The importance of choosing the right battery type for your car cannot be overemphasized. A car battery supplies the energy that your car needs to run. It essentially powers the ignition system of your car engine and provides electricity for the lighting and electronics systems in your car. Hence, when the need arises for you to change your car battery, you need to be meticulous in choosing the battery you need for your car. Not selecting the right battery for your car can cause you a lot of stress, inconvenience and unnecessary costs. Hence, when you need to buy a new battery for your care, there are a number of characteristics you need to look out for in the battery, all of which you can find in car batteries supplied by Car Batteries UK. These characteristics include the group size, the reserve capacity, the shelf life, the brand and the cold cranking amps (CCA) as well as the cranking amps (CA).
- Group Size: The group size of a car battery refers to the external dimensions (length, width and height) of the battery. This factor is very important, as you need to buy a battery that will fit properly into your car’s battery compartment. Hence, you need to check the battery tray of your car to ensure you choose a battery that fits. Better still, you can refer to the manufacturer’s manual that came with your car for the correct battery group size needed for your car. Buy a battery that is either too small or too big will be a waste of money, so you need to take this factor very seriously.
- The Reserve Capacity (RC): This refers the minimum number of minutes that the battery can run without being charged. Knowing the RC of a battery is very important for unforeseen situations like alternator or fan belt failure. When either of these components fails, the battery will stop charging, even when the car engine is running. For this reason, choosing a battery with adequate RC rating is very vital and can save you from being stranded even if either your car alternator or fan belt fails while you are on transit. Your manufacturer’s manual can serve as a guide for selecting a battery with the right RC capacity for your car. You may also seek the assistance of a store assistant to help you make the right decision.
- Shelf Life: The shelf life of a car battery is an indication of its freshness or its age from the date of manufacture. The manufacturing date of a battery is usually in the form of a code of alphabets and numbers stamped on the case or label of the battery. To determine the date of manufacture, check the first two characters (usually an alphabet and a number). The alphabet stands for the month of manufacture: “A” stands for January, “B” for February, “C” for March, and so on. The number stands for the year of manufacture: “0” stands for 2010, “1” for 2011, “4” for 2014. A battery with a shelf life of not more than 6 months is an ideal choice of battery for your car.
- Brand: Brand refers to the manufacturer’s name or the trademark given to a battery. It is advisable to always choose the battery brand recommended in your car owner’s manual. In the event that you are unable to buy that particular brand, endeavor to buy a brand with similar specifications with the recommended brand. Whatever choice you make, do not compromise quality for cheapness of battery as making the wrong choice will end up costing you much more in the long run.
- Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and Cranking Amps (CA): This factor is of particular importance for car owners staying in temperate climates. The CCA of a battery is simply the measure of its ability to start your car in extremely cold weather conditions. It indicates the amount of electric current that the battery can supply for a period of 30 seconds at a temperature of 0°F or -18°C. On the other hand, the CA of a battery refers to the amount of electric current that the battery can supply for a period of 30 seconds at a temperature of 32°F or 0° C. You can check for the CCA and CA rating suitable for your car in the owner’s manual of your car. In most cases, it is better to go for a battery with a CCA rating that is slightly higher than that recommended for your car. Also, for people staying in tropical climates, the CS rating is of greater importance than the CCA rating.
Other important factors you need to consider in choosing the right battery for your car include the model of your car, the engine capacity and the maintenance requirements of the battery. Although there are no car batteries that are entirely maintenance free, it is important to always check the battery and ensure that the terminals and connectors are clean and free of corrosion.