When it comes to vehicle maintenance, many owners tend to not think about the battery until a problem comes up. Maintaining the car’s battery is as important as maintaining the engine. For instance, testing the battery, making sure there’s enough water, and checking the spark plugs every month are all crucial.
While these things will keep your battery in good condition and working for a long time, it won’t work forever. Even a high-quality car battery is bound to die at some point, and you’ll be left with no choice but to buy a new battery.
It is common for an owner to change their vehicle’s battery at least once or twice throughout the life of the vehicle. Generally, buying and maintaining the best car battery available that meets the needs of that specific car tends to provide the user with a smoother functioning and longer lasting battery.
Whether you own a sports car, an SUV, or a pickup truck, there is a battery perfectly suitable for your vehicle. Since there are numerous options available, choosing the right battery for your vehicle can be tricky. So, I've provided my top seven car batteries (in no specific order) along with a few tips on how to find the right car battery for you. Although I can't guarantee that any of these batteries are what's best for your vehicle, I certainly recommend them if they meet your vehicle's requirements.
Comparison of Car Batteries
Mighty Max Battery AGM Solar Battery - Hassle-Free Installation
XS Power D6500 XS Series - Best of the Best
Stinger Power Series - Editor's Choice
7 Best Car Batteries: 2018
Check out this list of seven car batteries I highly recommend to you, my amazing followers.
1. Kinetik HC600 BLU Series - Excellent Secondary Power Source
The Kinetic HC600 is a car audio battery that offers extreme power at a meager cost. Its features include 600 cranking amps, 12 volts, and an amp-hour rating of 18, making this battery the ideal choice for most car audio systems.
The battery has a sealed absorbent glass mat (AGM) design, which makes the battery completely leak proof. Plus, the battery can also withstand extreme temperatures and vibrations. The Kinetik HC600 BLU Series also eliminates the need for a capacitor, as the battery itself can store energy.
2. Mighty Max Battery AGM Solar Battery - Hassle-Free Installation
The Mighty Max battery is considered to be the one of the best. It is a deep cycle battery that can be used not only to power vehicles, but also for powering cars, robotic machines, and tools. It is a 12V battery that features AGM technology to prevent leaks.
The battery also comes fitted with a heavy-duty calcium alloy grid, which increases durability and contributes to its high performance qualities. It is also easily rechargeable and offers an excellent lifetime value. What's even better, the design of the battery makes it spill-proof and maintenance-free!
3. XS Power D6500 XS Series - Best of the Best
The XS Power Series is another deep cycle battery which provides exceptional power. The battery can be used as a backup unit, and it can also be used to replace the starter. Thanks to the high number of amps, the battery is an excellent option for massive audio systems.
The XS Power is a 12-volt battery that has 1070 cold cranking amps. The battery uses AGM technology, which is excellent for helping to prevent leaks and spills. Plus, since it is ultra-low resistant, the battery offers a more efficient output of power. The unit even boasts excellent durability, thus ensuring a long life.
4. Stinger Power Series - Editor's Choice
If you are looking for a car battery for specialized radios and additional speakers, then the Stinger Power Series may be the ideal option for you. Both these systems put extra pressure on the battery, and a starter battery will drain it pretty quickly. On the other hand, the stinger is well built and has the right number of amps needed for the additional equipment.
This powerful audio battery comes in a sealed and protective absorbed glass mat design, making the battery spill-free and leak free. The 12-volt battery features 550 cold cranking amps and has a durable design. It can work as the perfect replacement for any original battery.
5. VMAX857 AGM Battery - Best Bang For Buck
This VMAX battery is a 12V AGM battery that features a deep cycle marine performance. It also contains grids made of a heavy-duty mixture of lead and tin, so the battery is able to provide high-quality performance and long service life in both float and cyclic applications.
The battery also promises a consistent performance even if you overcharge it repeatedly. Plus, it is maintenance-free so there's no need to add water or keep an eye out on the electrolyte. The AGM battery can be used for all kinds of on- and off-road vehicles and functions well in multiple climate conditions.
