Batteries are one of the most important equipment of a car, particularly when it comes to starting the car. In the earlier days, when the electrical systems were limited, the engine was started with a crank, while a bell was used instead of an electric horn and the headlights were gas-powered. But with the advancement of technology, car batteries became widely popular as the cars became equipped with electric starters. The Hudson Motor Car Company was the first company to feature a standardised battery in 1918 and the sealed batteries which did not require refilling was invented back in 1971.
So what does an automotive battery actually do? An automotive battery a is a rechargeable battery which supplies electric energy to a car. The main motto of an automotive battery is to start the engine and traditionally these kinds of batteries are called SLI-starting, lighting and ignition. Apart from starting the engine, an SLI battery provides the extra power necessary when the vehicle's electrical requirements exceed the supply from the charging system. Moreover, it also works as a stabiliser and evens out potentially damaging voltage spikes.
We all, who own a car, are very much acquainted with the fear of being stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery. So it is very important to choose the right battery for your car. In this one stop article on the best car batteries, we have discussed anything and everything you should check before you set your mind on to but the best battery for your vehicle.
We have shed lights on what are the different types of car batteries available in today's world? In what sizes they come up? What are the different attributes you should check before you buy the battery for your car? And most importantly we have made a list of the best car batteries available in the today's market. So, go through the whole article and get an in-depth insight about the car batteries so that when you will buy the next battery for your car, it would provide supreme longevity and would last for several years.
~Types of Car Batteries~
Generally, the modern day car batteries come in two basic variants; one is the more traditional lead-acid batteries and the other is the more advanced absorbed glass mat or AGM batteries. We have explained the both types of car batteries below:
Lead-Acid Batteries: The lead-acid battery was invented in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Planté and is the oldest type of rechargeable battery. The traditional lead-acid batteries once demanded regular maintenance and required drivers to periodically top off the water in the electrolyte solution, the liquid inside which is the premium power source of this kind of batteries.
- The modern day lead-acid batteries come maintenance free and consume far less water than traditional “flooded cell” ones.
- The basic difference between the new tech low-maintenance lead-acid batteries and the conventional lead-acid batteries is that the former one retains their fluid for the life of the battery, and the caps on these models aren’t meant to be removed.
- Normally the lead-acid batteries cost much less than the AGM batteries and won't hold a charge for as long as the AGM batteries do.
- Moreover, the lead-acid batteries are less able to tolerate a deep discharge, unlike the AGM batteries.
AGM Batteries: For the cutting edge techniques like fuel-saving stop-start systems, electronic safety and convenience features and power outlets for mobile electronics; the AGM batteries are becoming standard equipment in most of the modern day cars.
- The main difference between the AGM batteries and the conventional flooded lead acid batteries is that the electrolyte present in the AGM batteries is held in the glass mats, unlike freely flooding the plates. In the AGM batteries, very slender glass fibres are woven into a mat to increase the surface area enough to hold sufficient electrolyte on the cells for their lifetime.
- Moreover, the fibres which compose the fine glass mat do not absorb nor are they affected by the acidic electrolyte.The plates present in an AGM battery come in many shapes- some are flat, others are bent or rolled.
The AGM batteries are designed to better stand up to repeated draining and recharging cycles than the conventional lead-acid batteries. So if you don't use your vehicle for a long period of time, it won't put you in as much trouble as a traditional lead-acid battery would do. Moreover, these kinds of batteries can better tolerate a deep discharge and is more likely to recover fully if it is accidentally drained. The AGM batteries cost you 40 to 100 percent more than the conventional lead-acid batteries.
~Size of the Car Batteries~
The modern day car batteries come in a variety of sizes and it is very important to select the right-sized battery for your vehicle so that it fits perfectly and provides optimum power. If the terminals of the batteries are placed wrong, it is most likely that your car's cable might not reach, or they may not fit perfectly. So before you buy the next battery for your car, check out the below-given fit guide and read your owner's manual. Generally, most of the retailers install the battery for free of cost.
Size 65 (Top Terminal): These kinds of batteries mostly fits large cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles from Mercury or Ford.
Size 75 (Side Terminal): Ideal for some General Motors mid-sized and compact cars.
