Best Car Battery

UPDATED OCTOBER 2018

With the right battery, you can keep your car from sputtering every day. You can use our shopping guide to find the best car batteries of 2018.

BEST CAR
BATTERY 2018

BOTTOM LINE

This battery uses AGM technology to prevent spills and other damage. It requires much less maintenance than other types of batteries do.

PROS

With a valve system that doesn’t leak and AGM technology, this battery saves you some time on cleaning and maintenance. It will not damage the terminals either.

CONS

You may need brackets or other specialty parts to install this battery in your car. Some thought the terminals were too small also.

BOTTOM LINE

Spiral cells located inside this battery help it last longer and make it resistant to any vibrations. The manufacturer guarantees that it will give you the full power of lead too.

PROS

Thanks to a durable case, this battery is resistant to the vibrations produced by your car. It has a battery reserve too that will maintain a charge for more than 90 minutes.

CONS

You might only get one to two years of use out of this battery. Some shoppers had issues using it in cooler climates.

BOTTOM LINE

Suitable for sports cars and luxury autos, this battery will work in any type of vehicle. Though the high cost might turn you off, it’s worth the price.

PROS

With a compact design, this is one of the only batteries that you can mount in any orientation or direction. It features sealed valves inside to prevent leaks.

CONS

You might have a problem filing a warranty claim. Some shoppers wished that this budget was more affordable.

BOTTOM LINE

Thanks to its unique design, this battery will last up to twice as long as others in your vehicle. It has built-in safeguards that keep it running in the coldest of climates.

PROS

The AGM design of this Die Hard battery prevents leaks and reduces the maintenance that it requires. This model works just as well in hot climates as it does at cooler temperatures.

CONS

The smaller size of this battery means that it will not fit in all vehicles. Some shoppers had problems filing warranty or rebate claims.

BOTTOM LINE

With both a roadside assistance program and a four-year warranty, this battery covers everything you need. It charges quickly and works in any type of climate.

PROS

As an AGM battery, this Bosch model requires little to no maintenance. It comes with a four-year warranty that lasts twice as long as those offered by other manufacturers.

CONS

You need to make sure that Bosch recommends this battery for use in the make and model of vehicle you own. Depending on how much you drive, it might not keep up with you.

Shopping Guide for the Best Car Battery

When you wake up late and need to get to work or school as fast as possible, you don’t want to discover that your battery died the night before. Something as simple as leaving your door cracked when you went inside the night before can cause that battery to do. When you have the best car battery of 2018 in your vehicle, you get all the power that you need. The best car battery is one designed to work with your vehicle. It should be the right size to fit under the hood and connect easily to your motor.

Finding the top car battery of 2018 might not be as easy as you might think though. There are so many different types out there that you may not know which one will work best in your car. Some shoppers make the mistake of buying one designed for an all-terrain vehicle or a smaller vehicle that won’t work in cars too. Though price will be on your mind, you should consider the type of battery that you need and some of the features that are right for you. Our shopping guide to the best car batteries makes it easy to compare all the available information and find a good model for your car.

Shopping-Guide-for-the-Best-Car-Batteries

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Selection Criteria

If you’re like most shoppers who have no experience shopping for a car battery, you might head to a local shop and buy the first model that you see. While auto parts stores sell batteries, you’ll need to get some help to make sure you get one that will fit your car. When you shop online, you can actually enter the make and model of your vehicle and its year to find batteries that manufacturers guarantee will work in those models. That is why our shopping guide focuses on batteries that you can buy online. We provided our readers will links that go directly to our top choices on Amazon.

To find the best batteries around, we checked with experts to find which ones they use in their own cars and which ones they recommend to their family and friends. You can view all the resources we used and reach through those pages for yourself. Once we had more than 20 batteries to look at, we used Amazon to see which batteries had the highest reviews and which models had the worst reviews. We used those ratings to track down the five best batteries that you can use in any car or vehicle.

Selection Criteria - WITHOUT TEXT

What Made These Car Batteries the Best?

