Although some batteries might last and perform efficiently, for years, there are some that only last a few years. Every car owner has to replace their car battery every few years down the line. If you notice your battery is not living up to the standards or is not worth reviving, perhaps it’s time to replace the car battery with a new one that will quickly get you back on the road.
In our guide to the best car batteries, we’ve provided important information that you need to know to find the best car battery.
Car Battery Buying Guide
Begin your search for the best car battery here. We’ve shared advice on what you need to look for, how to differentiate between batteries, and how you can choose the right battery replacement for your car. Not to mention why you should also buy the best car battery charger.
Types Of Car Batteries
Flooded Lead-Acid Battery
The flooded lead-acid battery is the most common type you can consider. It’s also one of the most popular brands you’ll find out there. This type of battery is a wet cell made with about 6 cells as well as a liquid electrolyte blend, which includes sulfuric acid and water. The flooded lead-acid battery can be trusted and can deliver sufficient power for many standard interiors and exterior car accessories. This type of battery requires some maintenance and you’ll have to resupply the electrolyte solution every once in a while. The flooded lead-acid battery should be installed in an upright position.
The gel cell car battery is widely known as a non-spillable variant of flooded batteries. This is an enhanced format that’s also referred to as the dry cell battery. Rather than requiring the liquid electrolyte solution, this battery type features calcium alongside silica and lead plates that turn your electrolyte solution into a gel. Technically speaking, these car batteries have an extended lifecycle and can easily handle different kinds of vibrations. Nevertheless, they are not common.
Absorbent Glass Mat Battery
The AGM or Absorbent glass mat is pretty common. The car batteries can handle high-energy demands that make them one of the most popular options for today’s heavy-duty cars. The AGM batteries have a lot in common with the flooded lead-acid batteries, and also feature the glass mat, which absorbs the car battery’s electrolyte solution to keep it in place. With quick charging, and a longer cycle life plus the capacity to recover energy in start-stop applications, this battery is a great performer. However, AGM batteries are more expensive as compared to other available options.
If you own an electric or hybrid vehicle, you might need a lithium-ion battery. These car batteries are very common in EVs and hybrids because they store extra energy and can recharge much faster than traditional car batteries. These batteries are lightweight and usually provide better travel distance on just one charge. Lithium-ion batteries are quite expensive and they usually come with extended warranties.
Deep Cycle Battery
The deep cycle batteries are a different type of lead-acid car battery. These car batteries can either be sealed or flooded, and they are usually built with denser materials and thicker battery plates. The deep cycle car battery should be used in cars that need more sustained power with a low current draw. Although you can use these batteries in your car, they are much better off in cars such as RVs, boats, and golf carts.
Key Features of Long-Lasting Car Batteries
Size Of The Battery
Essentially, car batteries may seem identical, but that isn’t the case. And their size definitely isn’t universal. The 12V car battery are available in different sizes, so it’s always important to remember to check out your car owner manual to know the right size which fits into your car. You want to buy a car battery that perfectly fits in your battery tray and can be stored easily without necessarily causing any damages to the surrounding components in case vibrations occurs.
The power requirement commonly referred to, as the batteries cold-cranking amps is a very important detail. The cold-cranking amps usually refer to the energy amount required to start the car at low temperatures. This helps show exactly how powerful the car battery can be. The high the cold-cranking amps, the faster the battery would start the car even in freezing temperatures.
On the other hand, you can look at the batteries cranking amps. This exactly shows how much energy is required to start the car at around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In the same way as the CCA, a high CA means more power and a much faster start.
Battery Reserve Capacity
The reserve capacity may sound the same way as the back-burner detail, but it is also worth considering. The battery reserve capacity usually tells exactly how long the accessories can run without the engine running. It’s more important to have a longer-lasting reserve capacity for other needs as well. The reserve capacity is usually measured in minutes; more minutes usually mean that the battery has a longer reserve capacity.
Voltage is another very essential aspect of any car battery. Choosing a battery with a very high or low voltage could cause connectivity or power issues every time you try turning on your car.
Essentially, the average full-size car utilizes a 12V battery. In case you own a small model, 6V may be sufficient. Take a closer look at your car or battery manual to find out exactly what’s the right voltage and you can then start shopping for car batteries with a similar capacity. With sufficient voltage, you will have sufficient power to drive without worry.
Do not forget to take into account the material that’s used to make the battery. Car batteries could be made from different materials and you should ensure the model you pick could easily withstand extended usage. Can these materials hold up to different factors such as heat, vibration, and pressure? Can the materials also withstand tear and wear while on the road. These are some of the details you must consider when checking out different battery options.
Also called the CCA, the Cold-cranking amps largely refer to the number of amps any car battery can deliver for about 30 seconds at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, all when maintaining a 1.2V per battery cell. Although this could seem like a sophisticated aspect, it’s essential to consider it when buying a new car battery. A high CCA number could help older cars start quickly and more efficiently and can also do the same for any car which takes time to start up. Car batteries with low CCA numbers could be a great choice for brand new bikes with fewer miles on the odometers.
