Have you tested your car battery lately? Right off the bat, a good driver needs to know that it is not a good habit to plan on shopping for new cells only when the old one dies or outlives its usefulness. This is why this car battery buying guide is here to help you assess what you need to do in finding your new car battery.
Cars usually go through battery replacement twice throughout their lifetimes, with thrice being the high ceiling value. There are many factors that contribute to car dying or for it to be decommissioned, and one of those is the constant charge and recharge cycles. So no matter how careful you are with the maintenance, the car battery will naturally wear out and become out of service. There is no other way around it; it just happens naturally.
Sooner or later you are going to have to replace your battery, and it is better to have an idea of what to get sooner. This is because getting a dead battery in the middle of a drive can be a real hassle. If you do not have someone to help you jumpstart the car, you will most probably have to call a mechanic’s service if the engine turns off and the battery is dead. Even if you do have jumper cables, it still is a lot of temporary work for something you could have prevented for buying a battery earlier.
Things To Keep In Mind When Buying An Auto New Battery
Be Mindful In Advance
Be aware of the state of your battery from time to time. Most likely, you will get and notice signs for when the battery is nearing the end of its service life. You may have a hard time starting the engine, or maybe the electronic utilities at use in the car drain the battery too quickly. In any case, you have to be mindful of all of these signs so you can conveniently schedule when to buy a new battery, and when to set a day for you to replace the old one.
These signs should also be a warning for you or do your own browsing, whether it be online or on mechanic or auto shops. You can ask people with an expertise regarding what batteries is best for your car, or you can do the research yourself.
Regularly Test Your Batteries
Most batteries nowadays do not require constant monitoring, and some do not even need so much maintenance. Today’s batteries are designed so that they can be left running on their own for a long time, so it is a little weight off of a driver’s day to day worries.
However, it still pays to test your batteries on a regular basis. Starting to check the battery after four years can be a good start, but those who live in warmer places should at least check their battery after two years of operation, and every year after that.
Make Sure You Are Getting The Right Batteries
There is a certain terminal location and battery position that is specified for your car. You can check under the hood to see the size of your original battery and how it is positioned in the inner workings of the vehicle. Also note the battery type (there are quite several of these, and are made for various specific purposes), and the capacity and reserve amp hours so that you can make an educated comparison when buying a new battery.
Of course, if the battery is of a specific brand and model, you can always buy the same battery if you can identify it, and if you are already happy with the battery’s performance.
You can always consult the official manual for a guide on what batteries actually are used for your car. Or you could also bring the car to a mechanic shop so that professionals in the field can give you expert advice on what battery to get. (Our best pick car batteries for 2018).
Consider Battery Life
Battery life is one of the most important considerations you will ever make when purchasing a new one. This is especially the case when you live in a place where there is a warmer climate. Most likely, the heat will take its toll on the battery plates, which will introduce corrosion, as well as faster evaporation of the electrolytes stored in the battery.
Take the time to learn how long the batteries could last, and if it could withstand the short drives. This may seem counter-intuitive, but long drives actually charge the battery for longer, so battery life is not really an issue there. But if you take frequent short trips, the battery may not be charged as much and it may die unexpectedly in the middle of one of those short drives.
Check Out Cold Cranking Amps And Reserve Capacity
These two specifications indicate whether your battery will have a good starting power. Obviously, the higher the number, the better they are for starting vehicles. But it also pays to check for the performance. There may be different brands with the same cold cranking and reserve capacity ratings, but they may vary in actual performance in real tests.
Batteries You Purchase Should Be Fresh
Batteries in auto shops may have been in storage for a while, and this may contribute to the natural deterioration in their service life. Again, this is especially the case in places with warmer climates.
A general rule for a safe purchase is to only buy batteries that are no more than 6 months old from the date of manufacture. There are shipping codes on the batteries which indicate when they are shipped; you can use these codes as a guide regarding the battery’s age.
Recycle Old Batteries
This is not really a part of purchasing the battery, but it still is an important part of the battery replacement process. As you may well know, batteries have corrosive chemicals that render their leaks harmful to the environment and the ecosystem in general.
There are several places where you can bring your old battery.
It could be a mechanic shop that takes old batteries, scrap metal yards, recycling centers, or even some selected pawnshops. You can also try to find places to sell your batteries online, like on Craigslist or eBay. Finding a good way to recycle your car battery is just a good habit, a common courtesy, and you may even make a profit by doing it!
Check The Different Warranties Of The Batteries You Are Purchasing
If you are considering two batteries of the same caliber, and both are useful for your specific needs, then comparing their warranties may be a good place to start differentiating them. Always try to get a battery that has the longest time period of free replacement. See, battery warranties usually come with two specifications of parameters.
First is the free replacement period, and second is the prorated time period.
Free replacement is exactly what it says: a full swap of the battery in case it is found out that there is a manufacturing defect. It could be that the performance of the battery is less than expected for a time period, and this warranty will help alleviate those troubles.
The prorated time period, on the other hand, is a period of time after the free replacement has expired. It allows for partial reimbursement if the battery’s performance is found to be unsatisfactory.
When checking a battery’s warranty, note these times are expressed by two numbers indicating their duration. So for instance, a battery warranty that is “24/84” means that the free replacement duration is 24 months while the prorated time period is for 84 months. Make sure that if you are planning to avail of the warranty, do so within the free replacement period. This is because the value returned to you will drop once you get into the prorated period.
Of course, there many factors that can void a warranty. Signs that you are neglecting your battery are surefire ways to invalidate the warranty. Manufacturers usually check if the water levels are maintained (for batteries that require maintenance), or if the item is installed properly. Also, use of specific types of battery other than their intended use (i.e. non deep cycle batteries used for deep cycle applications) are also grounds for warranty invalidation.
With this auto battery purchasing tips, we hope you now have a fair idea of what to keep in mind when purchasing a new energy cell for your car. Of course, there are some additional things you can do to improve your chances of getting the perfect battery for your needs.
You can read reviews of different battery types and brands, or you can also talk about it with your fellow drivers. Either way, purchasing a new battery does not need to be a confusing matter. We hope you find the specific item that you need!