LAST UPDATED: August 25, 2019
Best Car Batteries: Replace Dead Devices With These Reliable Picks
These top car batteries are durable and long-lasting.
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON August 25, 2019
People often don't think about their car batteries until they stop working. Then they scramble around to quickly find a replacement. The best thing to do is to plan ahead and find the best car battery in advance before the one you're using dies. Check out our buying guide to find the best car batteries currently available.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Car Batteries
- Start your car. The best car battery works by providing a jolt of electricity that powers your vehicle's electrical components. It's necessary for starting your vehicle as well as running the lights, radio, etc.
- Easy to install. Most batteries are located in the front of your vehicle under the hood. They're usually easy to access and replace with just a few tools. The most important thing to remember when installing a new battery is to disconnect the negative terminal first for safety purposes.
- Provide peace of mind. It can be a real hassle if you're on your way somewhere, and you can't go because your car won't start due to a dead battery. The best-rated car batteries are designed to be durable and reliable.
Types of Car Batteries
Car owners used to have to top off the water in the electrolyte solution of their car's batteries. These days, maintenance-free batteries are much more user-friendly. These conventional batteries don't require topping off the fluid, and the caps aren't meant to be removed. Lead-acid batteries don't hold a charge as long as an absorbed glass mat battery and are less tolerant of deep discharge. However, they're more affordable.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
AGMs can be drained and recharged more frequently than standard batteries. More and more automakers are using this type of battery for high-performance purposes because modern vehicles are increasingly using more power for things such as fuel-saving stop/start systems and power outlets for mobile devices. These batteries cost significantly more than traditional batteries. If you don't use your vehicle often, and it loses its charge, an AGM is a good pick.
Hybrid and electric cars use this type of battery, which is also referred to as a li-ion battery. In contrast to traditional, lead-acid batteries, Li-ion batteries hold considerably more energy and are much lighter in weight.
Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., first introduced DieHard batteries in 1967. During the product's testing phase, not one battery failed in over 26,000 starts in temperatures ranging from sub-zero to over 100 degrees. One popular product is the DieHard Advanced Gold AGM Battery.
Optima was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis. The company was responsible for the first maintenance-free lead acid batteries for commercial and military use as well as the first high‐performance AGM automotive batteries. One of its most popular batteries is the Optima RedTop.
Odyssey batteries are manufactured by EnerSys Energy Products Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of EnerSys, which is headquartered in Reading, Penn. The company has manufacturing facilities in Warrensburg, Mo., and Newport, Wales, United Kingdom. The company produces high-quality products that provide superior performance for a variety of power applications. One top battery is the Odyssey Automotive and LTV Battery.
One of the best car battery brands, ACDelco is owned by General Motors and has been around since the birth of GM in the early 1900s. Based in Grand Blanc, Mich., the company's parts are included in more than two million GM vehicles produced each year. One of its most popular products is the ACDelco Professional AGM Automotive Battery.
FirePower, based in Boise, Idaho, has over 50 years of experience in the power sports industry. The company sources the highest-grade materials to create its products, which includes batteries, ignition coils, kill switches, starters, and more. One popular product is the FirePower Featherweight Lithium Battery.
Car Battery Pricing
- Under $100: You can find a good car battery at this price point, but not necessarily the best. The cheaper the battery, the shorter its lifespan. Those that are really inexpensive may only last a year or two. You can find many conventional batteries at this price point.
- $100-$300: Most batteries typically fall within this price range. The lower end will include lower-performing products, while higher-end, longer-lasting batteries will cost a little more money.
Batteries lose strength over time, so it's important that you select the newest one possible. Batteries have a code with a letter and number that indicates when they were manufactured. Companies use different types of codes, so make sure you know what you're looking for when you select a battery. Avoid units that are older than six months from the date they were manufactured.
It's essential that you install a battery that is the correct size with the proper terminal locations. If the terminals are in the wrong spot, the cables on your vehicle might not reach the battery or they might not fit tightly enough. Be sure to check your owner's manual to find out exactly what you need. For instance, size 24/24F batteries fit many Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, and Infiniti vehicles, while size 48H6 batteries fit many European and American vehicles.
- Warranty. Look for a product with the longest free-replacement period you can find. Companies typically have a free-replacement period and prorated period, which will give you partial reimbursement. Just note that a warranty can be voided if you neglect the battery (i.e., improperly install it).
