Car battery: What better model of 2021?
we will explain how to choose the best car battery. You will probably find several batteries that fit your car, often with very different prices.
To ensure longer battery life and to be more cost-effective, it is essential to understand some points are the capacity of each battery.
We will explain in this article what each specification that you find in the product description means. Several similar acronyms are adopted and each has a slightly different meaning.
First, the most important
- The battery is a key item for your car. Without it, it is not possible to start, drive, or turn on the radio.
- There are several different ways to indicate the capacity of a battery. We will explain in detail in this article what each means in practice.
- Most batteries cost between R $ 200 and R $ 400, depending on the load capacity and the brand.
The best car batteries on the market: Our recommendations
For sure you already know the importance of a good car battery. Often, investing in a slightly more expensive model ends up generating savings in the long run. In this section we present the most used battery models with the best ratings so that you don’t have headaches after your choice.
- An excellent 50 Ah battery
- The best 60 Ah model
- 70 Ah battery for more robust vehicles
It is not enough to buy any car battery believing that it will deliver the best performance. It is necessary to pay attention to some factors before making this choice so that it does not let you down.
From now on, we will help you understand what the battery is for, the importance of carefully choosing the right model, where to buy it and how much to pay.
What is a car battery?
The car battery is one of the most important items in your vehicle. Without it, it is not possible to start, drive or simply turn on the radio.
It is a device that converts energy in chemical form to electrical energy, essential for the car to function.
As the use of electronic devices in cars increased, batteries began to play a more important role. They are the ones that keep the electronic systems working, such as computers used in the electronic injection system, in the automatic changes and in the management of the information shown on the panel.
Is car battery all the same?
Car batteries are all of the same type, which makes it easy to choose them. These are called lead-acid batteries.
The disadvantage of batteries of this type is the high weight, when compared with a battery with similar charge built with other technologies. The weight usually starts from 15 kg, which is little when compared to the weight of other parts of your car.
The big advantage is the reduced price. The types of batteries used in cell phones, for example, are much more expensive.
At this point, cars differ from several portable electronic devices. Photo cameras, for example, can have batteries of very different types, depending on the model.
Although car batteries are all of the same type, there are important differences between one model and another. In addition to the capacity difference, which is the best known, there are other measures that help to identify more robust batteries.
To understand more about the point, continue reading this Buying Guide.
What is the advantage of buying the right car battery for your vehicle?
You can buy a battery of the wrong type and continue using the car without noticing any problems for a while. The point to remember is that battery life will be affected.
The general recommendation is: use the type of battery indicated in your car’s instruction manual. If you don’t have it, you can find the right type on battery manufacturers’ websites. In some of them, just inform the car manufacturer and model for the website to indicate the correct product.
It is not possible to start a car without a good amount of battery charge. Because of this, using an incorrect product or of dubious quality increases the chances that you will need a tow truck or mechanical assistance service. In addition to the disorder, it can be more expensive than purchasing a better quality battery.
If the battery has a lower charge than recommended, the battery may discharge very quickly, depending on the conditions of use.
If the battery charge is too large, it is likely that it will take too long to charge and that its charge will not be used in the best possible way.
When to change your car battery?
Car batteries can last longer, or less, depending on each case.
Low temperatures, very short journeys or long periods without driving are factors that tend to affect battery life.
Despite this, sooner or later every car battery will need to be replaced, there is no exception. In general, they last around 3 to 5 years.
In some cases, the batteries may show some signs that they need to be replaced before they stop working completely.
Some symptoms can be seen in the video below published on the Bahia Motor Program channel:
What voltage is indicated for car battery?
Virtually all car batteries are 12 Volts. Unlike batteries used in other segments, the voltage is usually standardized, even when comparing small and large cars, and from different manufacturers.
The only exceptions are batteries used in electric or hybrid cars. In these cases, the battery is used to move the vehicle (not just to start it) and usually has a higher voltage.
How much does a car battery cost?
The batteries used in most cars are priced between R $ 200 and R $ 400.
If your car has a start-stop system, that system turns off the engine every time you stop at a traffic light, you will need a battery specially designed for this purpose.
Batteries for start-stop cars can charge and discharge more times and faster. The price of this product category is higher and starts at R $ 500.
Larger vehicle batteries, such as trucks and buses, need to have a much higher charge. In general, they are 3 to 4 times larger than small car batteries. Because of this, prices are also higher: they vary between R $ 600 and R $ 1,500.
Where to buy a car battery?
A very common option is to change the battery in a repair shop or in a car you trust.
Batteries can also be purchased at auto parts stores, generally at lower prices than when purchased at auto repair shops.
A third option, which has become more popular recently, is the purchase of car batteries over the internet. In addition to the comfort of your home, online shopping is easy.