Size 24/24F (Top Terminal): Fits most of the Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Acura, Infiniti and Lexus vehicles.
Size 34/78 (Dual Terminal): Suitable for large Chrysler vehicles and many 1996-2000 GM pickups, SUVs, as well as mid-sized and large sedans.
Size 35 (Top Terminal): Perfect for the recent Honda vehicles, and most Nissan and Toyota vehicles.
Size 51R (Top Terminal): Ideal for many Japanese vehicles including Honda, Nissan and Mazda.
Size 47 (H5) (Top Terminal): Suitable for Chevy, Fiat and Volkswagen vehicles.
Size 48 (H6) (Top Terminal): Fits most of the European and American cars from BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Chevy, GMC, Jeep, Mini and Volvo.
Size 49 (H8) (Top Terminal): Ideal for the European and Asian cars including BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Hyundai models.
Car Batteries Buying Guide: Points You Should Keep in Mind
1. Check that the Size of the Battery Fits your Car
Before you buy a car battery, check whether the size of the battery and the terminal locations (or type) fits with your car. Read the owner's manual of the vehicle and the in-store fitment guide or our battery size list. It is the most crucial thing you should keep in your mind. Also, check the cold-cranking amps and reserve capacity test of the battery.
2. Choose the Product which did Well in the Battery-Life Test
Checking the battery-life test is very important, especially if you live in a warmer climate. The high temperatures are very harmful to the batteries as it increases the vaporising of the electrolyte as well as plate corrosion. It is must for those who love to go for long drives.
3. Ensure that it is a Fresh Battery
Batteries decay strength over time, even it's in the storage. So to get the optimum performance, make sure that the one you are going to buy is not more than six months old.You will get the shipping code on the case.
4. Compare Warranties
Always go for that battery which is giving you the longest replacement period for free. Generally, a battery's warranty comes in two halves- a free replacement period and the prorated period; when you will only get partial reimbursement. Remember that signs of neglect like improper installation or low-water levels can void the warranty.
5. Maintain the Battery Properly
Be attentive to your car's battery and maintain it properly. Check if the time for replacement is approaching or not and if your car needs a change in the battery, do proper research work and make a convenient schedule.
6. Check Batteries Annually
Although most of the modern day cars don't require any maintenance, we would suggest you to check the load test of your vehicle by a mechanic, annually once, after your car gets old for two years and if you live in warmer climate or after your car gets old for four years and if you live in colder climate.
7. Top 10 Best Car Batteries
Folks, we have told everything you should know before you buy a new replacement battery for your car. Now it is time to dissecting the products. As the numbers of cars are increasing with each passing day, the car battery industry is booming rapidly. Hundreds of companies make car batteries these days but few only are worth mentioning. Exide, Optima, Odyssey, XS Power, ACDelco are the companies which make the cut in our top 10 best car batteries list. So check out the best car batteries along with their descriptions. You will get all the products on Amazon.
Best Car Batteries- Top 10 List
The first product on our list is the Optima 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Battery. It is a dual purpose battery which is designed provide both adequate starting power and superior, long-term energy. This battery is known for its strength and longevity. This 12V rated battery features 650 Cold Cranking Amps and 98 minutes of reserve capacity for continuous performance.
- The Optima YellowTop dual purpose battery renowned for powering vehicles even in inclement weather and to keep accessories, like hydraulics and lights functioning properly. The battery offers fifteen times more resistant to vibration for durability which keeps the battery to stay together for a much longer period of time.
- 12 Volt
- 650 Cold Cranking Amps Size 9 5/16" x 6 13/16" x 7 5/8"
- Weight 36.4 pounds
- SAE Post
If you own a hybrid vehicle, SUV or even a truck. the Exide Edge FP-AGM24F battery would be the perfect option for you. This heavy duty battery comes sealed and is famous for its non-spill construction which prevents any kind of spill whatsoever. Renowned for the greater capacity to better handling of the heavy loads, the Exide Edge FP-AGM24F battery features flat plate construction.
- This 710 CCA battery outperforms most of the conventional batteries across life test including heavy usage of stop-and-go traffic with high electrical demands.
