting a dying battery can be helpful if you are stranded, but do not attempt this without first researching the correct procedure. Incorrect wiring connections could cause damage to your engine.
So, this is a complete mega guide about how to choose battery for car. I hope you really enjoy this journey. If you have any question do let me know and I wil help you in this regard. See you in the next articler with something new and amazing. Cheers!