6. Odyssey 34R-PC1500 Automotive Battery
The Odyssey Automotive Battery is designed to deliver amazing deep cycling capability, massive starting power, and rapid recovery. The battery is perfect for both emergency and everyday use. Most vehicles nowadays require specialized power, and the Odyssey battery is equipped to keep up with the latest power requirements.
Odyssey is dual-purpose starting and a deep cycle battery that can be used for various purposes, including truck, marine, and automotive applications. I've never experienced issues with starting my vehicle in abnormally hot or cold weather.
7. Shuriken High-Performance AGM Power Cell Battery
This is a hybrid battery which works perfectly as a starter battery for those vehicles that come with a high-end audio system. The battery features 2600 cranking amps as well as a reserve capacity of 120 amp-hours.
The battery is constructed with AGM and spill-proof technology, thus allowing you to mount it in any position. The features of this battery also include heat resistance and vibration resistance which is needed when a battery is used to power audio systems.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Car Battery for You
You don’t have to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of batteries available on the market. Choosing the right battery is not as difficult as you think it is. Many factors should be considered when choosing your next car battery, particularly the size of the battery and the conditions in which you drive. They aren't the only factors you should consider, though.
Here are the six most important aspects I always measure when shopping for the perfect car battery.
1. Battery Size
The first time I had to buy a car battery, I was surprised at how many sizes are on the market. I also learned that just because a particular battery fits into the designated battery port of a vehicle doesn't mean that's the right battery for your car. I wound up returning the first battery I ever purchased because I didn't do my research before I went shopping.
It's also important to note that batteries are sized by group numbers that correspond to specific car models and manufacturers. The easiest way to shop for the right battery size is to find the group number on your current battery or by referring to the owner's manual.
2. Battery Dimensions
When you install a new battery, there is one issue you need to tackle—properly placing it in the battery tray inside your vehicle’s hood. Always write down the dimensions of the tray before you go shopping for your new car battery.
While you’re at it, also have a look at the right positioning of the terminal. To do so, you can ask an employee at your local auto parts store for help, or you can refer back to your owner's manual. Remember, if your car battery doesn't fit in the tray properly, it may shift from the vibration of your vehicle as you're driving.
3. Power Requirements
Just because a battery fits in the compartment doesn't mean it has enough juice to power your vehicle. In order to choose the right car battery for your vehicle, you need to know what your vehicle requires of your battery. Look at the cranking amps (CA) or cold-cranking amps (CCA) to learn about how well the battery should function when starting your car's engine in cold and warm temperatures.
CCA is a rating that shows the number of amps the battery can provide for half a minute when it is zero degrees Fahrenheit while maintaining a voltage of 7.2. While CA is for warm temperatures, CCA is for colder climates. To put it simply, more CCA suggests that compared to conventional units, the battery has more power.
4. Amp Hours
One amp hour refers to the amount of energy charge. The battery allows one-ampere current to flow per hour. As the number of amp hours increases, the period for which the battery supplies a current without having to be recharged increases. This feature comes in handy when your vehicle may have a defective alternator. A battery with higher amp hours also helps better run the electronics of your car without leaving the engine on.
5. Battery Maintenance
There are two distinct kinds of car batteries: maintenance-free and low-maintenance batteries. Maintenance-free batteries are sealed, allowing the electrolytes flow through the engine on their own and don’t require replacements.
However, low-maintenance batteries come with unsealed caps, requiring the user to add water to the battery every few weeks.
In most cases, a car battery isn’t something that needs to be replaced frequently. Of course, all batteries die eventually. But investing in a long lasting battery usually provides you with reliable performance while also saving money. I highly recommend investing in a product that has at least a two-year warranty just in case you wind up with a faulty battery. A three-year warranty is ideal, so be sure to do your research before purchasing your next car battery.
Tips for Choosing the Best Car Battery
By sticking to my tips mentioned below, you can make a more informed decision when purchasing your next car battery.
1. The Right Type of Battery
Pick out the right battery that best suits your car. Every vehicle model needs a particular kind of battery, as each vehicle requires a different amount of power. Plus, the size of the battery that would fit in the box also differs with each model. So, instead of buying the first car battery you come across, make sure to go through your vehicle’s maintenance guide.
