We all agree that a car battery guide could come in handy when you’re buying a new car battery for replacement purposes. Because the battery plays an important role when it comes to supplying electric power for various roles in the vehicle.
Welcome to the world of car batteries!
We are about to embark on a discovery of different types of car batteries as we discover their considerable characteristics. This guide will improve your knowledge about car batteries as you discover battery replacement time and requirements.
Some car owners prefer to undertake battery replacement by themselves. Alternatively, the battery sellers may opt to replace the battery for you but only if you purchase from them. But, there is the option of paying them for that service.
Which is the best vehicle battery replacement for you?
The owners manual contains a number of specifications pertaining to your car battery requirements. However, the information accessible from the owners manual will include
- Original battery size guide.
- Specifications in relation to cell type or chemistry.
- Battery ratings.
There are a number of things to consider before settling for a new car battery replacement.
1. Underspec vs Overspec
This option involves the choice of whether to use a car battery under-specification or over-specification. By this we mean installing a car with voltage and cell specifications that are lower than what the manufacturer specified.
What will be the consequences?
Installing a car battery that is under specifications will result to quick battery drain. Hence this will be the reason why your car won’t start during most occasions.
Alternatively, the over-specification amperage battery installation won’t offer an advantage all together. In fact, it will cause the car’s alternator to perform extra work. Which is because of the need to fully recharge the high amperage battery.
However, the use of an over-specification car battery amperage won’t have a big impact on operations.
2. Type of car ignition set-up.
Advancement in technology over the past decade or so has seen the introduction of start-stop cars. Due to this factor, you will have to carefully choose the replacement car battery with this in consideration.
Additionally, the role of the car battery during ignition will be a key factor in the start-stop ignition set-up. The battery must provide sufficient electric energy during ignition.
When it comes to the start-stop cars, the ignition is automatically shut down as soon as the car comes to a stop for a number of minutes. Depending on the manufacturer’s programming.
Afterwards, the vehicle automatically restarts the ignition once the brake pad is released. Such vehicles will require a higher voltage battery. Because a high-spec battery will supply sufficient power for multiple times of starting after regular stops during a trip.
For example, a [EFB] enhanced flooded battery is a high spec battery that can suitably fit into the start-stop vehicles.
Difference between [EFB] and regular lead-acid batteries.
EFB enhanced flooded batteries are superior to the regular lead-acid batteries in terms of power acceptance.
Further, they possess a superior cyclic durability when operating in a reduced state of charge. Meaning that they won’t run out of juice faster even when there is a parasitic drain or a faulty charging system.
3. Standard vs Absorbent Glass Mat [AGM] batteries.
The AGM batteries are made with technology that gives them the capacity to handle high electrical loads. Such features allow them to be used in modern cars that have features like regenerative braking.
Further, you will find such a battery in highly equipped vehicles that are meant to serve multiple purposes. For example, refrigeration.
The AGM handles power requirements and offers an extended life cycle that is three times that of the conventional lead-acid battery.
4. Car battery size.
The car battery size is a unique fit for each engine. What do we mean by the battery size?
You need to consider the vehicle battery dimensions in relation to its fitting space. Though, most of the BCI battery groups differ by just a fraction of an inch. Meaning that they can be utilized interchangeably as long as other specifications are okay.
We’ll look at those other specifications below.
Remember that when manufacturers make car batteries, they also consider the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. For example, size 24/24F (top terminal) batteries fit many Toyota, Nissan, Infiniti, Acura and Honda, vehicles. Further, Size 48H6 (top terminal) batteries suit most American and European vehicles.
That simplifies things right?
5. Type of car battery.
The difference between the available types of car batteries is a vast subject that you will need to familiarize in. Because car battery technology has a come a long way and it has introduced new and better batteries.
A standard car comes with a factory fitted 12-Volts Sealed Lead-Acid battery. Quite the standard battery that was in operation since more than ten years back.
The difference is that the lead-acid batteries that were available ten years back could be topped up. But nowadays, they are usually sealed-off completely. A standard one offers up-to two or three years of life.
However, modern cars have the Lithium-ion battery. Additionally, we have [AGM] absorbent glass mat batteries, Gel-Cell batteries and enhanced flooded batteries [EFB]. All of them offer varying durability and charging cycles.
Requirements during car battery replacement time.
Remember that the standard battery replacement procedure will require you to remove the negative terminal last. That is, after you disconnect the positive terminal.
Usually, these terminals are marked on the battery. Alternatively, you will differentiate them by the different colors of the connections on the terminals.
1. Beware of the space under your hood.
That space under the hood is meant to perfectly fit all engine components. Additionally, its design leaves sufficient space for any modifications that you may think about undertaking.
Ensure that the battery you choose as a replacement is suitable for the space allocated under the hood. Check the battery’s terminals length to ensure that they don’t pole the hood metal when you put the battery in place.
2. Battery warranty.
The battery warranty should be able to cover you incase any damage from the manufacturer’s neglect. Additionally, a warranty proves that the manufacturer is able to stand by their product’s authenticity.
Read the terms of warranty carefully to check the period for which your battery is covered. As well as the conditions under which a replacement will take place incase something goes wrong.
3. Battery reserve capacity.
The different types of car batteries have varying reserve capacity. This refers to how long the battery is able to power up the car’s electric system requirements when the engine is off.
Additionally, reserve capacity could come in handy whereby there is a failure of the battery charging system. For example when there is a faulty alternator. The battery will hold the charge and supply it to the engine for a number of miles.
This may not necessarily apply to everyone because it involves a bit of window shopping. Ensure that you are getting the best deal for the car battery you’re going to be purchasing.
5. Battery coding.
It involves high end cars that require your newly purchased battery to be coded in relation to the on-board computer’s requirements. Otherwise the battery will not work to supply power to the vehicle.
For example, BMW cars have a special OBD-II software code that has to be digitally mated onto the battery. Reputable car service shops usually have this software. Ensure they do the coding before taking off with your replacement battery.
Car battery maintenance tips.
The following are some tips to extend your car battery lifespan. Further, these tips will reduce the amount of times that you have to jumpstart your car battery.
- Perform regular checks on the car battery voltage.
- Ensure that you avoid parasitic drain by turning off all the lights and accessories when you park the car for long hours.
- Check on the battery terminal connections to ensure they are fastened enough.
- Clean the battery terminals to rid them of any corrosion, grease or dirt.
- Avoid leaving your car unused for a long time. And if you do, disconnect the battery terminals.