Best Car Batteries: Replace Dead Devices With These Reliable Picks
These top car batteries are durable and long-lasting
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PUBLISHED ON August 25, 2019
People often don't think much about their car battery until it stops working. Then they scramble around to quickly find a replacement. The best thing to do is 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 on the market.
- Best OverallOdyssey Automotive and LTV BatterySummarySummaryProtects against high-impact shock and mechanical vibration. Its CCA is 950, and it has a reserve capacity of 145 minutes. It comes with a limited three- and four-year full replacement warranty.ProsProsThe Odyssey is capable of 100-percent recharge in four to six hours. The cranking power is excellent, and overall it's very durable and reliable.ConsConsThe battery may not last as long as the manufacturer claims and may die within a couple of years. It is also on the pricier side, and the handle is flimsy.
- Best ValueACDelco Professional AGM Automotive BatterySummarySummaryThis battery has a 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.ProsProsThis battery works great, and it has lots of power (850 CCA). It's well-made, solid, reliable, and can easily start a vehicle in cold temperatures.ConsConsSome complain that the battery dies within a year of use. In addition, the weight of the battery may make it challenging to install.
- Honorable MentionSummarySummaryThis DieHard battery has a 92 AH rating, reserve capacity of 170, and CCA of 850. It has two times the cycle life compared to lead-acid batteries.ProsProsThis battery is powerful and does a good job of cranking high-compression engines on vehicles such as a GMC Sierra.ConsConsThe battery may not be fully charged at the time of purchase and could die within one year. Also, it may be an inch shorter than your stock battery.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product 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, Illinois, 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, Wisconsin. 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, Pennsylvania. The company has manufacturing facilities in Warrensburg, Missouri, 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, Michigan, 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 Battery Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Best Overall: Odyssey Automotive and LTV Battery
This battery weighs 58 pounds and is designed to protect against high-impact shock and mechanical vibration. It has 950 CCA, and it has a reserve capacity of 145 minutes. It comes with a limited three- and four-year full replacement warranty and the company promises a service life of three to 10 years.
The Odyssey has a 70-percent longer cycle life than its competitors and the highest recharge efficiency of any sealed lead battery on the market. 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 very 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.
Best Value: ACDelco Professional AGM Automotive Battery
This 52-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 (850 CCA). 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 does have 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.
Honorable Mention: DieHard Advanced Gold AGM Battery
This 60-pound, spill-proof DieHard battery has a 92 AH rating, reserve capacity of 170, and 850 CCA. Its vibration resistance safeguards battery performance over time, and it has two times the cycle life in comparison to conventional lead-acid batteries. Also, the unit's enhanced electrolyte suspension system absorbs more electrolyte and protects the internal components.
This heavy-duty battery is powerful and starts your vehicle very quickly. It comes with two handles, which makes it easy to carry, install, hoist, and position. It does a good job of cranking high-compression engines on vehicles such as a GMC Sierra truck. In addition, it comes with a spacer that clips onto the bottom of the unit in case your battery mounts are slightly taller than the battery itself.
There have been some complaints that the battery does not come fully charged and that it dies after being used for just a short period of time. Also, the battery may be an inch shorter than your stock battery, requiring you to modify the battery bracket to keep it securely in place.
- 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?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: It's probably time to replace your battery if it experiences several of the following signs: the engine cranks over slowly, it's eight 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?
A: 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.