Replacement Car Batteries

At some point in our driving career we will most likely have to replace a car battery. Deciding what replacement should be used can be left up to the professionals. But it is good idea to have some basic knowledge about the subject to make sure you’re getting what you need.

Picture of optima replacement battery

Optima Replacement Battery
There are many choices available to consumers with many varying price points. Some more expensive batteries state that they will last longer and provide better reliability.

If your going to pay more money for one of these batteries it is a good idea to make sure that it still complies with what is required by the vehicle and the manufacture.

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You don’t want to go overboard and buy a 700 CCA battery for a four cylinder Toyota engine. Speaking of CCA which stands for cold cranking amps you can find out what belongs in your vehicle by either looking at your owner’s manual or if you have the original battery this information should be posted on the tag.

Cold cranking amps is a common standard used by all battery companies. The numbers actually relate to a rating of how much amps can be provided from a fully charged battery cranking at full blast for 30 seconds. This is without the voltage falling below 7 V on a 12 V battery.

The larger the engine the more cold cranking amps are needed as a rule of thumb. On a four cylinder engine, an example would be 350 CCA required by many manufacturers. A V8 gas engine would be higher at around 500 to 600 CCA for the recommended replacement battery. On a diesel engine that has extremely high compression and large displacement it is often recommended that 700 cold cranking amps be utilized.

Battery size selection

Picture of battery hold down

Battery Hold Down
Besides choosing a car battery based on its CCA you also want to get one that fits properly with no modifications.

Too often I see battery stores that do not stock the proper size convince the car owner they should go for one that is bigger and then modify the hold downs so that it can be installed.

You also want to make sure that the height of the battery is no higher than the factory issued one. You do not want allow the terminals to short across the vehicles hood when it is closed. Find the Standardized group numbers that are provided in your owner’s manual and on the factory battery information tag. These group numbers are used to indicate the physical size as well as the cold cranking amps rating as well as reserve capacity of the replacement car battery.

Picture of optima car battery

optima car battery
The factory has done much research on what is the best sized battery for the car. This is one area where they will not try to skimp or save money. The reason being is that the warranty will cover the battery on a prorated basis for three years or 36,000 miles and in some cases more. If they cheap out and put a battery that was too small in the vehicle they would wind up spending a lot of money on the warranty replacement batteries.

For these reasons I personally trust the size and selection that the factory provides in the form of the original equipment battery (OEM). If I go to a store that does not have the size I need I go somewhere else as opposed to trying to stuff a different size battery in the car. Just my opinion.

You can visit my other automotive blog for more facts about car batteries and how to make them last longer.

Or you can switch gears (no pun intended) and read the latest posts on the online auto repair blog.