Unfortunately, we’ve all been in this position before. You get into your car only to find out that your car won’t start because the battery is completely dead. Most people depend on their vehicles to get back and forth to work every day and to transport their families. Therefore, a dead car battery can put a damper on your day. If your car needs a new battery you’re probably wondering how much is a car battery what type of battery is best for your vehicle.
Compared to other vehicle maintenance expenses, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank when you have your car battery replaced. What many people don’t know is that there are all types of car batteries that are designed to meet all of your vehicle needs. How can you make sure you choose the right one?
How Much Is A Car Battery – How Much A Life Is Left in My Battery
Oftentimes when you purchase a car battery it is accompanied by a warranty to last four years. But did you know that only thirty percent of car batteries actually last that long? There are a number of factors that can determine how long your battery lasts such as the driving habits, weather conditions, and the type of car you drive.
Car batteries should be replaced even when they last longer than their life expectancy. Driving on the same battery for five years can be dangerous because at any given moment the battery loses power.
If you haven’t replaced your car battery in the last three years you should consider having it tested along with the vehicle’s charging system.
You can take your vehicle to a service center or even one of the many popular chain automotive stores that will test your car battery free of charge. Or you can use a digital multimeter to determine exactly how icy life is left in your battery. A multimeter is a versatile tool that can measure voltage, current, and resistance.
To check your car battery’s voltage using a multimeter you should:
- Turn the headlights on for a few minutes to get rid of the surface charge
- Connect the multimeter to both the positive and negative terminals. If your battery voltage is at least 12.4v or higher with the engine of the battery is in good condition. A voltage reading of 12.7v means that the battery is fully charged. You can also go on a short drive and check the battery’s voltage after driving.
You can also use a cheaper battery tester that will simply display how much charge a battery has. In some cases, a bad battery may not even be able to deliver a sufficient current even if the battery is fully charged.
How Much Is A Car Battery – Understanding the Different Types of Car Batteries
The battery is one of the most important components in a vehicle. It powers the infotainment system, interior lights, power locks, and even the headlights. Batteries come in all kinds of sizes and power capabilities. Here are some of the common types of batteries used in vehicles:
SLI (Starting, Lighting, and Ignition) Batteries
Most cars on the road are equipped with starting, lighting, and ignition batteries which as the name implies it powers all of the electronics in the vehicle including the interior and exterior lights. This type of battery is made up of six galvanic cells and produces 12 volts at a full charge. An SLI battery is a lead-acid battery that delivers power in short bursts and has a short charge cycle.
How much does a car battery cost? If you’re considering purchasing an SLI battery you can expect to pay about $100 for a brand new SLI battery.
Sealed Lead Acid Battery
Sealed lead acid batteries are the lowest maintenance batteries on the market. What makes lead acid batteries unique is that they can’t be serviced like other batteries. When these batteries fail they can’t be recharged instead they have to be replaced.
Lithium batteries are highly underrated. Although they are a bit more expensive than your average lead acid battery, lithium batteries are a great option. In recent years, these batteries have become popular and widely used in electric hybrid cards. Lithium-Ion batteries last considerably longer than conventional batteries. In fact, they can last between 5-10 years. What makes Lithium Ion batteries great is that they can store more charges and they weigh a lot less than lead acid batteries.
How much does a car battery cost? The average cost of a Lithium-Ion battery is about $176.
Deep Cycle Batteries
Deep cycle batteries also commonly referred to as dual-purpose batteries are ultra-durable because they are capable of providing a steady amount of current over a long period. Unlike conventional batteries, deep cycle batteries can be repeatedly recharged and discharged without compromising it’s health or shortening their lifespan. With proper care, a deep cycle battery can last up to six years.
The cost of a deep cycle battery ranges between $129-$300.
How Much Does A Car Battery Cost? – How To Choose the Right Battery For Your Vehicle
When it’s time to replace your car battery you’ll want to make sure you choose the right one. How do you know which battery is right for your car? Here a few factors you should consider when choosing the right car battery:
Size of the battery
Of course, one of the main factors you should consider when purchasing a battery for your vehicle is the size. The size refers to the physical dimensions, terminal locations, and the actual type of battery that your vehicle takes. It’s important to select a battery that fits securely within the battery tray located under the hood on the passenger or driver side depending on the vehicle.
Every battery has a specific group size. If you are unsure of your vehicle’s correct group size you can always consult the owner's manual or the reference guide provided by the battery or auto part retailer. The common battery group sizes are 24F, 25, 34, 51, 58, and 65. Some manufacturers like General Motors and Honda tend to favor particular battery group sizes which typically include;70,74,75, and 35.