- Moreover, this battery has the ability to survive in heavy cold and super hot temperatures and can start your vehicle rapidly. The Exide Edge FP-AGM24F sealed AGM battery accepts solar charging more readily than most of the conventional acid lead batteries.
- Weighing less than 50 lbs, this battery can be fully charged in 120 minutes if it is connected to a 25 amp power source
- 710 CCA, 120 MIN RC at 25A.
- Non Spill-able construction.
- Dimension: 10.2 x 6.8 x 8.7 inches
- Weight: 46.1 Pounds
Optima 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting Battery is another brilliant product from the premium car battery manufacturer and ideally designed for your car, SUVs, vans and even trucks. The best part of this 12V rated battery is that it features 800 Cold Cranking Amps and comes with a reserve capacity of 100 minutes for constant performance.
- The Optima 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Battery is known for providing the optimal starting power to your vehicle, even in adverse conditions and inclement weather.
- It also keeps all the accessories such as lights, hydraulics and horns working properly as they should.
- The Optima 8004-003 34/78 RedTop battery offers fifteen times more resistant to vibration and thus the battery stays exactly at the same position where it should be for a long period of time.
- Another notable feature of this Optima battery is, it weighs only 38.8 pounds, almost 10 to 12 lbs less than the standard car batteries available in the market today
- Dimension: 10" x 6 7/8" x 7 13/16"
The next product which has grabbed the fourth position in our best car batteries list is the ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM Car Battery. ACDelco is one of the stalwarts when it comes to the automotive car batteries and this particular product is ideally suited for the professional cars, vans and trucks.
- The ACDelco 94RAGM car battery comes with high density negative paste which improves the performance of the battery as well as increases the battery life.
- Moreover, this battery is made with silver calcium stamped alloy which also helps to improve the life cycle of the battery as well as boost the performance.
The ACDelco 94RAGM professional car battery is designed with Calcium Lead positive grid which maximises conductivity and offers low resistance. The robust Envelope Separator with puncture resistant back increases the acid circulation and prevents short circuits. And an improved acid circulation helps the battery to remain cool and extends the battery life. Moreover, the vent cap design of the battery prevents acid leakage.
- The ACDelco 94RAGM professional car battery features an impressive 800 cold cranking amps and that helps to start your car not only in regular temperatures but also in super cold or hot temperatures.
XS Power D3400 XS is an AGM car battery which comes with the electrolytes suspended in fibreglass. For this kind of construction, this car battery is spill proof and assures prevention against spills and leakage. Moreover, the XS Power D3400 XS is valve regulated and vibration resistant. As the battery is specially designed for racing, it can be mounted in almost any position.
- This 12-Volt AGM battery features staggering 1000 Cold Cranking Amps and comes with very low internal resistance to help maximise its power.
- The XS Power D3400 XS allows 65 amps of current to flow for one hour. Thus, the battery is very much efficient to power the vehicles as well as supplies ample amount of energy to an array of energy-hungry equipment, such as high-end stereo systems and heated seats. The only negative point of this AGM battery is, it comes in a large size and is a bit heavy.
Much like the ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM battery, this product is also a professional grade product suited for high-speed cars, SUVs and even trucks. The ACDelco 78AGM Professional AGM battery comes with a high-density negative paste which improves the overall performance as well as the battery life.
- The vent cap design of the battery successfully prevents acid leakage and withstands intense vibrations and shocks.
- The battery is designed with enhanced life alloy or Silver Calcium stamped alloy which improves the performance of the battery and betters the life cycle. Not only that, the battery features Calcium Lead positive grid which maximises the conductivity of the battery and allows for low resistance.
- The ACDelco 78AGM Professional AGM battery features robust Envelope Separator with puncture resistant back which increases acid circulation and prevents short circuits.
- The better acid circulation also ensures that the battery remains cool and thus extends the battery life.
- This battery only weighs 39.3 pounds, which is much lesser compared to the other AGM batteries available in the market and offers a 36-month warranty to the users.
Another brilliant battery from the house of Optima, which has grabbed the 7th spot in our best car batteries list, is the Optima Batteries 8020-164 35 RedTop Starting Battery. This is rather a small automotive battery compared to the other automotive batteries of the list but comes with an interesting design.
