At some point, even the best car batteries die. Now, you could just choose the first one on the shelf, but that may not be the best decision for your car. With a little help from your friends at Firestone Complete Auto Care, you’ll be a car battery pro before you can say "car battery cold cranking amps!" (Now try to say that five times fast.) Read on to see what you should look for when choosing a new replacement battery!
Get the right battery size.
You want a battery that's reliable and works well for your car, but car batteries aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of product.
To work for your car, a battery needs to have the right voltage, size, and terminal placements. For example, Consumer Reports notes that a Ford SUV will usually use a size 65 top terminal battery, while an old GM pickup truck will usually take a size 34/78 dual terminal battery. To see what kind of battery would fit your make and model, check out our easy Battery Finder tool or come see one of our knowledgeable technicians at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care.
Compare car battery quality, brand, & age.
To work well, a battery should be well-made and fresh. To ensure you purchase a high-quality battery, check out its industry reputation and ratings. When it comes to the specific battery you get, make sure you’re getting a fresh one, since batteries lose strength over time (even in storage). In other words, it's probably not a good idea to buy a car battery off of Craigslist. Ideally, you want a battery no older than six months. You can typically check the battery’s age by looking at its case. Some brands use a numeric date, others use a code with a letter for the month and a number for the year. So “A6” would mean “January 2016” while “H5” would mean “August 2015.” Get the gist?
Here at Firestone Complete Auto Care, we do the hard work for you and make finding the best battery easy.
Pick the best battery life.
You want a battery that won’t send you back to the shop. When it comes to longevity, not all batteries are created equal.
Car batteries keep your car running longer by constantly recharging. Unfortunately, some batteries don’t take this constant flow of new energy too well. These batteries decrease in power with each recharge until they’re dead weight under the hood. For more details on how batteries work, check out How Does A Car Battery Work?
If you’re worried about how long your new battery might last, go to ConsumerReports.org and compare battery-life, reserve-capacity, and cold-cranking amps test scores.
- The battery-life test is the most important and measures a battery’s ability to withstand being recharged thousands of times over multiple months.
- The reserve-capacity test measures how long a battery can supply power after its charging system fails.
- Finally, the cold-cranking amps test is important if you live or drive in cold climates. It measures the current available at 0º F to make sure you don’t get stranded in sub-zero temperatures. Brrr!
Opt for the longest battery warranty.
You want a battery that’s guaranteed. Not only does a good warranty demonstrate a manufacturer's confidence in their product, it helps protect you if anything goes wrong.
All things being equal, you want the battery with the longest free replacement period. Most battery warranties have two parts: a free-replacement period and a limited performance warranty. Although you may get partial reimbursement during the latter period, the amount you’ll be reimbursed upon battery failure won’t match that of a free-replacement warranty.
If your battery is under warranty, make sure to take a peek at its condition. Signs of neglect such as low-water levels or improper installation can void some warranties. By getting one of our expert technicians to install your new battery and keep it running smooth with regular checkups, you could save yourself a headache (and significant expense) down the road.
Where can I get the best battery for my car?
The best car battery fits the bill for all four categories: size, quality, life, and warranty. To choose the best battery for your car, check your owner's manual and head to FirestoneCompleteAutoCare.com today. There, you can compare battery prices, sizes, warranties, and more. Simply choose your car's make, model, and year from our easy drop-down menu and we'll make the comparison process quick and easy for you, so you can get back on the road. Schedule an appointment online and visit Firestone Complete Auto Care for a new replacement battery near you! We’ve got your back (and your battery).