Driving around with a failing battery feels like walking around on a broken limb. At any moment, it can give away and leave you stranded in the unlikeliest of places. Your only option then will be to call for the assistance of a tow truck. Nobody really wants to do that.
That is why you want to replace your battery as soon as possible. However, getting a reputable place to replace your battery is now your biggest worry. You don’t want to end up with a lemon that stops working after one year of use and you can’t find the vendor. You become apprised of the fact that Walmart does sell car batteries… but they are a retail store!
Does Walmart install car batteries? They definitely do. Walmart runs a variety of auto centers that are meant to cater to vehicle owners who buy their car parts from Walmart Stores. In the battery’s case, they will install it for free provided it was purchased at a Walmart store. If it wasn’t a Walmart purchase, they will charge a fee to install it.
The auto center isn’t just limited to installing batteries. They also install and maintain other parts such as tires, engine maintenance through oil changes and other services such as headlight restoration, wiper blade changing, fuel system maintenance among others.
Before purchasing a battery though, you need to know and understand which type of battery is best for your vehicle. Batteries do look similar to the eyes, but they do have different capabilities. Here are some ways to know which battery to get for your car.
Find the Correct Battery Size for Your Vehicle
As mentioned earlier, batteries may look similar physically. They, however, a capable of different things and are built to meet different needs. The easiest way to find out the size of battery to use is by using the vehicle’s manual.
The manual will list all the details necessary, all you have to do is flip through it. If you don’t have a copy, the internet may have your back. Various manuals for different models can be found online. If that is still a challenge, then it’s time to consult the battery.
Most batteries come with all their details listed on the sides. These sizes will usually appear in number form such as 65, 67, 35 or 36. These are not just random numbers, they are short codes that denote the height, length and width of these batteries.
This is a standard mandated by the Battery Council International as a way of standardizing battery sizes, instead of having to deal with different manufacturers coming up with their own arbitrary sizes. What a nightmare that would be when it came to replacing the batteries.
What is the Reserve Capacity Rating?
A car battery isn’t just so that the starter can find a power source to start the engine. Whenever your car’s engine is off, the electronics in the vehicle will still work. This is because power is supplied by the battery. It is also the reason why it is generally advised not to use the electronics for a long period, lest you need assistance to start the car.
The reserve capacity is the amount of time the battery can provide power to the electric system. This time is measured when the battery is fully charged, and it can provide 25 amps at 10.5 volts while the ambient temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This time is usually represented using minutes and your battery will have it labeled along the sides. The greater the number of minutes, the longer the battery can provide electrical power when it is not being charged by the alternator.
In case the battery doesn’t have the rating listed, you can check with your owner’s manual to find out the recommended reserve capacity rating. Some vehicle models require two separate batteries, so check for both.
If you’re also looking at upgrading your entertainment system, you will need to look at getting a battery with a larger reserve capacity if you want to enjoy your music without stalling on the side of the road.
What is the Age of the Battery?
An auto center, or in this case, a Walmart store will stock batteries in anticipation that customers will come purchase them. This anticipation may last months. In that time, the battery will lose its charge.
If the battery has been in the store for more than 30 days, it may have lost an equivalent to 50 percent of its capacity. It will need to be charged before it can be used. If it has been in the store for a longer period, it may have run flat and it may or may not charge.
To confirm the age of the battery, look for the manufacturer’s code stamp. This can usually be found on the label or on the sides. You may see a two character code, usually a letter followed by a number.
The letter will usually represent the month (i.e A will represent January, E will represent May and so on) and the number will represent the year it was manufactured (i.e 4 will represent 2014, 9 will represent 2019).
It is recommended to always choose that battery that was manufactured less than six from the date of the purchase. If you can find one that is closer to the date of purchase, the better it will be.
4. Cold Cranking Amps
This is a figure representative of the amount of power the battery can give in cold temperatures. You might see markings such as 800 CCA. This would be the amount of power your battery can give.
To find out the required amperage, check the labeling on the battery to find out what it is currently giving out. Also, consult your manual to find out the recommendations from the manufacturer.
Always ensure you get a battery with a greater amount of CCAs. If you want to keep it simple, don’t get something that is below your car manufacturer’s recommended CCA output.