  • Design
  • Warranty coverage
  • Price
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Customer ratings

Warning Signs That You Need a New Battery

When your car battery dies, you can jump start it with jumper cables connected to a charger or another vehicle. The next time you try to turn on your car though, you might find that the battery refuses to turn over. If you need to jump your car every day or every few days, you should replace it completely. It’s important that you look at some of the other warning signs that you might need a new battery that can include:

  • It takes longer for the battery to turn over and for your car to start
  • The case on the battery swells or bulges out from the battery
  • When you turn the key, none of the lights or other features on your dash come on
  • The battery occasionally works and then stops working
  • You notice acids and other liquids leaking out of the battery
  • The warning light associated with the battery comes on
  • You pick up a sulfuric odor coming from the battery or the engine

If you experience one or more of these warning signs, you really need to get your battery checked out. There might be a problem with the battery itself or with another part under the hood.

Warning Signs That You Need a New Battery

Reasons Your Battery Might Die

  • You left the lights on overnight
  • The door remained cracked open for several hours
  • Someone left a device charged plugged into the vehicle
  • There is a loose wire connected to the battery

A good car battery that won’t break the bank is this Advantage model from AC Delco. It uses Absorbed Glass Ma technology, also called AGM, which cuts down on the maintenance that you would otherwise need to do. That technology adds a glass mat inside that absorbs any leaks and stops the acid from spilling out over the battery. As all the valves are also sealed, you shouldn’t notice any liquids leaking out of this battery. Those valves help this battery last up to three times as long as other similar models in this price range do.

Car Battery Review AC Delco ACDB24R Advantage AGM Battery
AC Delco ACDB24R Advantage AGM Battery

Weighing right around 31 pounds, the Advantage also ranks as one of the lightest batteries around. AC Delco offers a 24-month warranty on this model that does not have any mileage restrictions. No matter how much you drive, you can still file a warranty claim within the first two years of buying this model. Though the Advantage works well in any car or truck, you can also use it in seasonal vehicles. It has a self-discharge feature that helps you make sure that the battery is ready to use after a long off-season. We also like the red and black terminals located at the top.

Types of Car Batteries

Though you might think the only thing that matters when buying a new car battery is how much it costs, you really need to start with a look at some of the more common types of batteries. Many of those that appeared on our list of the best products feature an AGM design with a glass mat and sealed parts inside. Depending on the age of your vehicle and other factors such as how much you want to spend, you may find that another type better meets your needs. You can look at all the different types of car batteries below that you can buy online.

AGM Battery

An AGM battery is one that features an absorbent glass mat inside. When any battery acid leaks out, the mat will catch that liquid and absorb it before it can spill over and damage your engine. This mat also does a good job of absorbing any other types of liquids. Most of these models have sealed valves inside too. That seals keep the valves stable and allow the battery to work in a range of different climates. Some drivers found that these batteries cause their vehicles to shake less. They also like that AGM batteries require little in the way of maintenance.

Starting, Lighting and Ignition Battery

Depending on the age of your vehicle, you may want to buy a cheaper and more basic battery such as a starting, lighting and ignition battery. As the name implies, these models do more than just start your engine. They also control the lighting features of your vehicle, the starter and all other parts. Though this type can save you some money, most aren’t as strong as other batteries and will not last as long either. These batteries typically take longer to charge and provide only a small amount of power.

Wet Cell Battery

A cheaper alternative for those who need a basic car battery but don’t want to invest in an AGM model is a wet cell battery. Manufacturers use this name because of the cells inside the batteries that provide a vehicle with power feature a type of liquid electrolyte around them. Some dislike using this type because the batteries actually use lead. If you think that the battery might leak and corrode metal parts in your car though, you shouldn’t worry. Manufacturers today seal those cells to prevent leaks and damage. You might find them sold under the name flooded batteries too.

GEL Battery

An AGM battery is also a type of valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) battery. Another type of VRLA battery is something called a GEL battery. Instead of using a glass mat inside, it features acid mixed with silicone to form a thick material that is similar to a gel. The mat inside is usually much thinner because the battery relies on the gel to stop leaks from forming. These batteries can cost a little more than AGM models do. AGM models can retail for up to $300, while GEL batteries usually sell for $200 or less.

Deep Cycle Battery

Those looking for a fast and easy way to provide a vehicle with a steady stream of power should look at deep cycle batteries. These batteries can provide hours of power. Designed for use in golf carts and other smaller vehicles, they may not work as well in a traditional car. To use one in your vehicle, you must drive quite a bit and at least a few hours every day, which allows the battery to recharge itself. Some of the top models have a solar power design and can use the natural sunlight to charge the battery as you drive.

