How to Buy a Car Battery

How to Buy a Car Battery

How to Buy a Car Battery. If you’re buying a new battery for your car,
there are several factors you need to consider to ensure you get the right battery for your
car. You will need Group size CCA requirements
Owners manual Reserve capacity Manufacture date and electrical system information. Step 1. Determine the proper group size for your car. The group size identifies the outside dimensions
of the battery, whether it will fit in your car, and the placement of the terminals — side
posts or top posts. Group size 75 fits mainly General Motors,
size 65 fits most Ford cars, and size 34 fits most Chryslers. Newer Hondas, Nissans, and Toyotas use size
35. Your owner’s manual will specify your car’s
group number. Step 2. Determine the cold cranking amp, or CCA, requirements
for your vehicle. CCAs measure the battery’s ability to start
in cold weather and indicate how much current the battery can deliver to the starter at
zero degrees Fahrenheit. Your owner’s manual will specify your CCA
requirements. Step 3. Check the battery’s reserve capacity. The reserve capacity denotes how many minutes
your car can run using the battery alone if the alternator fails. Check the battery’s product information literature
for reserve capacity — it likely won’t be noted on the label. Step 4. Buy a battery manufactured fewer than six
months earlier than your purchase date. Batteries are stamped with a date code, and
the manufacture date is usually indicated by the first two characters of the code. The first character in the code will indicate
the month — A for January, B for February, through L for December. The second character will indicate the year
— 8 for 2008, 9 for 2009, or 0 for 2010, etc. Step 5. Consider the electrical needs for your vehicle. If you have installed additional entertainment
features, such as a stereo with a large amplifier, television screens, DVD players, or video
games, your car will have increased electrical demands. Step 6. Consider a universal fit battery, which fits
most battery trays and has both top and side posts. Many universal fit batteries are specially
designed to increase both output and battery life, but can cost more than twice as much
as other batteries. Getting a new battery is an investment in
your car’s life, so be sure to choose the one that fits your needs. Did you know In 2008, the Environmental Protection
Agency estimated that nearly 99 million wet-cell lead-acid car batteries were manufactured
each year.

About the Author: Michael Flood


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