The Right Tools for the Job

How To Choose The Right Battery For Your Car

When you need to purchase a new battery for your car you may be surprised at the number of options you have. Most car owners will want the "strongest" battery so it can start their car on cold mornings or so that the battery will last, but they often don't know what is meant by a battery's strength. Price alone should not be the determining factor as you often need to pay more to invest in a battery that will last. Before you buy another battery for your car, consider a few tips on how to choose the best one.

1. Choose the right group size

The group size of a battery refers to the actual physical size of a battery, and choosing the wrong group size may mean that the battery won't physically fit into your car. Each car make and model is built with a certain battery housing or compartment and this compartment is meant to fit a certain size battery. Before you buy the largest battery on the market thinking it will offer the most power and be the best choice for your vehicle, determine the group size by checking your car's owner's manual.

2. Choosing cold cranking amps for colder weather

The cold cranking amps or CCA refers to how many amps a standard 12-volt battery can deliver at zero degrees Fahrenheit for thirty seconds, while maintaining at least 7.2 volts of power. The higher this CCA rating, the more power your battery will offer during the coldest weather. For those who live in the coldest climates, this may be the one feature that can determine the best choice when buying a new battery.

3. Note the C20 rating

The C20 rating refers to how much power is stored in the battery, so it's an indicator of how long the battery should last overall. This C20 rating is how much energy it can deliver for 20 hours without the power falling below 10.5 volts. The higher the C20 rating, the more power the battery holds and the longer it will last. If you don't live in a harshly cold climate, the C20 rating may be the better factor for choosing a new battery.

Remember too that you may want to choose a battery that is meant specifically for your type of car if you drive something unusual such as a high-powered sports car or have a large diesel engine, or choose something for a very warm climate if you live in the tropics. This will ensure you get the most life and the most power from your new battery.

For more information about batteries, ask stores such as Shelton Battery, Inc. for help.