When the time comes to change your battery, you now have more choices than ever before. Today’s batteries use improved technology, which gives them better power and longer life. This guide discusses what you need to consider when choosing your next battery.
Where you can get information about your new battery replacement type and characteristics
Which type of battery you should choose depends on your intended use, weather conditions, and the best battery characteristics for the purpose. The best source of information about the type of battery you should choose can be found in the Owner’s Manual. You should pay special attention to the battery’s technical specifications recommended there and on the battery sticker. You will also find information about the recommended type of charging system. This is true whether the battery is for a car, motorcycle, marine use, a power tool, or lawnmower. It is always best to use the type of battery recommended by the manufacturer.
Other sources of information include a sticker on the battery you intend to replace or one of the many battery finder services online.
You should never put a battery in any mechanical device designed for a higher voltage or amperage than recommended due to increased fire risk. You could damage the device. Putting one in that does not have enough power can cause the device to malfunction and fail to work correctly.
Battery Group and Size
One of the most important components of the battery buying decision is finding the right battery group for your vehicle or another device. You can choose from acid and non-acid batteries, such as Lithium, LiFePO4, and other newer types of lithium batteries. In acid batteries, you have a choice of flooded, AGM, deep cycle, and starting (SLI) batteries.
Choosing the correct BCI group is the most important factor. BCI stands for Battery Council International and is the organization that sets the standard when it comes to the size, power, and location of the posts on batteries made for different purposes. While some battery groups are interchangeable, for the most part, cars, boats, and other vehicles are made with a specific battery group in mind.
The difference in battery groups is their physical size and shape, but each battery group can also have certain technical aspects. For instance, they will have different ampere-hours, cold-cranking amps, and voltages. The size is important because the battery must fit into the battery holder snugly without moving around. Sometimes, post location can be a major factor. For instance, if you have a sports car with a hood that sits close to the engine, a battery with long top posts might not allow the hood to close. Some battery groups have posts on the side for this exact reason.
If you buy a battery smaller than the holder, then the battery can move around and become damaged. This can cause a dangerous spill. If you get a battery that does not have enough power, then the vehicle might not start. You can substitute one battery group size for another in some circumstances, but you might have to replace the battery holder tray and tie-downs.
When it comes to battery power, you must pay attention to the specifications very closely. Most batteries for cars are 12-volt batteries. They will also be listed for a certain amount of amperes. An easy way to think of this is that amperes is the amount of power the battery can store. The voltage is the rate at which the battery can deliver the power. If you think of it like a water faucet, the amperes is the amount of water in the tank, and the volts would be like the water pressure in the pipes and how strongly the water flows out.
It is essential to know the ranges of volts and amperes recommended by the auto or tool manufacturer. You should never exceed the maximum recommendations, but once again, getting a battery that does not have a high enough rating will not allow the car or device to function properly.
One specification that you will see on a battery is ampere-hours (Ah). This is a measurement of how long a battery can maintain a certain level of steady current before it drops to below optimal levels. A battery with a higher number of ampere-hours will go for a longer period before it needs charging. It might be noted that when purchasing batteries, certain factors can have a negative impact on the battery and drop the ampere-hours. For instance, cold weather, keeping a heavy electronic load on the battery, and the battery’s age can reduce the ampere-hours of the battery from its original.
Another specification that you will find on the battery is the CCA or cold-cranking amps. This is the amount of power that the battery can deliver in a single burst to start the engine in a cold environment (0°F/-18°C). Cold weather has a negative effect on the battery’s ability to deliver the amps necessary to start the vehicle. A battery with higher CCA will be more reliable for starting the car in cold weather.
The CCA is an important factor for those in colder climates, but you also need to consider the battery’s deep cycle capability. Many starting batteries can’t withstand low levels of discharge without some damage. A deep cycle is made to be discharged to low levels and recharged many times over its life. Treating a starting battery in this way will significantly shorten its life. You need to get the right type of battery for your needs, climate, and use.
Once you have found your battery group number, then you can use our website to start a serious comparison and find the best battery from this group at the right price.
If you want your device to function properly for many years to come, you should use a battery that is recommended for it. Always consult the Owner’s Manual, and if it’s not available, you can read a sticker on your old battery to ensure you are searching for the right type and size of the battery. This assures a long battery life and will extend the device’s life, too.