Car Battery Comparison: Prices, Ratings and Top Brands
Performing an in depth car battery comparison is a time consuming and expensive process. The person performing this has to buy a number of each Group Size and output rating available from each of the car battery brands in order to achieve repeatable car battery comparison results. There are a number of reputable sites on the Internet that have already performed this service for you. The most important factor which will determine which battery you buy is Group Size, of which there are a couple dozen available for different applications.
Your first step is to determine what car battery prices you're willing and able to pay. As a general average, most car batteries, except ultra high end ones made for specialty markets, will cost between $30 and $90. The price depends on a number of factors which will be discussed below. For now, decide what your price range is. Generally speaking, car battery prices are going to determine what brand you can afford and how much capacity you will receive.
Battery Capacity Requirements
The second most important factor which will determine which battery you need is car battery ratings, or battery output capacity, which is given in number of cold cranking Amps. CCA is the battery's ability to supply the stated Amperage for a 30 second period at zero degrees, and still be able to supply a minimum of 10.5 volts at a usable current.
Each group size or case design from most manufacturers will be available in at least two or three cold cranking Amp ratings. These will normally be described quite simply as Good, Better Even Better (if listed) and Best. On some of the smaller group sizes, you will probably only have two output ratings to decide between. If you have just a stock stereo and nothing else, then all you will really need is a "Good" battery, unless you want to be able to extend its life beyond the warranty period. However, if you have something like a Cadillac Escalade with a huge 1,000 Watt stereo, two DVD players and five LCD screens, you're going to need to opt for the "Best" battery in your price range.
Most battery makers offer a two-year free replacement on all of their batteries. They have two levels of warranty which are usually 60 and 72 months. After the initial two-year period expires, if the battery fails, it will be pro-rated.
There are a couple of battery makers that cater to the specialty market. This market includes people who have earth shaking stereo systems, plasma screens and all sorts of fancy blinking lights. These vehicles are usually not driven very much, but are often taken to car shows that highlight high tech electrical systems. Not only are these batteries designed to be able to supply sometimes as much as 2,000 CCA, they're designed to also be attractive and productive. However, you pay for these extra features and capabilities. The lowest rated of these batteries, capable of supplying a minimum of 800 cold cranking Amps, will cost you approximately $150 or more.