- From the outside, the Optima 8020-164 35 RedTop Starting battery looks like a case filled with oversized standard batteries but this 12 volts battery features 720 Cold Cranking Amps and comes with a reserve capacity of 90 minutes for constant performance.
- This battery is famous for providing the optimal starting power to your cars, even in adverse conditions and inclement weather such as extreme cold.
- The Optima 8020-164 35 RedTop Starting battery and offers fifteen times more resistant to vibration. The 720 CCA of the battery keeps all the energy-hungry accessories such as music system, lights, hydraulics and horns working properly as they should. The battery weighs only 31.7 pounds and offers a 36 month replacement period, which is an added bonus.
The Exide Edge FP-AGML4/94R Flat Plate Sealed Automotive Battery is very much similar to the Exide Edge FP-AGM24F battery and comes with 800 Cold Cranking Amps and can be fully charged in 140 minutes (reserve capacity) if it is connected to a 25 amp power source. Just like the aforementioned Exide product, it is also an AGM product, comes sealed and is known for its non-spill construction which keeps the battery safe from spills. Like all the Exide batteries, this battery is tough in nature too and is capable of better handling the heavy loads placed on today's batteries.
- The Exide Edge FP-AGML4/94R is designed flat plated and has passed various battery life test including heavy use stop-and-go traffic with high electrical demands, with flying colours. Known for its brilliant performance in adverse conditions, this Exide battery is one of the toughest automotive batteries available in the market and various stress tests prove the sustained performance of the battery too.
Odyssey is another premium automotive battery manufacturer which has been famous for designing superlative batteries in cheap prices. Odyssey PC680 Battery is the best the company currently offers and this deep-cycle battery is very useful especially for the electric cars. This AGM battery comes with a non-spill design which prevents spills and leakage.
- The Odyssey PC680 Battery features 170 Cold Cranking Amps and provides 70 percentage longer cycle life compared to the traditional deep cycle batteries. Not only that, this battery offers up to 400 cycles at 80 percentage depth of discharge and yields high, stable voltage for long periods of time.
- Although most of the deep-cycle batteries cater long-term usage as opposed to significant starting power, the Odyssey PC680 Battery is strong and powerful enough to perform in extreme temperatures and under heavy electrical loads.
- This battery has the highest recharge efficiency of any sealed lead battery available in the market and is capable of 100 percentage recharge in just 4 to 6 hours.
- The Odyssey PC680 Battery offers great mounting flexibility and the vibration resistant design protects the battery against high impact shock and mechanical vibration.
- Albeit this battery is smaller and lighter than some other products described in this list, it possesses the strength of a traditional battery and performs well in the extreme temperature.
- The company offers a full 2-year replacement warranty on the product and the battery offers 3-10 years of service life.
When it comes to the best car batteries, a few manufacturers can surpass Exide in terms of quality, performance and longevity. Our last product in the list, the Exide Edge FP-AGM51R model is an AGM battery which comes with flat plate design and sealed, non-spill construction. This battery is ideally suited for the light to medium demands and comes with the greater capacity to better handle the heavy loads placed on modern day batteries.
- The Exide Edge FP-AGM51R flat plate sealed battery features 440 Cold Cranking Amps and takes 75 minutes to charge it to full when connected to a 25A power source.
- This Exide product outperforms standard, traditional batteries in the life test including heavy usage of the stop-and-go traffic with high electrical demands.
- The Exide Edge FP-AGM51R flat plate sealed battery excels in one of the toughest automotive stress tests which prove the sustained performance and the durability of the battery.
- This battery is designed to be compatible with both new and old cars and handles vibration superbly.
Folks, we have discussed everything when it comes to automotive batteries. We have talked about what is a car battery, what purpose does it serve, the variety of the car batteries and the size of it. So check out the best car battery list we have made, but don’t follow it blindly. Check the buying guide we have prepared, compare each product, check the warranties, any hidden clauses, see what are the users saying about the battery and then only choose the battery which perfectly fits your car’s requirement. And last but not the least, don’t neglect your car’s battery and maintain it properly. Because without a battery, you won’t be able to even start your vehicle.