How to Buy a Car Battery
If you are planning to buy a car battery then this is the article that you must read. We've done most of the leg work for you and sorted through car battery price ranges, car battery size categories and car battery ratings to create a good checklist of items to follow before buying a car battery.
Step 1: Select Brands
There are several wonderful brands on the market but most consumers swear by Delphi, Exide and Johnson. These are the major companies that supply nearly every car maker and manufacturer with custom car batteries. If you need a new car battery it's a good idea to sort through these brands first. The companies will sell their batteries at major dealerships like Firestone and Goodyear, but they also have their own stores.
Step 2: Check Prices
Battery prices will vary according to the size and the power that they provide, but prices are usually standardized. You can check at online auction sites where you will find cheaper varieties of car batteries. Make sure that you have a warranty along with any chosen car battery. You can order the batteries online or get discounted ones at Sears and Kmart. It's a good idea to buy from Firestone and car specialty stores, though, as they have a higher turnover of cars and they are more likely to have fresher batteries for sale. Make sure that you check the date of the battery. Batteries are stamped with the date of manufacture on the battery case. Make sure that you check one that is within six months of manufacture. There are online sites that will compare the cost of different brands of batteries for you.
Step 3: Check Group Sizes
There are three or four main battery sizes that are commonly used in nearly every model of car. You will find that size 75 is used in all General Motors cars. Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury prefer to use size 65. The standardized size 35 is for almost all imports like Honda and Nissan, while size 34 is used by Chrysler. Check the manufacturing guides present at the dealer or check the guide that you have been provided with the car. The wrong size of battery will not fit the car.
There are four different kinds of terminal types that you should know about when you buy a battery. For example, most terminals are tapered terminals, but a few imported cars might have Japanese terminals or lug terminals that you have to be aware of.
Step 4: Storage Power
There are several different terms that are used to judge the working capability of a battery. The Reserve Capacity is the power of the battery to run the car on the least voltage possible. Most batteries will have an excellent reserve capacity rating and they can usually run the battery alone even when the alternator stops working. The RC rating is usually written on the side of the battery. Another important requirement is the CCA or Cold Cranking Amps of the battery. Cold Cranking Amps are the ability of the battery to start in cold weather. Choose slightly higher CCA values so that you can be assured of the life of your battery.