- Handle. Batteries can weigh between 25 and 60 pounds, which can make them hard to lift and carry. This is much easier to do if it has a plastic handle. You can also use the handle to lower the battery into the engine compartment.
- Technical Specifications. Batteries are rated by a variety of factors, including the amp hour, cold-cranking amps (CCA), and reserve capacity. CCA, in particular, refers to the number of amps a battery can produce when the temperature drops to zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Best Car Batteries Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This battery weighs 58 pounds and is designed to protect against high-impact shock and mechanical vibration. It has plates made of pure virgin lead. The battery also has twice the power and three times the lifespan of conventional batteries. The company promises a service life of 3-10 years.
The Odyssey has a longer cycle life than its competitors (up to 400 cycles) and a high recharge efficiency. Specifically, it's capable of 100-percent recharge in four to six hours. The cranking power is excellent, and aesthetically the red top looks nice in the battery box. It starts cold when your vehicle sits for an extended period of time and delivers consistently. Overall, it's durable and reliable.
One downside is the lifting handle is a bit flimsy. There have also been some complaints that the battery does not last as long as the manufacturer claims and may die within a couple of years. Finally, the Odyssey battery is a little on the pricier side.
This 51.6-pound battery features high-density negative paste, which improves performance and increases battery life. Its silver calcium-stamped alloy increases cycle life, and the calcium lead positive grid maximizes conductivity. The battery is designed to increase acid circulation, which helps the product stay cool and prolong its lifespan. In addition, the vent cap design resists acid leakage.
This is an outstanding battery for an OEM battery replacement; it works great, and it has lots of power. It's very well-made, solid, reliable, and comes with installation instructions. The battery is a near-exact match for many makes and models and can easily start a vehicle in cold temperatures.
Despite its benefits, the product has some downsides. There have been some complaints that the battery dies within a year of use. In addition, the weight of the battery may make it challenging to install. Fortunately, it comes with fold-down handles built into the battery housing, which helps with transporting it.
Optima is known to produce a wide range of automotive batteries, and they are all very popular among the users. The Optima 8004-003 model is a 12V battery with 800 CCA. It's a powerful and reliable unit you get to use for a long time.
The battery has a reserve capacity of 100 minutes, and it ensures an optimal starting power. It makes sure your vehicle can start effortlessly even in the most extreme weather conditions. Users also love the compact design that allows for various mounting options. The unit is easy to install and use. It's also well-protected against vibration, spills, leaks, and impacts.
However, you might want to double-check the dimensions of the battery before the purchase. Some buyers complained about not being able to mount the unit due to its size. The battery might be unsuitable for your particular vehicle. Also, if you end up needing a replacement, you might have a couple of issues with the warranty.
ACDelco is a popular company that never fails to deliver high-quality and powerful car batteries. This particular model is one of the best AGM batteries on the market. With impressive power and overall extraordinary design, it proves to be essential for quick and smooth starts and stops.
Because it's an AGM-powered battery, this model is leak- and spill-proof and doesn't require you to add water. The main benefit of such a design is the overall durability of the product. The battery uses a valve-regulated recombinant feature that makes it up to three times more durable than regular car batteries. It's also super safe and easy to use, and no special maintenance is required. The installation is fairly easy, too.
However, make sure to double-check the dimensions of the battery before the purchase. The model might not fit all vehicle models. A lot of buyers had to make some modifications to fit the battery. Some of them also complained about receiving an uncharged battery, so you might need a charger right after opening the package.
The Odyssey PC1200LMJT Automotive and LTV Battery is one reliable car battery with a lengthy life cycle. This 12-volt lead-acid AGM battery offers an expected service life of 3-10 years, giving you many miles and plenty of use so you can trust it to serve you consistently when you’re on the road. It’s backed by a three and four year full replacement warranty too, ensuring you don’t have to panic if you encounter problems.
But this car battery can also offer you a longer battery cycle life. It features a cycle life that’s approximately 70 percent longer than a conventional deep cycle battery, with up to 400 cycles at 80 percent depth of discharge. This battery offers a high recharge efficiency and takes just four to six hours to reach full. And its highly stable voltage will service you well over longer periods of time. Additionally, the non-spillable design of the battery helps increase vibration resistance and protects against high-impact shocks, another facet that improves its reliability.
