When car batteries go bad, how do you decide how to buy the right one for your ca. Years ago when I was young, batteries didn’t cost much, you could get up for 35 bucks it was no big deal picking out a battery, but these days it is a pretty big deal, look at the prices, they’re not giving them away.
I’m going to give you a little battery lesson, when I was a kid, we had batteries naked, they were vacuum sealed, we break the vacuum seal, then fill them with acid.
When a customer needed a battery, and they were vacuum sealed for a reason, they had an indefinite shelf life that way.
Today at the factory, they’re filled with acid, so they start to deteriorate the minute they’re built and the acid is put in. Filling the batteries with acid at the factory is not a good idea because they start to deteriorate.
Tip #1: Look at the date
If you look closely at the battery , you can see where it was made. Batteries were filled with acid long before you buy them. Because of this, in a sense batteries are kind of like eggs.
All batteries are dated, this is an easy one to read.
The battery in the picture above was made 8 of 13.
Therefore when you’re buying a battery, look at the date and don’t buy one that’s more than one or two months old, because it’s deteriorated.
Tip #2: Buy batteries only from a place selling a lot of them
You want to buy your batteries from the place that sells a lot of batteries. Don’t be fooled by some of these chain stores, where they have a pyramid of batteries sitting there.
Some of those batteries are in that pyramid for months, and they’re not going to last long.
Always check the date of your battery.
Tip #3: Buy removable top or sealed batteries
When it comes the question, should you buy a battery that has a removable top where you can add battery water, or should get a sealed one that you can’t add battery water ?
This decision depends on you, because if you’re the type of person that’s never going to check the battery water, buy one of the sealed batteries.
Actually they’re not perfectly sealed. They still have vents to vent some gas, so they’ll lose water a lot slower than a non sealed battery. However they will eventually run out of battery acid inside, then you got to replace the battery.
For the open style batteries, they got tops you can take off, and you can look inside and check the water level. If you’re diligent, you can add distilled water when it gets low.
By doing that, these batteries will actually last longer, but if you aren’t diligent, they’ll last a shorter time, so that depends on you.
There are other types of batteries out there you can use. They last a really long time, like a lithium iron battery. Many people confuse them with lithium-ion.
It’s an entirely electronic battery, with no acid in it at all, and it’s about 100 bucks and it works great in a motorcycle, but due to manufacturing process and economy of scale, the ones for cars cost a whole bunch of money and generally only racers use them.
A lithium iron phosphate battery for a car starts at six hundred and twenty dollars, so odds are you’re going to be buying a conventional battery for your vehicle.
What others said about this on social media..
Matt B Just some other comments to contribute:
1. Most the US lead acid car batteries come from Johnson Controls. Even Optima.
2. Most of those Johnson Control batteries have a sliding scale in terms of cost and warranty. The performance mostly remains the same. So some batteries may cost more and feature a 5 year warranty, whereas others may be cheaper and only have a 3 year warranty. The battery is usually the same. I personally rather have a lower cost battery that might need replaced after 3 years if it’s $50 cheaper than a 5 year warranty battery.
3. If possible, borrow a battery tester and take it to the store with you so you can test the CCA rating. You want to see a CCA measurement which is 50 to 100 CCAs above the rating on the sticker.
Badrstech Back in Pakistan, they still use those vacuum sealed batteries and only fill them with acid when someone wanted to buy it. It is the most popular battery than those ready made sealed ones with acid already in them.
If you have any ideas or thoughts you want to share, feel free to leave them in the comment box below.