How to Buy an Automobile Battery

1.

Refer to the owner's manual for your vehicle and record the manufacturer's specifications for the battery. Alternatively, you can ask a professional at an auto parts store to look up this information for the year, make, and model of your vehicle. If you are sure that your vehicle has the original battery from the automobile manufacturer, you may get the information off the battery itself. Record the group size, cold cranking amps, and reserve capacity.

2.

Create a list of possible battery choices from those that are the correct group size. This will ensure that it will fit properly in the battery compartment of your vehicle.

3.

Choose a battery or batteries with sufficient cold cranking amps (CCA) from those that also have the correct group size. The cold cranking amps refer to the number of amps the battery can support for 30 seconds while at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, until the battery voltage drops to an unusable level. In general, the higher the CCA number the better, but it should be greater than or equal to the specs you recorded in Step 1.

4.

Narrow your list of choices down further by identifying batteries with the minimum recommended reserve capacity (RC) from Step 1. RC is an indication of how long your battery can power your vehicle if the alternator should fail and stop recharging the battery.

5.

Evaluate the length of the warranty and the cost of the batteries that meet all the above criteria. Choose a battery from an established company, with a good warranty, and a price that fits your budget.

Your car battery is probably not something you give much thought to--until your car does not start someday because the battery is dead. If your car has been slow to start, or you have had to get a jump-start recently, you should get your battery tested. If it turns out that you need of a new battery for your automobile, there are a number of factors you will want to consider so that you get the best battery at a fair price.