Cars today are a lot more reliable than they used to be and battery technology has come a long way since the early days of the motor car. We’ve all been there though when we’ve turned the key and nothing happens. It can happen to a classic car or a modern super car and the last thing anyone wants is to get in and find their car won’t start. Today, car batteries last longer than they did in older models, but you still need to change the battery when it reaches the end of its life. Buying a new car battery may not be something you’ve done before, but we’re here to help you choose the best battery for your car.
If you own an older car that has a suspect alternator or dynamo, the chances are you are used to battery niggles and probably carry a spare battery in the boot. Indeed this can be the reality for some classic car owners and carrying a set of jump leads, a battery jump pack and a spare battery is not uncommon. And if you happen to be the owner of a vintage electric car, you will be well versed on the need to keep your batteries in tip top condition.
What type of Battery do you need?
On the outside, car batteries are all very similar, and there are four main types you should know more about if you’re going to find the correct battery for your car. It is also a good idea to refer to the manufacturers recommendations for replacement batteries, in order to make the right choice for your model.
Lead Acid: This is the most common type and is most likely the type that came with your car, depending on its age and specification. This battery will last for around 20,000 car engine starts.
Calcium: A middle of the road type of battery with around 18% more power than the lead acid type, which will be great for cold mornings when your battery might normally struggle to start. This car battery will last for 30,000 engine starts.
Yuasa Silver: These batteries are at the top end for standard cars and are ideal if you use your car to power multiple things at once, such as air conditioning, sat nav or a phone charger. In comparison to the first two batteries, they have 33% more power and can start a car 50,000 times.
AGM: The most powerful and expensive type on our list, but this type of battery is only used for cars with ‘start/stop’ technology and can power on a car for over 350,000 times.
Battery Group offers a great range to find the right type and brand of battery you’re looking for with plenty of options to choose from. Varta batteries are one of the most popular brands for car batteries and can be found in most new cars, especially those with ‘start/stop’ technology.
When you’re looking to replace your old car battery, avoid choosing one with a lower capacity than your old one, as this is likely to cause poor starting performance and a much shorter battery life. You should always buy a car battery that matches your current battery capacity or exceeds it. This way, you won’t have trouble starting your car in the winter, as one with a lower capacity may not be able to handle cranking the engine.
How often should you change it?
Most batteries last for around five years, but if you find that your car is struggling to start or it begins to emit a strong odour, then it’s probably time to head to a garage to get it changed. If you ignore the problem, it will get worse, and you could end up stranded on the side of the motorway or in the middle of nowhere, unable to start your car.
It’s always a good idea to keep a pair of jump leads in your car, just in case you do run into problems trying to get it to start. This way, you can connect to a neighbours, friends or kind passerby’s car to give your battery a quick boost charge so you can make the trip to the garage.
Feature Image Credit: Mike Mozart – Flickr
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