Common Reasons Your Car Battery Doesn't Last as Long as it Should

  • You take shorter trips of 20 minutes or less, which doesn't give the battery enough time to charge itself
  • You live in a cooler climate with temperatures that can freeze the battery
  • You live in a warmer region with high temperatures that will drain the battery
Types-of-Car-Batteries

Choosing a Battery Based on Post Type

When you look at some of the reviews of car batteries posted by others, you’ll often come across some who complained that the battery posts didn’t fit their cars. Before you buy, you must take a look under your hood and determine the type of posts that you need. Battery posts will sit on either the top or the sides of the battery. Many General Motors vehicles have side posts. Instead of screwing the cables onto posts located on the top of the battery, you’ll use the posts located on each side. Other manufacturers use top posts but recess those posts. This actually gives you some more space around your engine block. Vehicles made overseas in Europe such as BMW often use batteries with recessed top posts.

Most vehicles today require batteries with standard top posts though. When you remove your old battery, you’ll attach the cables to the red and black posts on the top. You must make sure that you use the right color for each post though. Most American vehicles and some imports require this type of battery. Top post batteries are usually the easiest to find. If you aren’t sure what type of battery you need, you can consult your manual for help.

Expert Tip:

If you pop the hood and do not see a battery, you may want to check under your back seat or in the trunk. Some imports put the battery compartment in an unusual place.

Choosing-a-Battery-Based-on-Post-Types

What Size Battery Do You Need?

The type of posts that car batteries use often relate to the size of the batteries too. As you look at reviews for yourself, you’ll find some from shoppers who complained that the batteries were too small or too large for their vehicles. If you use the guide that Amazon offers, you should have no problem finding the right size. You simply enter some basic information about your car, and Amazon will then show you batteries that will fit your vehicle. If you have an Amazon account, you can save that information and more easily search for other compatible parts later.

Manufacturers assign different numbers to each battery that tells you its size. If you have a GM vehicle that requires a side post battery, you’ll usually need a size in the 70 range. GM compatible batteries come in sizes such as 70 and 78. Batteries with recessed top posts will typically feature a smaller number of around 42, 47 or 49. If you need a battery with standard top posts, you can pick from a range of sizes, including 24 and 69. Some of these sizes add a letter to the number such as 24F or 51R. You should see the size listed on the case of your old battery.

What Size Battery Do You Need - WITH TEXT

Though this XS Power battery costs more than most of the other models you’ll see in our shopping guide, customers find that it’s more than worth its price. This is a luxury and premium battery that will work in almost any type of vehicle. Not only can you use it a sedan you drive daily to work, but it will also work well in a luxury vehicle or a sports car. This is a 12V model that comes with a glass mat. That mat uses both standard glass and fiberglass to create an absorbent shell that will catch and absorb any acid that splashes out.

Car Battery Review XS Power D3400 XS Series High Output Battery
XS Power D3400 XS Series High Output Battery

We really like the spill-proof design of this battery, which keeps the acids and chemicals inside from touching any part of your engine block. Each valve has a sealed design too that adds further protection. Another reason you might want to choose this battery is that of its smaller size. While it provides you with all the power that you need in your car, it’s so small that you can mount it any way that you want. Some shoppers also like that it weighs less than 50 pounds, which is less than what other car batteries weigh.

Cold Cranking Amps

Anyone who ever lived in a cooler region before knows that batteries don’t always work well when the temperature drops. Whether you live in the Midwest or a region that experiences some cooler temperatures in the winter months, you need to look at the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) of a battery. Some manufacturers use the term Cranking Amps (CA) instead. A lower CCA rating lets you know how long it will take the battery to start at a temperature as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit. If the manufacturer uses a CA rating, it will tell you how long it takes the battery to start at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the freezing point.

You generally want to choose a car battery with the lowest rating possible. Even if you live in a region with mild winter temperatures, you never know when a storm might come through and leave ice behind on your vehicle. If you pick the right battery, it can stand up those cold temperatures and start quickly. The battery will also work at a warmer temperature and let you get up and get going as quickly as you would like. We recommend looking at the CCA rating, especially if you live in a cooler area.

Signs You Need a Better CCA Rated Battery

  • Your battery will not turn over in colder temperatures
  • You need to turn the key over more than once before the battery starts
  • Your car battery seems to run slow or sluggishly
  • You need to use a car charger every day
Cold-Cranking-Amps

How Old is the Battery?

