How To Buy A Car Battery

How To Buy A Car Battery

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  1. How To Buy A Car Battery


    You know how it happens.  It started with your car needing a jump-start when you came out of the grocery store one day.  Then it needed another jump-start a few days later.  This is your vehicle’s way of saying it is time to replace that old car battery before it needs leaves you stranded.

    Replacing a car battery does not need to be a difficult task.  In this article, you will learn a few basic tips for selecting the proper car battery.


    • Do not wait until your car battery is dead before selecting a car battery.  Unless you accidentally leave your lights on or have electrical issues, there will be plenty of warning signs before your car battery dies.  Your headlights and interior lights will be slightly dimmer, or your car will start sluggishly, where that had not happened before.
    • When choosing a car battery, be sure to go to the people who know cars best- auto parts stores.  Department stores or warehouse clubs may offer a better price sometimes, but a better price does not necessarily mean a better value on your car battery.  Also, department stores and warehouse clubs do not usually have the more detailed, vehicle-specific information needed to select the exact car battery you need.
    • Price should not be your top priority when selecting a car battery.  Value is much more important than price.  Often times, spending only a few dollars more will get you a much better, higher quality car battery that will last much longer, and has a better warranty.
    • Be sure to select a car battery designed specifically for your vehicle.  Vehicle battery manufacturers build about twenty-five group sizes of batteries for cars and pickup trucks alone.  Group size determines such criteria as the physical size of the car battery, terminal location, and the power output.  Talk to the salesman about selecting the right car battery for your vehicle to prevent problems with using the wrong group size.
    • Be sure your new car battery fits snugly in your car’s battery tray.  The wrong size car battery that does not fit into that tray may cause damage to your car.
    • Car batteries are often marketed in “good/better/best” format.  “Good” car batteries are the basic battery that will work in your car, and have a minimum warranty.  “Better” car batteries have a better warranty, and rise above the minimum requirements.  “Best” car batteries have the longest warranty, and the best power output for your car.
    • Check the date of manufacture on the car battery.  Most are on the label or casing.  The date format is usually in letter/number.  The letter indicates the month when the car battery was manufactured- January is A, February is B, etc.  The number indicates the year.  9 is 2009, 0 is 2010, etc.  Ideally, you want a car battery that has been manufactured in the last six months or less.
    • When selecting a car battery, choose one that meets the minimum requirements of your vehicle.  A car battery should have the cold cranking amps that the manufacturer specifies your car requires in a battery, especially if you live in a cold area.  Cold cranking amps means the minimum power output required to start a vehicle in cold weather.  In cold weather, the oil thickens, which makes the engine work harder to start.  Your car needs a strong car battery to help it start in cold weather.  No one wants to be stuck outside in the freezing weather when they learn about cold cranking amps.
    • Remember, many auto parts retailers will install your new car battery free of charge.  You may not need to pay someone to install your new car battery.  Many of these same stores also will dispose of your old car battery, relieving you of the task of finding a recycling station near you.  Some auto parts stores will offer a discount on your new car battery if you allow them to dispose of your old car battery.  This varies by store.


    Following the above steps should make selecting your new car battery a fairly painless process.  So when the employee asks if he can help you, you can confidently say yes, knowing you will make the right choice in selecting your car battery.

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