How to Buy a 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.


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Recent Car Battery Replacement reviews

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Shawn

23 years of experience
55 reviews
Shawn
23 years of experience
Chrysler Pacifica - Battery - Hampton, Virginia
He was very punctual, friendly and was able to get our car fixed very quickly. He did a great job and I would highly recommend him for all your car maintenance!
Subaru Outback - Car Battery Replacement - Newport News, Virginia
Yet again Your Mechanic has provided me with the services I requested. I would recommend Shawn to anyone. He was efficient, courteous and polite in addition to his excellent automotive service..

Claud

8 years of experience
325 reviews
Claud
8 years of experience
Toyota Prius - Battery - Hazel Park, Michigan
Claud did a wonderful job, I am super pleased with the service he provided. My battery is in the trunk area of my Prius hatchback. I had put the backseat down to clear out my returnables for him. He put my seats back up and put eveything back together...my car looked even tidier than before he got there.! He put air in one of my tires because he noticed it was low, and informed me of some upcoming minor maintenance to keep an eye on. Car is running great, didn't have to wait long for him to finish, and he was even early for the appointment.
Chevrolet Trax - Battery - Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Very good experience. He arrived on time. Explained what he was going to do. Completed the work and was thorough in what I needed for my next service in plain language vs car jargon. I'm a raving fan of Claud!

Greg

22 years of experience
86 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Ford Escape - Battery - Chandler, Arizona
In my past, mechanics have gotten a bad rap for overcharging and underdelivering. It is good to know that good, hard-working, professional people still exist. It matters and it's appreciated. Greg Fowler gives mechanics their good reputation back. Greg showed up to fix my car two days in a row, resolved the problem of my car not starting, like a jigsaw puzzle master. There was no challenge that he did not tackle head-on. In the end, Sugar (my car) is running sweet again.
Ford Fusion - Car Battery Replacement - Chandler, Arizona
Greg was great. On time, thorough and friendly. First time using this type of service and will 100% do it again.

Mike

26 years of experience
67 reviews
Mike
26 years of experience
Kia Sedona - Car Battery Replacement - Redford, Michigan
This is absolutely the best idea! I needed a new battery but I was snowed in. I looked a couple places but MY MECHANIC was the best price. it was fast easy friendly and guaranteed! Mike was 15 min early for our appointment and was outta here in 20 min. Very professional and easy. I'm so glad I called you guys!
Hyundai Accent - Battery - Farmington, Michigan
Mike was courteous and provided great service, even in the cold. I appreciated his expertise and going the extra mile to check my alternator after changing the battery.

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