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Tips For Buying A New Car Battery – A Beginner’s Guide

The battery is a very vital part of the car. It is ideal that we are prepared and have a spare if we have to replace the battery.

However, a study shows that most car owners only buy a replacement battery when needed or when the car will no longer start.

This can be inconvenient for car owners, especially when the battery dies at a very unfavorable time or place.

Replacing a car battery is inevitable. Car owners will encounter this during their car’s lifetime since the battery will be discharged and worn out from continued usage.

Therefore, knowing how to select and replace the battery is an essential skill for car owners. 

Car owners should also pay close attention to the health of their batteries. Proper care can help extend the battery’s life and alert the owner when it is the right time to replace it.

This article will give car owners an overview and tips to help them make wise decisions about their batteries.

Maintaining and Observing the Battery

Check The Battery

A critical factor in ensuring a car battery’s health is by timely checking it. Car owners should make it a habit to check under the hood to know when is the right time to replace the battery.

Proper research about replacing the battery, including where to buy it, scheduling the replacement, and finding out information early on, can help car owners be prepared in advance.

Owners should also take note of the battery’s age. Batteries usually have stickers attached to them. As the battery gets older, it is more likely time to replace it.

Regularly Test Batteries

It is a great practice to have batteries checked regularly by experts and mechanics. 

Routine inspections will give car owners an expert opinion about their car’s overall health, including the battery.

It is advisable to conduct a load-test on batteries older than two years if you are residing in an area with a hot climate. 

People living in areas with cold weather should conduct the load-test annually for cars older than four years. Load-testing the battery will tell its ability to retain voltage and give owners an idea if it’s time to buy a new one.

Buy The Best Fit Battery

There are many varieties of batteries available in the market – each has a different size and caters to different needs.

When purchasing a battery, make sure that it fits your vehicle. It is recommended to check the car’s manual first before buying to ensure you’re purchasing the right kind. 

Car owners can also consult their mechanics to verify if the battery is appropriate for the vehicle.

Do Not Store Replacement Batteries

For best performance, always make sure that your replacement batteries are new. 

Batteries can start losing their power even when they are not in use. It is advised to only purchase one that is less than three months old. 

Discharge Old Batteries Properly

Responsible car owners should properly discharge their old batteries. Old batteries can leak out harmful substances dangerous to health. 

When buying new batteries, you can exchange the old ones. Some retailers pay customers for old batteries. 

Check Battery Warranties

Retailers offer different battery warranties. To get the most out of this service, choose a warranty that provides the most extensive free replacement period. 

Some retailers also offer warranties with a prolonged prorated period, which will give buyers partial reimbursements for their batteries.

Car Battery Types

Lead-Acid Battery

Lead-Acid (Regular) batteries cost less than their alternative. These batteries are considered low maintenance because they can store water longer and consume less water.

Thus, drivers do not need to refill fluid in the electrolyte solution as much as the standard batteries.

Absorbed Glass Mat Battery

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries are suitable for modern vehicles. These batteries can withstand being depleted and recharged regularly, something typical for modern cars that offer various high power consuming features.

However, AGM batteries are costly, and drivers can pay as much as 40% to 100% more than their alternative.

This battery is recommended for drivers who seldom use their cars since it can tolerate getting drained.

Battery Sizes

Drivers should check the car manual before purchasing a battery to ensure they will get the right fit.

You can also check with retailers that offer free battery installation and consult that the battery is the right size.

Below is an overview of the different battery sizes:

Size 75 – a side terminal battery suitable for General Motors (GM) medium-sized and compact cars. It can also support some Chrysler cars.

Size 65 – a top terminal battery suitable for Ford and Mercury’s large trucks, sport utility vehicles, and cars.

Size 51R – a top terminal battery suitable for cars manufactured by Japanese brands – Nissa, Honda, and Mazda.

Size 49 (H8) – a top terminal battery suitable for cars from Asian and European brands – Hyundai, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

Size 48 (H6) – a top terminal battery suitable for cars manufactured by Chevrolet, Audi, Jeep, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mini, Buick, GMC, Volvo, and Volkswagen.

Size 47 (H5) – a top terminal battery suitable for vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Fiat, and Volkswagen.

Size 35 – a top terminal battery suitable for car models from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Subaru.

Size 34/78 – a dual terminal battery suitable for big Chrysler cars. It can also work for 1996-2000 pickups from General Motors and some medium-sized to large sedans.

Size 24/24F – a top terminal battery suitable for car models from Honda, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Nissan, and Toyota.

Car Battery Tests

Battery life

You can appraise your car’s battery life by draining and recharging it multiple times.

This condition can be repeated up to 3,000 times within 15 weeks, with a 167° temperature.

The driver can observe when the test will start to take a hit on the battery’s performance.

This testing condition analyzes how the battery will perform under extreme heat during high-temperature seasons.

Cold-cranking amps

Cold-cranking amps (CCA) simulates the battery’s performance during cold seasons.

A freezer can be used to cool batteries and monitor how they will perform under this scenario.

Reserve Capacity

Reserve capacity will measure the length of the battery’s lifetime if there is no charging system available.

It also quantifies how long a battery can withstand when headlights are accidentally left on.

To test this, monitor the time it takes to drain a fully charged battery. Remember only to drain the battery until 10.5 volts to avoid jump-starting it.

The average performance of battery reserve capacity is 1.5 hours.

Editor’s Note on Tips For Buying A New Car Battery:

This article is published to give you tips when buying new car batteries and how to maintain them. 

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