The XS Power D1200 AGM battery is a reliable and powerful unit that comes at a reasonable price. Just like all of the other XS Power batteries, this model is highly rated and tested for racing. It's a 12V battery with 2600 amp output. You can use it for powering up small to medium-sized systems and ensure quick starts wherever you are.
This AGM battery is completely sealed, spill-proof, and safe for the vehicle. It's valve-regulated and vibration-resistant, which means you'll use it for quite some time. In fact, the battery can withstand quite some abuse and still perform at its best. You can expose it to extreme temperatures or forget to turn off the headlights, and the vehicle still won't fail to start. Furthermore, the battery mounts in almost any position due to the compact design.
However, this battery still might not fit all vehicle types. You might have a couple of issues with the terminals and have to make some modifications for a proper fit. Also, the product doesn't come with battery posts for the installation. You'll have to buy them separately.
If you’re looking for a seamless replacement for your GM vehicle, you’re going to want to choose the ACDelco 49AGM Professional Automotive Battery. This genuine General Motors Original Equipment part is approved and recommended specifically for use in GM vehicles, and it’ll be sure to work perfectly with your GM model. Featuring 12 volts and silver-calcium battery cells, this 58.6-pound AGM battery measures 13.9 x 6.9 x 7.5 inches in size. It’s designed to last and is 100 percent leak- and spill-proof, keeping the electrolyte in the glass mat separator instead of allowing it to flow freely.
Other great benefits of this ACDelco car battery include oxygen recombination, which reduces water loss and offers drivers maintenance-free performance. You’ll rarely have to worry about what’s happening with this battery installed. It also offers a long life expectancy — the design and structure of the battery maintains pressure on the plates, significantly reducing the amount of active mass that can be potentially lost. This will keep you, your vehicle, and your battery up and running on the road for longer.
Optima offers a 12V battery that is rather powerful and able to deliver excellent performance and impressive durability. Due to its compact design, the battery mounts in a breeze and is easy to use. You get to install it on cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicle types. Thanks to the spill-proof and maintenance-free design, you'll find it ideal for both professional and DIY purposes.
The battery offers 720 CAA and 90 minutes of reserve capacity for constant performance. It provides quick and easy starts even in bad weather and proves to be up to 15 times more durable than traditional automotive batteries.
The Optima battery is resistant to vibration, shocks, and impacts. It's perfect for regular as well as off-road conditions that demand more efficiency and reliability. All in all, the battery is safe for both the vehicle and the user and has a long lifespan.
The main issue you might have with this product regards the warranty. A lot of buyers complained about not being able to fill out the necessary paperwork for getting the warranty. It's a real hassle and requires a lot of patience. You also might be bothered by the fact that the product comes badly packed.
- You should test your car's battery annually to be sure it's in good working order. Also, check it before taking a long trip. Even the best automotive battery needs to be replaced every few years.
- The type of battery you use largely depends on where you live and the weather conditions in the area. If you want the best car battery for cold weather, you may need a battery that's labeled with "N" or "North", while if you live in a warmer climate you will need one labeled with an "S" or "South".
- Some cars such as BMWs need a new car battery that is coded or digitally matched to the vehicle. This requires specific software, so you'll probably need to have it changed by an authorized dealer or facility.
Q: How long does a car battery last?
Typically, top car batteries last between three and five years. However, some batteries can last even longer, depending on the brand.
Q. Why does a car battery stop working?
Even the best auto battery will eventually wear out, particularly if you drive your vehicle every day. A battery also dies if it sits for a long period of time and/or drains lower than its minimum voltage.
Q. How do I know if my battery is dying?
It's probably time to replace your battery if it experiences several of the following signs: the engine cranks over slowly, it's 8 years old or older, it's leaking, or it has low fluid/acid levels. If the battery works sometimes but not others or you need to jump-start it frequently, then it's probably time for a new one.
Q. Can I use a cheap battery in my car?
You can, but it’s better to pay a little more for a higher quality product. Low-end batteries typically don’t last as long as their pricier counterparts and will need to be replaced more frequently.
Our pick for the best battery is the Odyssey Automotive and LTV Battery. It has a high recharge rate, great cranking power, and is very durable and reliable.
If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, consider the ACDelco Professional AGM Automotive Battery.