When you buy any perishable item for your home such as milk or eggs, you probably look at the expiration date to make sure the product is fresh. You should do the same thing when it comes to a new car battery too. Manufacturers often make thousands of products at a time before sending those items to retail and traditional shops. If you have the chance to see and examine the battery for yourself before you buy, you should always look for a code listed somewhere on the case. This code typically consists of one letter followed by one number. This tells you both the month and the year when the manufacturer made that battery.

Take for example one you see that says A/18. The A listed first stands for January, while the number indicates the year. This tells you that the company made the battery in January of 2018. Some manufacturers use only a single number instead of two digits. To find one made in the current year, you’ll want to look for the number 8, which tells you that the manufacturer made the battery in 2018. Though you can purchase older batteries, we recommend buying one made within the last six months.

How Old is the Battery - WITH CIRCLE

Car Batteries and Amp Hours

If you ever used the radio in your car to listen to music before while working in your yard, you might know how quickly that music can drain your battery. The battery under your hood runs all the different features of your car. Whenever you use the lights, radio or other features without leaving your car running, you risk draining the battery. A good way to make sure that you get the power that you need is with a look at the amp hours. This refers to how long the battery can last and run before you need to charge it. As long as you drive regularly, you shouldn’t need to jump your battery or hook it up to a charger.

You really want to look for a battery with a higher amp hour rating. This lets you know that you can use the features in your car for a longer period of time without pausing to turn the engine over and without charging the battery. This information typically appears in the product description for the model. Even if you seldom use your car without turning it on, you want a higher amp hour rating to extend the life of your battery.

Benefits of a Higher Amp Hour Rating

  • You can leave your phone and other items plugged in to charge them
  • Helps your battery last longer than it otherwise would
  • You can listen to music over the radio without draining the battery
  • Can compensate for any doors left open or lights left on
Car-Batteries-and-Amp-Hour

When you buy a new car battery online, you should really read the reviews posted by customers who came before you. Many of the shoppers who bought this model from Optima Batteries were satisfied with their purchases. It has a bright and bold color scheme with a bright yellow top that helps you easily find it when you don’t have much available light. We also like the spiral cell technology designed by the manufacturer that lets you get more power from the lead inside. That technology also extends the life of the battery and helps you get more use out of it in your vehicle.

Car Battery Review Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery

Another nice feature is the compressed cells inside that keep the battery from shaking. No matter how much your vehicle vibrates, the battery will remain charged and ready to use. This is one of the only batteries that offers reserve power too. The cells inside can actually retain some of the power in a reserve and give you up to 90 minutes or more of power after the battery dies. There are also components made from glass that separate the internal parts and keep the acid from spilling out. Those separators also absorb any acid that might spill over.

Carrying the Battery

Unless you plan on buying a new battery and taking it directly to the shop, you need to make sure that you buy one you can easily carry. The two most important things to keep in mind in terms of portability include the weight of the battery and whether it has a handle or a loop on the top. Many of the batteries that we looked at weigh around 50 pounds or less. You may find some that weigh as little as 25 pounds and others that can weigh as much as 60 pounds. In addition to carrying that battery to your car when you install it, you’ll also need to carry it when you want to test the battery later.

We recommend looking for models that feature some type of carrying handle. This handle typically attaches to the top of each short side and has a loop in the center. You can slip one or both hands under that loop and easily transport the battery, even if it weighs a lot. Some handles are more durable than others though. Cheaper batteries may come with a handle that completely breaks off when you carry it due to the weight of the product.

Top Car Battery Manufacturers

Carrying the Battery

Battery Reserve Capacity

While we talked about what the amp hour rating is and why it’s important, we also recommend that you look for a battery based on its reserve capacity. Have you ever turned your car off, headed inside and then realized later than you left your headlights on? While modern cars have an alarm that goes off when the headlights are still on after you removed the key, you might not hear that sound. By the time you get outside and shut off those lights, the odds are good that your battery is already dead. A car battery with a better reserve capacity will last longer.

This type of battery actually retains some of the charge created as you drive. It stores that power in reserve cells. If you shut off your car while leaving one or more features on, the battery will access those cells and use the remaining power until it completely dies. Though some models give you a full two hours of reserve power, some models only provide you with an hour or less of extra power. If you are accident prone and forget to shut everything off when you leave your car, you’ll want to pick a battery with the largest reserve capacity possible.

