Batteries, Batteries, Batteries!
You have decided that your vehicle needs a new battery and
being a smart consumer, your are going to go shopping for the
best deal. However, the first store you walk into has DOZENS
of different batteries and DOZENS of different prices. Which
one should you consider? You ask a sales clerk for help and
they don't seem to know much more than you do. So lets try and
shed a little light on this.
First of all, vehicle batteries are divided into "GROUPS",
much like flashlight batteries, D, C, AA, AAA, etc. The first
thing you need to know is what "GROUP" of battery your vehicle
requires and this information can be found in most owners manuals.
But if you cannot find it there, all stores that sell batteries
have catalog listings where you can look up your vehicle by
the year, make, model and engine size, to find the "GROUP" number
Now you are left with the selection process. You will find
a VAST difference in price from one brand to another and all
sorts of different ratings that you have no idea what they are
talking about. Before I go any further I want to warn all of
the Electrical, Technical type people that I don't need any
E-mails telling me that I should be dealing with Watts etc because
these ratings are not used in these spec's and I want to keep
this as simple as possible. What we Primarily deal with in this
trade is Volts and Amperage. I will use volts as a RATING and
Amperage as POWER. For example, 8 D cell batteries will produce
12 volts but they will not start your vehicle.
This is where Amperage or power comes in. When you turn the
key to the cranking position, the starter motor REQUIRES a certain
amount of Amperage to turn the motor over fast enough to start.
Too little amperage will not allow the starter to turn the motor
over fast enough and it will not start. And, a battery is very
much effected by temperature, the colder the temperature, the
less power a battery can produce. For example; a battery that
has just enough Amperage (Power.) to start a car when it is
70 degrees, will NOT start the car at zero. So, you need a battery
that has a LOT more Amperage available to compensate for cold
weather and the colder the climate, the worse it is for a battery.
(Take a new flashlight battery and put it in your freezer overnight
and then try and use it in the morning.)
I suggest that it is worth the money to buy a better battery.
Look in the catalog at the store and see what battery is RECOMMENDED
by that brand and then go to the OPTIONAL listing for a better
battery. A better battery will not be required to work as hard
and will LIVE a lot longer. The outward size of a battery has
very little effect on its performance, it's what's inside the
battery that counts. Bigger (In size.) does not mean BETTER.
Now a sales clerk comes over and recommends a type of battery
that is a UNIVERSAL FIT battery that will work in just about
any vehicle. (????) Let me ask you this: Do you think the manufacturer
spent as much money on the quality of the insides of this battery,
when they had to spend extra on the universal fit equipment?
You are better off with the PROPER battery MADE to fit your
What about brands of batteries? I will give you MY OWN preferences,
(and NOT because someone is paying me to say so.) I prefer AC
Delco, Motorcraft, and Interstate.