A car battery is an electrical storage unit that converts a type of chemical energy into electrical energy. Over the last 70 years the basics of how a car battery works has not really changed too much. The battery in most vehicles is a lead/acid design. The acid, or electrolyte, will react with the lead plates that are inside of the battery to produce electricity.
Obviously, it will require more power to turn over a large V-8 engine than a smaller four-cylinder one. For this reason, it is important to choose the right size battery that has the proper rating for your vehicle. Today’s vehicles demand more of an electrical load to keep them operating than vehicles of yesteryear. Today’s vehicles have numerous computers, accessories, and modules that require enough power so as to work properly. If you choose a battery that is too small to meet all of your vehicles power demands then your battery may fail prematurely.
It is not advisable to wait until your car will not start before shopping for a new car battery. Unfortunately, that is what the majority of people do. Most vehicles will require a new battery at least once or twice during their lifespan. Batteries need to be replaced because of repeated discharging and charging or because of getting old and worn out. There is no question about it that a dead battery in the middle of the night at a desolate location is a real hassle. This will be especially true if you are required to wait for a long period of time for roadside assistance.
When choosing a car battery it is important to consider 5 important factors. The 5 factors include size, brand, reserve capacity, age, and cold cranking amps. The size of a car battery refers to its width, length, and height. Batteries come in a variety of sizes so as to fit most vehicle’s battery trays. A car battery should fit securely and snuggly and the car manufacturer’s manual will provide you with the specific battery group size for your vehicle.
The brand of battery refers to the unique trademark that is given to the product. Once again, your owner’s manual will provide you with the preferred battery brand. Try not to buy other brands but if you must do not buy the cheapest brand on the market. Cheap battery brands are often loaded with many defects and they are usually poor performers.
The reserve capacity battery rating, RC, refers to the standing power of the battery. This rating tells you how many minutes your battery can continuously provide a minimum voltage for your car if the car’s fan belt or alternator fails. The better quality auto batteries have excellent reserve capacity ratings. You may want to consider the RC rating of your battery as an emergency kit. Rather than being stuck somewhere undesirable because of a low battery RC rating, choose a battery with a high RC rating that can get you to a safe location.
Finally, check for the age of the battery, manufacturing date, and choose auto batteries with a high number CCA rating, cold cranking amps.