What Will the Reserve Capacity Cover?

  • Headlights and interior lights left on
  • Doors left open
  • A radio that keeps playing music because you left your key in the ignition
Battery Reserve Capacity

How Much Maintenance Does the Battery Require?

Car owners must practice routine maintenance or pay for routine maintenance, including regular rotations of their tires and oil changes. Depending on which battery you buy, you may need to do a little maintenance on it too. Most of the batteries that you’ll find in our shopping guide require almost no maintenance. You may need to check under the hood to make sure that there aren’t any fraying marks in the cables and that the terminals do not show any signs of corrosion. If you get maintenance done at the dealership, techs will often check the battery for you during your regular appointment.

Some batteries will require more maintenance though. You’ll find some low maintenance models that require you add water to the compartments inside every so often. Most of these let you view the liquid level and see whether you should add more without moving the battery. To add more water, you simply twist the cap on this compartment to the left, add water up to the fill line and then twist the cap tightly to the right. You should only use distilled water with these batteries though. The impurities in tap water can cause rusting and other serious damage.

How Much Maintenance Does the Battery Require

Many shoppers prefer AGM models such as this one from Die Hard because they can run their cars without doing a lot of battery maintenance. Unlike other batteries that can die within a year or less, this model will last up to two times as long as you expected. It features a number of safeguards inside that offer some great protection too. Those components work together to keep the acids inside from spilling out. If any part breaks, the glass mat inside will absorb the acid produced and keep it away from your motor.

Car Battery Review - Die Hard 38217 Advanced Gold AGM Battery
Die Hard 38217 Advanced Gold AGM Battery

This ranks as one of the top batteries around because of how well it works in various climates. It works just as well in the middle of summer as it does on a cold winter day. You’ll find that it helps your car turn over easily without requiring that you crank the engine multiple times and risk flooding the motor. This model also has a durable outer frame that reduces the risk of any electrical shorts when you need to jump or charge the battery. As this is a small battery though, you must make sure that it will fit into your vehicle and work with your system.

What to Look for in a Car Battery Warranty

  • Free replacement period: The most important thing to look for as you consider a battery warranty is how long the free replacement period lasts. Most manufacturers give you two years to use that battery before your warranty will transition to a prorated period. Other companies offer a free replacement period of two to three years.
  • Prorated period: One the replacement period ends, the prorated period begins. During this period, you can return the battery for a partial refund. The amount of cash that you get back will depend on how long you owned and used the battery. Manufacturers will typically offer a prorated period of up to 84 months.
  • How you return it: You should also look at how you can return the battery for a replacement or a refund. Though some manufacturers require that you ship it back to the site or store where you bought it, others ask that you send the battery to the company itself. You may have the option of taking the battery to an authorized dealer or retailer and going through them. Even if you bought the battery online, the shop might give you some of your money back or a new battery and ship the old one back for you.
What to Look for in a Car Battery Warranty

Signs of a Good Ergonomic Design

  • Textured grips or surfaces on the sides
  • Angled blades
  • The indicator light is visible from all angles

Off-Road Driving

Almost any battery can get you from Point A to Point B. If you need one that can handle running errands and driving to work as well as long family vacations, there are a number of great choices that will meet your driving needs. Those designed for off-road driving and adventures though are a little different. Though you might think that only all-terrain vehicles can handle those adventures, the owners of pick up trucks and some SUVs would beg to differ. They customize their vehicles to handle rural paths and dusty roads filled with sharp objects such as rocks. If you need a battery for an off-road vehicle, there are a few things you should consider.

The first is the design of the case. Any battery that comes with a partially open case won’t stand up to your adventures. You must pick one with a completely sealed or enclosed case. Not only does this keep acids and other liquids inside, but it also keeps any of those sharp sticks and other objects that you drive over from puncturing the case. You’ll also want to make sure that the coils and cells in the battery can stand up the vibrations of the vehicle as you drive on dirt and gravel roads.

Off-Road Driving

Battery Lifespan

Whether you buy a cheap car battery or a more expensive model, you want to make sure that you get the best product for the money. That is why it’s so important that you look at the lifespan of each model. If you had the choice between a $300 battery that lasted for six years or more and a $100 model that would only last for a year, you would probably spend more upfront. The best way to see how long it will last is with a look at its warranty. A battery with a longer free replacement period and a longer prorated period will typically last longer. Manufacturers give you more coverage because they know you won’t make a number of claims.

