Car Batteries – The Only Guide You Need to Read before Buying

You never want to find out the hard way that your car needs a new battery- trust us on this one. However, more often than not it’s the primary way for people discovering that have to get a new battery car.

Constant charging and discharging and regular wear are the main reasons for which you should replace the battery once or even twice for your car. One of the worst nightmares of drivers is a dead battery, especially when you have no jumper cable or you need to wait for some road assistance in the middle of nowhere.

What are the things to keep in mind when replacing the car battery?

To get the best out of your car, it’s best that you get the best option out there (within your budget, of course) and for further information click here.

Some principles are fundamental when getting a new battery for your car, so scroll down for finding them out:

  • Test it once a year

Truth be told, most car batteries nowadays are maintenance-free. However, you want to stay on the safe side and take it to a load-test by a mechanic. If you live in a cold climate, you need to do it after four years of use, but if the environment is warm, you have to test it after only two years.

  • Pay attention to it

Any responsible driver should keep an eye on the battery and check it from time to time. Take a look at the market before you replace it so that you select the best option for your car.

Img source: racshop.co.uk

  • Choose right

Not only that the new battery has to be the right size, but it also has to present the terminal locations (type) for your vehicle. Go over the owner’s manual or check a fit guide before selecting the new battery.

  • The Battery-life test

If you live in a warm climate, it’s fundamental that the battery performs well on high temperatures. Consistent high temperatures are going to increase the plate corrosion, vaporizing the electrolyte for current a lot faster. You want the battery to have a long life span so don’t skip this step.

You should also check the reserve-capacity and the cold-cranking amps tests as well as they tell you about the starting power of the battery.

  • Try to go with a fresh battery

Unfortunately, batteries are going to lose their power in time, even when on shelves. Your new battery shouldn’t be older than six months. There are different ways for informing you on the date (it can take me a number for the year and a letter for the month- “A” is for January, for instance) so check that info as well.

  • Double-check the warranties

It’s always a good thing to select a battery with a long free-replacement period. There are two ways for finding out about the warranty: the free-replacement period and the prorated period (you only get a part of the money back in this case).

  • Side note: What do you do with the old battery?

The acid and the toxic lead of the battery are easy to recycle, and you can leave it with the retailer as it’s going to take care of it. Just don’t drop it anywhere you want.

Img source: raylakshonda.com

What are the fundamental kinds of car batteries?

The traditional kind (maintenance-free) and the new model, the absorbed glass mat are the main types of car batteries.

  • Lead-acid (regular)

Drivers today no longer have to top off the water in the electrolyte solution. New car batteries are maintenance-free as they use a lot less water than the old ones. They’re capable of keeping the fluid for the whole life of the battery. The caps are designed so that you cannot remove them, anyway.

The lead-acid batteries are more affordable than the absorbed glass mat batteries. You should also remember that they’re not going to maintain the charge for an extended amount of time and that they don’t handle a deep discharge either.

  • Absorbed glass mat (AGM)

AGMs are made to take the constant draining and recharging cycles- a lot better than the regular car batteries, anyway. They come with modern features (stop-start systems that save the fuel, the electronic safety and convenience functions or the power outlets for the mobile electronics) which raise their popularity among drivers out there.

The main pet peeve for the AGMs is their price which can be 40 to 100% more than the traditional batteries. If you’re not using your car very often, you should consider buying an AGM. AGMs can handle the deep discharge a lot better as well, recovering entirely in the case of the accidental drain.

What features matter the most on a car battery?

Apart from the size of the terminal locations that you need to check on the new car battery, some features count a lot for the performance of the battery:

Img source: upsbatterycenter.com

  • Float/trickle charger

Should your car become idle for a long time, it’s best that you have a float charger and have it charged at all time. The maintenance charger/storage/trickle is going to reduce the risk for excessive discharge when you’re not using the battery. Most batteries have built-in circuitry for lowering the overcharging risk. Not presenting this feature is going to overcharge the battery and damage it sooner than expected. The float charger is going to monitor and change the battery automatically, but you still want to check the battery regularly so that everything runs nice and smoothly.

  • Jump starter

When you use a portable battery jump starter, you’re going to need to connect two cars to jump start your vehicle. Some new models are tiny and fit even in the car emergency kit.

  • Loop/handle

Even if it’s not fundamental, the handle/loop is going to make it a lot easier for anyone to carry the battery (which can get pretty hefty- up to 60 pounds). The handle/loop is also going to ease out your efforts when placing the battery onto the tray in the engine compartment.

One last thing before you go

If you’re a driver, you know it’s only a matter of time until you have to replace the battery car. But if you’re a responsible driver, you also know that you never want to find it out in the middle of nowhere, in complete darkness or, god forbid a heavy rain.

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