Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Buy a Good Quality Car Battery

Good Quality Car Battery

Turning the key and hearing, well, nothing – or at best a weak attempt at cranking – can be very stressful. Oftentimes this is the result of a dying or already dead car battery, the unit under your car’s hood that powers everything from the ignition to your automatic windows and door locks. The electronics in your vehicle depend on this heavy, rectangular contraption in order to continue functioning. Luckily, the battery is one of the easiest parts to replace.

You may be stymied when you go into the auto parts store and see the dizzying array of choices and price ranges for this automotive component. Typical tags range from under $100 to $500, depending upon the brand and type of vehicle the battery is for. But the price isn’t the only thing that varies. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when you go battery shopping:

  • Decide on materials: Lead-acid is the old stand-by, and for good reason. Their affordability and overall trustworthiness has led to a solid reputation. Spiral grid on the other hand may be lesser known, but through the use of electrolyte and AGM (absorbent glass mats) these batteries last longer with lower discharge and superior vibration resistance. Spiral grid are, of course, pricier.

  • Check the CCA: Cold cranking amps matter because the rating is an indicator of the amount of current, in amperes, that a battery can sustain for 30 seconds at approximately 64 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the rating, the better the battery is at starting your car in cold weather.

  • Consider RC: Reserve capacity is seldom mentioned but it can be an important factor in your battery’s function. This rating indicates how many minutes the battery can maintain 25 amperes of power at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You might not think this matters much due to the car’s normal ability to keep the battery charged, but if the main charging systems go down, the battery’s RC will allow you to start the vehicle anyway, within a certain time frame.

  • Get a good warranty: Name brands like DieHard are famous for their quality and superior warranties. Add in the 885 CCA and RC of 145 minutes and it might be worth the higher price to you. Surprisingly, however, some off-brands, like Costco’s Kirkland batteries, also offer a full three year replacement warranty as well as high quality ratings and good CCA. Compare price against guarantee to make the best choice for your budget.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality car batteries to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a car battery that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on car battery replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...

Related questions

Q: Multiple warning lights on dash

When dealing with a push button start style vehicle the brake pedal must be fully depressed four the vehicle to turn over. If you are fully depressing the brake pedal then there could be an issue with the brake pedal...

Q: Which Acura model is suitable for regular gas

Hi, thanks for writing in. I am not sure if there are any Acura models within 2006 to 2008 that have regular gas compatibility. This is due to the fact that the Acura models have high compression engines that make...

Q: What tips should I follow during cold weather?

Wintertime can be pretty challenging depending on where you live. If you’re in an area where severe cold is not just a possibility, but highly likely, here are a few things you’ll need to do to protect your car: ...