Purchasing and installing a car battery that isn’t the correct group size can ultimately damage your vehicle. Since it won’t be able to provide sufficient power to your vehicle you’ll end up wasting your hard-earned money.
Choosing A Quality Battery Brand
As you know, there are a plethora of car battery brands on the market which can make selecting the right battery brand challenging. Choosing a car battery from a quality brand is imperative because it can determine the battery’s efficiency.
What many people don’t know is that many brands share the same manufacturer which sometimes means you can expect the same quality. For instance, Johnson Controls manufactures over twenty car battery brands which include; Die Hard, Duralast, and AC Delco.
Your best bet is to play it safe and purchase the battery brand that’s recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle which is typically specified in the owner’s manual. If the recommended brand is accompanied by a price tag that isn’t within your budget you might be tempted to invest in a less expensive alternative.
Cheaper batteries are produced from lower quality components and PVC separators which aren’t great at slowing the flow of ions from positive to negative plates. These batteries will cost more money in the long run since they are likely to fail and need to be recharged or replaced rather quickly. Purchase batteries from larger retailers who tend to stock fresh batteries.
Don’t Forget to Check the Battery Age
You’ll want to avoid purchasing a car battery that has been sitting on the shelves for several months. The first thing you should do is check the battery’s manufacturing date when you are shopping for a battery. A car battery is considered fresh if it’s less than six months old.
Consider the Battery’s Reserve Capacity
An additional factor that should be considered is the battery’s reserve capacity or the RC rating which refers to how long the battery can power the vehicle’s electrical components if the charging system fails. A battery with an RC rating of 90 can provide the minimum voltage necessary to operate the car if the alternator or the fan belt goes out.
A battery’s reserve capacity is specified in minutes. Check your car’s owner’s manual to find out the recommended RC rating that’s recommended for your car.
Cold Cranking Amp Rating
If you live in colder climate areas then you’ll definitely want to pay attention to a battery’s Cold Cranking Amp rating (CCA). The CCA rating determines how much power the battery needs to provide in order to start the vehicle in extremely cold temperatures. In addition, the Cold Cranking Amp Rating determines how many amps a 12-volt battery is capable of delivering at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately thirty seconds.
In cold temperatures, it can be difficult to start a car because of the thickening of the motor oil. Replacing your old battery with a new one with a lower CCA rating can result in decreased performance. The higher the Cold Cranking Amp rating the greater the starting power will be.
How Much Is A Car Battery – Don’t Underestimate The Warranty
For your protection, you should purchase a car battery with a warranty. The average car battery lasts from three to four years. If you’re considering purchasing a battery that isn't covered with a warranty or the warranty period is less than three years put it back right away. Some car battery warranties can last up to five years.
Purchasing a battery with a warranty is important because if the battery fails prematurely, you can have it replaced free of charge. Most battery warranties come with detailed terms and conditions that specify what the warranty covers. Make sure you thoroughly read the terms of the warranty before you purchase the battery.
Some warranties will be voided if the battery shows physical signs of misuse, damage, or overcharging. In such instances, the battery will be tested using a voltmeter or a battery charger to determine if the battery was overcharged or improperly used. Understanding your battery’s warranty is crucial to know what’s expected of you to keep the warranty in full effect. You’ll need to maintain your battery by keeping it at a high or full state of charge by making sure you’re driving the vehicle regularly or using an approved charger to replenish the battery.
How Much Is A Car Battery? – Should I Purchase It Used?
Who doesn’t enjoy a good deal? When it comes to buying a used battery are you really getting a bargain? Junkyards and salvage yards are a great place to find used batteries. If you are thinking of buying a used battery from the junkyard you should thoroughly inspect it for signs of wear. More importantly, you should be on the lookout for corrosion. While corrosion can develop anywhere on the battery when it’s on the positive and negative terminals it can drastically reduce its life expectancy.
When you buy a used battery from the junkyard it will come with a warranty. You should exercise caution when you purchase batteries from Craigslist or eBay. When you purchase a used battery from these vendors there is no way of determining the health or the condition of the battery. Most manufacturers void warranties on batteries once they are transferred to a different owner.
A used car battery can be purchased for less than fifty bucks. While a used battery might be cheaper it typically won’t last longer than a brand new battery. You’re better off spending the extra money to purchase a brand new battery from an authorized retailer who will provide you with a warranty on the battery.