Another way to find out how long the battery might last is with a look at the Amazon product reviews. When creating our product matrix, we added any of the cons we found, including issues with sizing and battery life. You’ll also want to look at the reviews posted by other shoppers, especially those who drive the same makes and models as you do. This will let you know whether that battery is a good buy based on how long it will last.

Expert Tip:

A good car battery will last for at least three years. Some models can last for a decade or longer.

Battery Lifespan

In addition to some great features, this battery comes with an extended warranty and a roadside assistance program. That warranty lasts for a full four years, which is twice as long as what a normal warranty covers. If you have any problems with the battery while on the road, you can take advantage of the roadside assistance program. With just one phone call to the manufacturer, Bosch will arrange to have a tow truck come right out to your location. That driver can jump start the battery or inspect it for you and tow your vehicle to a repair shop.

Car Battery Review Bosch S6523B S6 Flat Plate AGM Battery
Bosch S6523B S6 Flat Plate AGM Battery

We highly recommend this battery because it charges so quickly too. Not only can you charge the battery once it dies in just a few minutes, but it will actually charge itself whenever you drive. We also like how well this Bosch model works in different climates. Whether your area experiences higher or lower temperatures, you’ll find that the battery always turns over and starts your car. This model has a rugged design with a thicker outer case and an absorbent glass mat inside too. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, this battery will work for years and without spilling any acid on your motor block.

What to do with an Old Car Battery

Whether you buy a new battery and want to install it yourself or take it to a shop, you need to know what to do with the old one. If you pay a shop for the installation, it may charge you a small fee and agree to recycle it for you. Other shops will add in the recycling fee to the total cost that you owe. Recycling an old battery is important, especially if you have one that uses a lead base. The lead that leaks out of the case can enter the soil and contaminant anything in the surrounding environment. Not only can that lead injure any wild animals in the area, but it can actually get into the local water supply.

You can also recycle that old battery on your own. Most repair shops will do the job for you, though you may need to call and let the store know that you plan on dropping off the battery. They may charge you a small fee for this service. You can also check auto parts stores in your area. Advanced Auto and similar shops have recycling programs and will take in old batteries, even if you didn’t buy your new battery from them.

S and N Ratings

Car batteries may have either an S or N rating on them. S stands for the south and includes batteries that work best in warmer climates. If you live in the north, you’ll want one with an N rating that can stand up to colder temperatures.

What to do with an Old Car Battery

Questions to Ask Before Paying for Professional Battery Installation

  • How long will the job take: You should always ask the shop how long it will take to install a new battery. While the job itself should only take 15 to 20 minutes, you might spend an hour or more in the shop because there are other customers ahead of you. If you make an appointment, you can usually get in and out of the shop faster.
  • What the job will cost: The cost that you pay will depend on any arrangements that you made in advance. When you buy a car battery from Amazon, you can actually pick a local shop and schedule a time for the installation. If you buy the battery online or off and take it to a local shop, it may charge $10 or more to install it for you.
  • Is the work guaranteed: Unless the shop offers a guarantee on all work and services performed, you’ll want to head to a different shop. That guarantee should cover the cost of any repairs that you need later because the tech did not properly install the battery. You’ll want to make sure that the warranty covers the cost of any replacement parts needed and labor too.

Benefits of Professional Installation

  • You can schedule a convenient appointment for the middle of your lunch break or before/after work
  • Any work done on your vehicle should come with a warranty or a guarantee
  • You can save yourself some of the hassles and frustrations associated with the installation
  • The shop can remove and recycle your old battery
  • You can keep your hands clean
Questions to Ask Before Paying for Professional Battery Installation

Tips for Maintaining Your New Battery

  • Examine the cables and terminals: All car batteries have terminals that connect to the battery cables in your car. You’ll want to check both the cables and the terminals every few months for any signs of corrosion or damage. Rust can appear on the terminals because rain or snow got under your hood.
  • Check the electrolytes: Some batteries have compartments that hold a liquid inside. When you remove the cap from the compartment, you’ll want to make sure that the liquid reaches up to the top. If the compartment needs more liquid, you can place a funnel inside the hole and pour in some distilled water.
  • Look at the charge: You can pick up a testing meter from any auto parts store to check the charge of your battery. These little tools are quite handy on days where your battery takes some time to come on or when you notice that your headlights appear weak. If the battery has a weak charge, you may need to turn on your car and let it run for a while or give it a quick charge.
  • Ensure a proper fit: The best way to maintain your car better is to make sure that it fits properly. If you choose a model that is too small or large for your car, it might leak liquids or die quickly.

