It happens to everybody at some point in time. You hop in the car, ready to head to work or to go to the grocery store, but your car won’t start. Maybe the check engine light flashes, but maybe nothing at all happens. Chances are, it’s the battery.
If you are lucky, you can have someone jump the battery to get a bit more use of it, but you should drive straight to the auto repair store if this is the case. Then, use this buyers’ guide to help you choose the right battery for your vehicle.
Types of Car Batteries
An auto battery falls into one of three basic types: starting, lighting, and ignition batteries, lithium-ion batteries, or lead-acid batteries. Most vehicles use SLI batteries, which power both the car and its electronics. This battery uses short bursts to deliver power and typically has 12.6 volts when fully charged.
Li-ion batteries are common in electric cars and hybrid vehicles. They are lighter and store more charge than other types of batters. Finally, lead-acid batteries are low-maintenance, but because they are sealed, cannot be serviced.
How To Find Out Your Cars Battery Type?
If your car battery dead, knowing which type to purchase new is important. First, determine the battery’s group size by reading the battery section of your owner’s manual or by checking reference guides at battery retailers. Next, choose a brand based on what your vehicle manual specifies. If you need something more affordable, you can switch manufacturers, but only if you make sure the individual battery specifications exactly match what your vehicle needs.
Finally, be sure to choose a battery that is less than six months old. This one is considered “fresh” and will typically last longer. Battery codes include a letter, which coincides with a month (for example, “A” is for January) and a number for the year. So, a battery labeled A2020 was manufactured in January 2020.
Where To Buy a Vehicle Battery?
Whether you need a car battery or are looking for motorcycle batteries, it’s important to purchase your new battery from a reputable manufacturer and retailer. In addition to choosing one from a manufacturer you trust, consider the retailer and the services it offers. Auto repair retailers sell high-quality batteries, provide experts to answer your questions, and may even provide installation services.
Bargain retailers can help you save a few bucks, but won’t be as helpful at helping you find the right product and likely won’t offer any installation services. Only use a discount retailer if you are 100% sure about the type of battery you need and how to install it.
Like any part of your vehicle, messing with the battery if you don’t know what you’re doing can cost you more money or even be dangerous. To ensure you don’t end up with a vehicle battery emergency, remember to have your car serviced regularly.
Routine maintenance ensures you have what you need when you need it. Remember to have a professional perform maintenance and battery installation for the best results.
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