Best Car Battery To Buy
If you are looking for the best car battery to buy you need to understand some of its characteristics, like the cold cranking amps (CCA), the reserve capacity as well as the group size. Let’s start with the CCA.
CCA is used in order to measure the ability of the battery to start the car when it is cold outside. You need to buy one that has a CCA rating which mustn’t exceed the vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cranking rate. If you don’t know the rating for your car, you will have to check the owner’s manual. If you happen to live in an area that has a cold climate, it is recommended to purchase a car battery that has a high CCA rating due to the reason that a chilled and sluggish engine will need a lot more power to start it up.
Moving on to the reserve capacity, you should know that it is the number of minutes in which your vehicle will run using only the battery if the alternator fails. Putting things in a technical perspective, a fully charged battery will run at 25 amps and if the voltage falls below the minimum 10.5 amps needed in order to run the car, you must replace it with a new one. Needless to say, you should buy a car battery that comes with the longest reserve capacity you can find due to the reason that you might need that capacity in the unfortunate case in which your vehicle will not start.
The group size concerns the exterior dimensions of the batteries along with the placement of the power terminals. If you don’t know the proper size for your vehicle, ask your mechanic or check the owner’s manual.
Let’s talk a little bit about the types of batteries. Basically you have two options: low maintenance (non-sealed) or maintenance-free. The first one is recommended if you run your car in hotter climates. Taking into consideration that the battery is not sealed, you will be able to add water whenever necessary. The second type of battery comes with a longer operational life and it is also takes less time to recharge. Their downside is that they are prone to various failures due to the shedding of an active plate material that with time will weaken.
To find the best car battery to buy, get one that is “fresh”. In other words, avoid purchasing a battery that has been on the shop’s shelves for more than 6 months. Don’t forget to check when the battery was made by having a look at the case or the attached label. The manufacturing date consists of a 2-digit code with one number and one letter (“A” stands for January; “B” for February and so on); while the digit will represent the year (“11” is considered 2011). We highly recommend that you shouldn’t buy a battery from a gas station as most likely they will be quite old.
As far as the warranty is concerned, it is determined by a set of 2 numbers which you will find listed on it. Your priority will be to know the free replacement period. In other words, the interval of time in which you’ll get a free replacement in case the battery you bought fails to work anymore. The other number you will find on the label tells the total period of the warranty.
We recommend that you purchase a battery from one of these manufacturers: Napa, Exide, Duralast, Diehard, Everstart and others as well. Talk to your mechanic as he will know what type and brand of battery you should get for your vehicle.
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