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Best Car Battery

Best Car Battery

What is the best car battery on offer in the market today? How do you choose the right one? Which brands are the best ones? This article has all the answers for you.
Omkar Phatak
When your car battery flips out, there is no way you can delay a replacement. Being the power station of the car, the battery is pretty much the life line, you can't do without. In case, you are mulling over a replacement, it is but natural that you would want to go for the best battery on offer. From ones designed for the gas guzzling SUVs, trucks to sedans and mini-vans, batteries come in all kinds of sizes, with specifications catering to different models. They range from spill-proof AGM batteries to old school flooded cell batteries. To make your choice simpler, what follows is a quick battery purchase guide, followed by reviews of the best brands on offer. Choose the best.

Choosing a Car Battery

There are many desirable features that one would like to see in a good battery. Here are the most important parameters to watch out for.
  • CCA at 0° F: The most important parameter is the CCA (cold cranking amps) measured in amperes. It denotes the maximum current the battery can churn out at 0° F (-18° C) for 30 seconds while maintaining a voltage of 2.1 V per cell. The higher the CCA, the better, as it ensures that the battery will successfully start your car, in extremely cold winter conditions.
  • Reserve Capacity (RC): This is the time in minutes, for which the battery can provide a minimum output current of 25 amperes, while maintaining an output voltage of at least 10.5 volts, when the alternator charging is interrupted. The greater this period, the better.
  • Ampere Hour (A.h): The amount of charge conducted by the battery in a specific amount of time at the standard voltage rating. This parameter gives you an idea about the battery power.
Other considerations that should be looked into are the battery size or group size and the terminal type (specifications will be available in your auto manual). The prime choice you will have to make is between AGM and conventional batteries. In terms of technology, the modern AGM batteries are superior to flooded cell batteries, being spill-proof and resistant to vibration, as well as robust and maintenance-free.

Best Car Battery - Reviews

The first three brands reviewed here - Optima, Interstate and Exide are the right choice, if you are looking for a high performance battery. The rest are budget choices that provide good value for the money.

Optima Yellow Top

Optima Yellow Top is one of the best car batteries available in the market. It's a high performance product with high cranking power and rechargeability. Known for its low internal resistance, these batteries provide a consistent output voltage, despite heavy loading of car accessories. They are based on AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology, which involves an electrolyte absorbent material interface between the positive and negative leads, making them spill resistant, as well as vibration and shock resistant. The usage of 99.99% purity lead reduces contaminants and increases the battery life substantially. They last for more than 300 recharge/discharge cycles while maintaining consistently high starting power at heavy loads.

Optima is a trusted brand among car drivers in USA. They are costlier than most, but are definitely worth the price and have a considerably longer life, compared to the average battery. You don't have to worry about battery problems, after you install one of these. The most important factors to be remembered here are Zero Maintenance and high cranking power. They are ideal choices for heavy duty vehicles. The price range extends from $199.99 to more than $294.99.

Interstate Batteries

Interstate batteries as a company offers the complete electric power solution for entities ranging from electronic gadgets to vehicles. The vehicle batteries offered by them are known for their long life. They have been the highest selling car batteries in North America for years. There are a variety of battery choices for every car model to choose from. The company offers both traditional lead acid, as well as AGM batteries tailored to specific requirements. It is the number one company when it comes to replacement batteries as they have one tailored for every car make by year and model. They provide a 30 month free replacement guarantee, along with a 6 year performance warranty. So if you are going in for a replacement, Interstate is one of the best choices. The prices vary according to the car model and engine type, but they mostly fall in the $200 to $300 range.

Exide Edge AGM Flat Plate Batteries

The new generation of Exide edge Flat plate AGM batteries, based on SureLife Graphite technology are built for high performance and extended life. Besides bringing in all the advantages of AGM technology, that includes spill-proofing and vibration resistance, it provides higher energy capacity. They are ideal batteries for usage in vehicles ranging from sedans to trucks. What's more, the manufacturing company offers a 48 month free replacement offer, in case the battery turns out to be defective. Depending on the model, the prices may vary from $180 to more than $220.

Kirkland Signature

Kirkland Signature car batteries, a product of Costco, are the surprising forerunners in the budget battery category. This brand has made a name for itself in providing high performance batteries at less than half the price of big brands. They can be bought by Costco members at a very economical price and are available for almost all car models. Backed by a solid warranty, the cost ranges from $70 to $100.

AC Delco 60 Series

Like Kirkland, AC Delco provides affordable batteries at a very reasonable price. These flooded cell lead-acid batteries are designed with lead/calcium alloy build to be corrosion free. It comes with an 18 moth free replacement warranty. A hallmark of this brand is the multiple and rigorous quality checks that the product goes through. The prices range from $70 to $130.

Other budget brands to look out for are EverStart and Diehard North Car. A good car battery may cost a lot more than the average one but it will last a lot longer and save a lot of money in the long run. After all, quality comes at a price and it's best that you don't compromise in that department.