Car Battery Life Expectancy
It’s always important to consider how long your battery can last. If it lasts longer then it means you’ll have very little to worry about. A long-lasting battery typically means that you can focus on driving rather than worrying whether the car battery will die while on the road. You should check out the available warranty or other details regarding the battery’s lifespan. Strong construction and quality materials, can also offer different clues about whether the battery can last longer.
How Does A Car Battery Work?
The car battery is one of the most essential parts of the car. Without this, a car can’t move at all. The battery will work by taking electric current and then using it to power the car motor to start the engine.
The anode and cathode are the respective negatively and positively charged sides of the car battery and an electrolyte is the buffer between these two. The chemical reactions inside causes electron build-up in the anode. In the same way as magnets, these charged particles repel each other but are blocked from moving to other sides of a battery by the current electrolyte. This means that the negatively charged particles must travel via an external element to the car battery to circumvent the electrolyte and get to the cathode, where most of the particles usually carry a positive charge.
This is where the car steps in. your car’s electrical system offers a path for the battery electronics to travel when the negative and positive terms get hooked up and the travel offers electrical current to the car.
Tips And Tricks To Find the Best Car Battery
Once you use products for an extended period, you usually tend to come up with some tips and tricks. This is the same case with the best car batteries and us. Here are some of the things we’ve learned over the years:
- Even when the car battery is operating perfectly, it’s always good to invest one a new battery before the current one starts failing. The car batteries can sit on the shelf for years or months, so you will be well prepared for anything in case you have got one ready to go in your car garage.
- Always remember to check the car battery’s warranty. If you encounter any issue within the first few months, you can then check to ensure it’s replaced sooner.
- Ensure you check the battery mounting position as this can affect the battery’s ability to work with your car as well as polarity. You want to find out where the battery’s positive terminal is and if it will perfectly work with the current setup.
- The type of car battery you choose to buy largely depends on the area where you reside and the weather conditions in that particular area. If you’re looking for the best battery for the car for cold weather, you might need one that’s labeled ‘North’ or ‘N’, although if you reside in warmer weather, you need one that’s labeled ‘South’ or ‘S’.
- Some vehicles like BMWs need the car battery, which is digitally matched or coded to the car. This needs specific software, so you will definitely need it changed by a dealer who is authorized.
How To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Car Battery
Even if you choose to buy the best maintenance-free car batteries such as AGM batteries, there are a few things that you need to do to ensure that your car battery functions at peak capacity. Check the car battery terminals and cables frequently to make sure no rust builds up. Corrosion buildup could prevent the vehicle from starting. If there is a corrosion buildup, you should use the post cleaner or wire brush to remove it. You shouldn’t forget to apply the layer of protective grease to prevent future build-up. However, if you’ve bought a low-maintenance battery, you need to buy a hydrometer so that you can individually check the cells.
You need to have the vehicle battery examined by professional mechanics about once every year. Even though many car batteries do not maintenance, it’s would be a great idea for you to have an expert mechanic to run various tests on battery load. If you reside in an area with cold weather, you should test the car battery every 4 years.
And if the car battery begins to regularly underperform, or gets cracked, you should consider replacing it if it’s not able to recharge, damaged, or worn out.
Your choice of picking the best car battery still depends on your preferences and budget. You can read the car battery reviews to get an idea of what car battery would best suit your needs. We’ve given you a comprehensive guide on how to narrow down your car battery selection. Always remember to check your car’s owner manual to determine the best battery brand and type that can meet your car’s electrical needs. Before you decide to buy the best car batteries, ensure you consider the previous experience you have with specific batteries. It’s also important to note that with the best car battery, you won’t need to carry a jump starter cable every time.
Best Car Batteries FAQs
How long will my car battery last?
In perfect conditions, many car batteries can last anywhere from 3 to 6 years. The lifespan might vary depending on the manufacturing methods.
Why does the car battery stop working?
There are different reasons why a car battery can stop working. Factors like extended exposure to extreme or harsh weather conditions, some corroded terminals or forgetting to switch off your car’s exterior or interior lights, frequent short trips, and excessive vibration can shorten the lifespan of the car battery. A car battery that is left sitting for an extended period without getting started could drain down below the minimum starting voltage, which isn’t good.
How can I find out whether my battery is dying?
A few warnings may signify a dying car battery. These include dim dashboard lights or headlights, a lagging or slow engine turnover if you try starting your car, a clinking sound if you turn the turn on the ignition, issues running the vehicle’s electrical components, or even a swollen casing. In case the battery warning indicator is illuminated on the car dashboard, that’s a sign that the car battery may go bad pretty soon.
How much does a car battery cost?
Car batteries are usually available at almost every price point. The good news is that you can easily find a good battery for less than AUD 100. However, most batteries sit between $150 and $250.
How should I maintain my car battery?
As mentioned earlier, not all kinds of car batteries need maintenance. Nevertheless, it’s essential for conventional car batteries to keep these in great working conditions. The first thing you should do is carry out some visual checks, maybe once a month. Remember to check the battery connectors to make sure that none gets loose and then clean the car terminals every time dirt accumulates. You can then charge the car battery once per week and keep a close eye on the water levels about twice a month.
Can I overcharge a car battery?
Overcharging the car battery isn’t recommended because it can easily damage the car battery and eventually affect your car.