Examples of sites where you can find different car battery models are Amazon.
Purchase Criteria: Factors for comparing different car battery models
Now we will list the points that you need to observe in order to be able to choose the best car battery model for your vehicle. After all, we know that you don’t want to be at hand. Are they:
- battery capacity
- Sound system, DVD or neon
- Poles position
- Warranty and date of manufacture
- Car with start-stop system
If they seem like new terms to you, don’t worry. Below, we will explain what each one means and you will understand the importance of each one.
Although some batteries serve in different cars, of different sizes and models, not all batteries are the same size.
In general, larger cars, such as pickups and SUVs, tend to have batteries with greater capacity and also with larger dimensions.
One can find batteries of the same capacity built in slightly different sizes from each other. Depending on the case, it will not fit in your car.
For this reason it is essential to check the dimensions and see if it is compatible with your vehicle.
In the past, many car batteries needed water from time to time. In recent years, the market has migrated to sealed batteries. If your battery is of this type, you will not need to periodically refill with water or perform any other type of maintenance throughout its life.
Although maintenance is not necessary, it is ideal that you have the battery charge tested periodically by a professional. The test is quick and is usually offered free of charge. If the battery is badly charged, it can be replaced before causing inconvenience.
Indicates the amount of charge a battery can supply to the car without being recharged. This charge is used mainly when you start. As the car remains with the engine running, the battery is automatically recharged.
The load capacity is always given in a measure called ampere-hour, usually abbreviated by “Ah”.
In general, the capacity used in most car batteries varies between 40 and 80 Ah. Larger vehicles, such as trucks and buses, have values close to 100 Ah.
Load capacity is especially important for cars that remain unused for long periods. In this case, the battery will gradually discharge. It is recharged only when the engine is running.
When choosing the load capacity, the recommendation is always to follow your car’s manual. If not, you can find this information on the label of your old battery or on the website of some manufacturers. You can also always talk to a mechanic you trust.
Sound system, DVD or neon
The sound systems, DVD or neon installed in your car need a lot of energy to work and will demand more battery than expected by the manufacturer.
If your car has any of these systems, you may need to increase the battery capacity or install a second battery. In this case, be sure to check the battery power and charge capacity recommended in the manuals for these systems.
CCA is a special battery charge measure that indicates how much charge the battery can provide in extreme cold conditions when starting the car.
This is a standardized measurement in which the battery must supply at least 7.2 Volts for 30 seconds at a temperature of -18º.
The CCA value is always given in Amperes (abbreviated “A”) and depends on the size of the battery.
Among several 60 Ah batteries available on the market, we find CCA values of 400 A, 425 A and 440 A. The higher the CCA value, the better the battery.
This measurement is similar to CCA, explained above, but it is performed with the battery at a temperature of 26.7º Celsius. HCA is short for hot cranking ampere, an English expression that we can translate as a hot starting current.
As batteries tend to be impaired by low temperatures, the HCA value (measured at higher temperature) is usually higher than the CCA value (measured in extreme cold).
Because of this, when comparing different types of batteries, never directly compare the CCA of one model with the HCA of another. As far as possible, use CCA to compare different models.
A common practice among some manufacturers is to indicate only the HCA value of a battery. In these cases, the CCA value is likely to be less than the same measure as models that present this information.
Every battery has two poles, the negative and the positive. The positive is usually indicated by the red color and the negative (earth) by the black color.
There are batteries in which the positive and negative poles have different positions. In some cases, the positive is on the right of the battery and in others on the left.
To know what is left and right of a battery, it is usually necessary to look at it from the front, side where the connectors are positioned.
Keep in mind that the front of the battery is often not facing the front of the car when installed. It can be in any position.
In the photo below we can see a battery installed in a car (on the right, next to the headlight) where the front of the battery is facing the rear of the car. This battery shown has the positive pole on the right.
Warranty and date of manufacture
First of all, always check if the battery has the INMETRO guarantee seal, which has recently become mandatory.
It is also important to observe the warranty, which depends on the manufacturer and the model. On some models of car batteries, the warranty can reach 2 years. During this period, replacement is free.
A third point to note is the date of manufacture of the battery, most have this information on their label. In general, no battery should be purchased if it has been manufactured for more than 4 months as time will impair its charge.
Car with start-stop system
If your car has a start-stop system, it needs a special battery. This system shuts down the engine whenever you stop at a traffic light, for example, to save fuel.
The car battery with start-stop system is a differentiated product. It is able to recharge more quickly and more times without compromising its useful life.
This battery usually has a higher price than models with similar capacity (Ampere-hours) that are not aimed at cars with a start-stop system .
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