We love our vehicles and it is hurtful to see them dead or malfunctioning. The battery of your vehicle is one of its most important organs; hence it’s vital to choose among the best car batteries. Not many of us may know much when it comes to purchasing car batteries and a heads-up is necessary just to make sure you aren’t taking the risky road.
The first thing to keep in mind is not to wait until your car battery betrays you at midnight while you’re alone on a drive through a desert or a spooky neighbourhood. It’s always good to have some time at hand to do your research and buy a new battery according to your convenience. Even though most of the car batteries are maintenance-free nowadays, it’s better to get it checked to be on the safer side.
Temperature and battery life
The climate of your place has a major role in determining the longevity of your car battery. While it’s okay to get your battery checked after 4 years if you live in a cold area, in a warmer place the deadline is at the end of 2 years. This is because higher temperatures result in plate corrosion and evaporation of the electrolyte that helps in current transmission.
Even though high temperature kills your battery, it is important for the chemical reaction to happen. Hence, even an extreme cold climate can make your battery sluggish, giving you a hard time starting or running your vehicle. Always look for a battery with higher CCA (Cold-Cranking Amperage) if the climate around you is cold.
While CCA helps you learn how much a battery can deliver in relatively-short bursts, RC (Reserve Capacity) is the amount of energy the battery can deliver till a particular period of time. It is the time measurement of how long your battery can deliver 25amps of current in 80 degree Fahrenheit until the battery drops down to 10.5 volts.
Reserve Capacity of a battery is important because the battery serves all the electrical needs of the vehicle if the charging system fails. A battery with higher RC can save you if your serpentine belts malfunctions, by providing enough power to keep your headlights, electric pumps and other electric devices on till you reach a safe destination.
Buy what fits
Go through the owner’s manual and carry it with you while purchasing a new car battery, to check what size and type is the battery you need to get. If the terminals are not in the right place, the cables will not reach and will fail to provide sufficient power and fit securely.
Two basic types: Regular and AGM
The two basic types of batteries are Lead-Acid (Regular) and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM). Unlike the old flooded cell ones which requires periodical refill of the water inside, the new maintenance-free lead-acid batteries retain their fluid throughout its life. Even though a lead-acid battery costs much less than an AGM battery, it can neither tolerate deep discharges nor hold charge as long as an AGM battery.
An AGM battery is designed to meet the modern vehicle’s electrical energy needs. For example, features like fuel-saving stop-start systems, entertainment features, and power outlet for mobile phones consume higher amount of energy which is easily provided by an AGM battery.
Buy a fresh battery
Car batteries will lose strength even in storage which will affect their efficiency. Hence, always check the shipping code on the case and make sure that you’re buying a fresh battery.
Last but not the least; go through consumer reviews as well as expert reviews on different car battery brands and their products to buy the best car batteries.