Your car battery is what keeps all of your car’s electrical systems running when you’re using your car, and when you’re not.
It’s easy for you to forget about your car’s battery amongst all other car parts and car maintenance like servicing and oil changes.
You get in your car, turn the ignition and your car springs to life, day in, day out, and over time this will cause the battery to deteriorate.
It’s a very real reality…
You might get into your car one morning, go to start the car and it simply won’t start.
You can use a battery jump starter, but ideally for the long term you’ll need the best car battery that you can find.
Let’s take a look at some of the things to look out for when you’re searching for the best battery to buy for your vehicle:
Check Your Existing Car Battery
If you know very little about car batteries it might be worth taking a look at the battery that you currently have.
Like most electrical items, smartphones, computers, TVs… you name it, they all have different brands and models.
Your car battery will be the same!
So when trying to find the best car battery it’ll be worth checking your existing battery to make sure that what you buy is going to fit as not all batteries are the same size or equal.
Is The New Battery Actually New?
It sounds like an obvious thing doesn’t it, is the car battery actually a new battery?
Well, it really does matter.
Whilst you might be able to buy a cheaper battery, will this battery actually last long enough?
Is it currently winter? Because if so, chances are, not having a new car battery will mean it could too run out of juice a few weeks after you purchase it., meaning money that isn’t spent well!
Low Maintenance Car Batteries Or Maintenance Free
So you’re searching for the best battery for your car and have found that there’s low maintenance and maintenance free car batteries.
The latter of the two is fully sealed and cannot be refilled.
Why does this matter?
If you live in a warm climate you might be better off buying a low maintenance battery as these can be refilled over time, thus the “low maintenance” side of things.
However, if you live elsewhere, chances are you’ll just need a maintenance free car battery.
What About Battery Warranty?
Warranties come with pretty much most products these days.
Some companies offer extended warranties, but often the standard warranty should be sufficient enough for you.
On a car battery, the warranty is measured by two numbers, for example: 24/84 denotes that there’s a 24-month free replacement period for your car battery and a 84-month, prorated warranty.
Try to find the best battery with the best warranty as this will be a better approach for the long run.
Have Your Battery Tested
At least once a year you should have your battery tested.
This will involve taking your car to a mechanic and getting the battery tested using a load test.
They’ll likely ask you to start your car engine and then turn on every electronic piece of equipment that you know…
Headlights, stereo, indicators, air con, you name it, and the battery load will be tested.
If the battery load isn’t capable of keeping up with all of these electronics, chances are, you will need a battery replacement soon.
What’s The Expected Lifetime Of A Car Battery?
A common question that I see all of the time is what is the expected lifetime of a battery?
Now, to answer this for you we need to look closer at the definition of “expected” because there isn’t really one set answer for this.
It’s going to depend on a number of factors such as your climate, how often you use your car, the types of journeys and whether you bought a cheap battery.
Generally speaking, your battery should last at least 2 years for a lower cost battery, or even 5 – 10 years for a more expensive, premium battery.
Simply buying a battery though isn’t going to be the only factor, you’ll need to also double check your engine size as a larger engine is more likely to require a bigger battery.
How To Tell If Your Old Battery Is Bad?
Look out for your old battery, is it bad?
If you’re starting to find that starting your car is becoming more difficult, and you’ve already tried to jump start your battery or charged it with a trickle charger and it’s still hard to start…
This is a good indication that your battery is bad and will need replacing soon.
You could get by a few extra months with a battery jump starter or some jump leads, but this isn’t ideal.
Will The New Battery Fit My Car?
Trying to figure out whether your new battery will fit your car might be confusing to you.
The best thing I can recommend you do is this…
Get a tape measure and measure the width, height and depth of your existing battery to get an idea of the size.
This way you’ll be able to quickly compare the size of batteries online to find out whether they’re suitable for your car in terms of size alone.
Understanding your car’s battery and when it needs to be replaced is important, and prior to that happening, these points that I’ve covered should make it easier for you to pick the best battery.