November 02, 2022
What Car Battery Do I Need for My Car?
Have you ever wondered what battery is suitable for my car or what car battery do I need for my car? Read this blog till the end and you will get your answer.
You must have learnt in school that Mitochondria are the powerhouse of cells. It is the organelle that is responsible for providing energy to the cell. In the same way, the battery provides energy to the car. It provides energy for doorlock, radios, headlights, car lights, etc. The main purpose of a car battery is to provide electric current to the starting motor, which in turn starts the engine of the car. There are mainly two types of batteries namely Lithium-ion batteries and SLI (“Starting, Lighting and Ignition”) batteries.
Let us go through this blog and use this guide as a car battery finder. Car batteries come in different types and models and it is not a one-size-fits-all. To decide which one is the best, and your answer to “What Car Battery Do I Need?”, you need to consider certain factors.
Car battery buying guide: 4 important factors
To find the best batteries for a car, you have to consider certain factors such as size, brand, reserve capacity, and age before buying a car battery. Let us explore them one by one:
Your car battery should be such that it fits properly in the battery tray. A battery tray varies according to the manufacturer but mostly is designated to accommodate a specific dimension of the battery. Refer to the reference guides given by battery retailers to determine the right battery for your car. Some standard sizes of car batteries are 24, 24F, 25, 34, 35, 51, 65, 75, and 78.
2. Battery Brand
Ideally, you should choose a battery that is provided along with the car manual, but if you want to cut some expenses by going for an alternative option, you can choose batteries with similar specifications.
Some common brands include Everstart, Champion, Exide, Napa, Motorcraft, etc. However, another point to consider here is that refrain from buying dirt-cheap batteries to save money, as they are highly unreliable and need to be replaced frequently.
3. Reserve Capacity
The term Reserve Capacity means the amount of time your battery can supply the minimum voltage required to run the car when the alternator stops working due to some technical failures. The reserve battery is your car’s emergency lifeline. If you have a battery with good reserve capacity, the chances of you being stranded in the middle of nowhere due to a failed battery decrease significantly. Check the RC (Reserve capacity) value on the battery’s label or ask the storekeeper.
The age of the battery is crucial while determining your battery’s performance, as with any gadget newer batteries are better than older ones. A car battery that has been installed within 6 months is considered new.
To determine a car’s manufacturing date, we use a 2-character alphanumeric code A-L and 0 to 9. The first character represents the month (A- January and L- December) and the second character represents the year (0-2020, 1-2021 and so on). Most batteries are rated for 5 years and ideally have to be replaced after 3 years.
Car Battery buying guide: What to look for
To buy the best car battery, you must look out for quite a few things such as your battery specifications, dealership, age, etc which we have discussed earlier apart from that we should also consider getting a battery with the right power, maintenance, etc. Let’s go through them one by one:
1. Battery maintenance
Broadly speaking, there are two types used as car batteries: maintenance-required batteries and maintenance-free batteries. Maintenance-free batteries are higher in cost, but they need no electrolyte monitoring for their proper functioning.
Maintaining the required battery is cheaper, but it requires monitoring of electrolyte levels for proper functioning. A professional should do the maintenance. The best batteries between the two will depend on your goal, whether you want convenience or want to save some bucks.
2. Get the right power
Before you decide on the best battery for your car, you must consider the power specifications, which include cold cranking amps (CAAs) and reserve capacity (RC). As we know reserve capacity is the amount of time the battery runs after an alternator fails. Cold-cranking amps (CCA) are the measure of the ability of the vehicle to start the engine (in cold). Having a CAA value different from the specified value will cause improper starting of the car.
The technology type and size of the battery also determine the power supply. Make sure to buy the batteries with recommended values of RC and CCA as mentioned in the user manual at the time of car purchase. If a battery of specified RC and CCA is not available, you should buy a battery with an RC and CCA value a little higher than the specified value.
3. Does the battery fit the car and driving needs?
To determine if the car battery is a good fit for your car, you have to make sure that the battery replacement is of the right design and dimensions and has the right power rating. In addition to these factors, you should also consider factors such as the climate in which you live. In hot climates, high temperatures can cause corrosion and electrolyte vapourization.
Will any battery fit my car?
The simple answer to this question is NO! Car batteries differ in specifications and are usually model specific. Although the majority of the car uses the 12 voltage output, all the models are not the same.
Using a battery that is not compatible with your car can cause power surges, which can damage the electrical components of the vehicle, such as GPS, radio, headlights, etc. However, if batteries have similar dimensions, and comparable CCA and RA values, we can use them as a replacement for one another. We can use H6 and 21R batteries as replacements for one another.
One should consider a few things such as your battery specifications, dealership, age, etc. Just like any else component, car batteries do not last forever and need replacement every 3 to 5 years. While many batteries are available in the market, you cannot replace your car battery with any of them. To buy the best battery, buy the one that is specified by the car manufacturer and fits the OEM specifications of the particular model. Having a battery that is not compatible with the car will cause damage to the electronic systems and thus you must refrain from doing that.