In case you can’t find the maintenance guide, you can take your car to a trusted mechanic and ask him to identify the kind of car battery that best fits your battery tray. Since climate also affects the way the battery works, make sure you pick out a battery that suits your local climate. If you live in a warm region, hot-weather batteries will be more suitable for your car. These are labeled ‘South’ or ‘S.’ On the other hand, cold-weather batteries are labeled ‘North’ or ‘N.’
If you use your car for off-roading or if the streets in your city are not well-maintained, then it is better to go for a battery that can easily endure constant vibrations.
2. Go for a Maintenance-Free Battery
Now that technology has developed so much, most car batteries available in the market are maintenance-free which means they don’t need a lot of care. However, you will still come across batteries that need to be filled with water every few months. If you want to avoid the hassle of it all, it is best to opt for a maintenance-free battery if possible.
3. Choose a Trusted Brand
It is best to purchase such a battery that has a good reputation. Doing so ensures that you end up purchasing a battery that has received numerous reviews and has been rigorously tested by consumers as well as auto enthusiasts.
You only need to go through the reviews as well as consumer reports on websites that sell the battery. This way, you can get information about the battery as well as other options you can go for. Often, people review batteries based on their longevity and power. So, you can check if the battery is the best or not just by going through the comments.
4. Don’t Go for Old Batteries
Batteries tend to lose strength even if they are stored very carefully. Thus, it is best to purchase a battery that was manufactured in the last six months to ensure you purchase the best one.
You’ll find a code in some batteries that will help to determine the date of manufacture of the battery. For example, the letter A is for January while the letter B is for February, and so on.
Kinds of Car Batteries
It's important to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of car batteries on the market. The brand isn't the only quality to consider when you go on the hunt for your next car battery. The kind of battery your vehicle requires may be different from your neighbor's. The right pick will help prepare your vehicle for long drives and dangerous road conditions.
Your car needs the battery to turn on the lights, start the engine, and power up the gadgets fitted throughout. While driving, the car continues to charge the battery. This daily recharging brings down the battery’s lifespan, and you then have to go for a replacement.
Thus, before you choose the replacement unit, you need to know the kind of battery that meets the needs of your specific car.
Low-Cost Calcium-Calcium Batteries
As the type implies, the calcium-calcium battery features a calcium alloy. The plates of the battery are oppositely charged. The use of calcium contributes to a reduction in fluid loss, which in turn results in a slower self-discharge rate.
On the other hand, overcharging the battery will damage it. Plus, bubbles within the fluid move and mix different acid densities, which can also be damaging.
Wet, Maintenance-Free Batteries
A wet battery, also called a flooded battery, is the most commonly used battery because of its low cost. It comes with insulated, freely suspended plates, and the negative plate is separate. Not only are these batteries spill proof, but they also require very little maintenance. Since the internal fluid can last until the battery is no longer usable, you don’t need to top off the fluid often.
VRLA batteries involve safety valves that contain regulated lead acid. The batteries also have pressurized pipes containing gas that forms water, thus preventing the loss of fluid.
VRLA batteries have two different designs: AGM and GEL. While GEL features silicone that keeps the acid from forming a gel, AGM batteries come with thin glass mats that reduce internal resistance.
These are the most expensive batteries that you’ll find. Therefore, only a few high-performance and limited edition vehicles are fitted with this kind of battery. Lithium-ion batteries are primarily used for electric vehicles because of the low weight and high fuel efficiency.
When buying the best battery for your vehicle, it's important to go through all of your options thoroughly before making your final decision.
As an experienced motorist with a passion for all things wheels, I aim to help others better understand the needs of their vehicles and how to properly maintain their parts. Car batteries are no exception. I would hate to see you get stuck on the side of the road or in an empty parking lot with a dead or defective car battery, so I put together this post to guide you through the process of choosing the right one for your vehicle.
When analyzing my favorite car batteries, the clear winner is the VMAX AGM battery. I love that it provides consistent performance and can last longer than many when properly installed. Plus, it is maintenance free, which means you won’t have to go through the hassle of figuring out when you need to add water.
When it comes to choosing your next car battery, don't get overwhelmed by the hundreds of batteries on the market. Just take your time and do your research (and don't forget the warranty).