How Often Should You Inspect a Car Battery?

Tips for Maintaining Your New Battery Without Text

How to Clean a Car Battery

No matter what type of battery you use in your car, you’ll likely notice some rusting around the terminals. The best way to remove that rust is with a little soda. You can pour warm soda right on the terminals and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off. The acid in the soda will eat through almost any type of rust. You can also use baking soda and lemon juice or distilled white vinegar. After applying a thin layer of baking soda to the terminals, sprinkle one of these liquids over the top. The reaction between the two materials will remove layers of rust. Both of these remedies will work well on any caps or lids rusted to the top of the battery too.

You may notice that the battery’s outer case is quite dirty too. Grease and any other fluids that come out of the engine can build up on that case. A cloth dipped in a combination of dish soap or laundry detergent and warm water will make that case look new again. Once you finish wiping down the case, you can use fresh water on a new cloth to remove any soap residue.

Expert Tip:

Once you finish cleaning the case, take a few minutes to go over it. You should look for any cracks and for sides that bulge out. Those are signs that you should replace the battery. Inspecting the case is especially important if you experienced any signs of a battery failure.

How to Clean a Car Battery

Tips for Jump Starting a Car

  • Prepare both vehicles: Before jump starting your car, you must prepare both that vehicle and the one that will jump you. You need to make sure that each vehicle is turned off and that you are in a safe location away from traffic. It’s also helpful to put both vehicles in neutral.
  • Attach the clips: Though many different companies make jumper cables, all models have both a positive cable and a negative one. The positive one will either have a plus sign (+) or POS writing on it, while the negative one will say NEG or have a negative (-) sign on it. You’ll want to attach the positive cable to the positive terminal on your car and then the corresponding terminal on the other vehicle. The negative cable will go on your car’s terminal first and then the terminal on the other car.
  • Turn on the engine: Before turning on your own vehicle, you’ll want to give your battery time to charge. You should turn on the engine of the other vehicle and let it run for at least three minutes. Only then should you turn the key on your own car. If it responds slowly or does not come on at all, you’ll want to turn it back off and let it charge for a few more minutes.
  • Remove the cables: If you feel confident that your battery is fully charged, you can leave it running as you remove the cables. You will want to remove the negative cable from the other vehicle and then your car before removing the positive cable from that vehicle and then your own.
Tips for Jump Starting a Car

What is the Average Price for a Car Battery?

If you have a battery that stops taking a charge and sputters, you might spend $50 or more for a repair shop to run a diagnostic test on you and tell you what’s wrong. While they might sound affordable to you, you should keep in mind that you can buy a brand new car battery for as little as $100. Some of the cheapest models sell for just $50 to $75 too. When it comes to car batteries though, you really get what you pay for. One of these cheap models may only last for a year. Most come with a warranty that will end just a few weeks before the battery dies too.

Most shoppers who drive frequently will want to spend at least $150 to $200 on a new battery. We found several products that retail for around $300, but this is really the maximum that you should spend. A $300 battery will do well in a luxury automobile that costs $50,000 or more. Some of the most expensive batteries we found come with a longer warranty that lasts for three to four years too. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a solid battery that you can afford for your car.

How Much Do the Top Car Batteries Cost?

What is the Average Price for a Car Battery

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The cost to recycle an old battery is usually around $20 or less. Some companies call this a recycling fee, but others refer to it as a core charge. Some shops charge a lower fee of around $5 to $10. The cost often depends on where you bought your old battery and where you live.

A: If you have an old vehicle that was in a wreck, you might think about taking out the old battery and putting it in a new vehicle. Most experts warn against using an old battery though, including those you already own and one you buy used. The old battery may not be compatible with the new vehicle. You’ll also have problems knowing how to maintain and clean it.

A: A charging kit or system is a self-contained unit that acts as a charger. It has cables that you can connect to your battery to charge it. These systems are so small and compact that you can carry one in your trunk for emergencies. Depending on the type that you have, you may need to plug it into an outlet fairly often to maintain its charge.

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