How To Choose The Right Battery For Your Car

Like every component of a car, the battery is subject to wearing out over time. Unfortunately, this is inevitable for all battery types. Sooner or later you may have to shop for a new battery. But how do you know the right battery for your car? Batteries are measured in capacities called Ampere Hours (Ah for short) which is a unit related to the energy storage capacity of the battery. Depending on the type of vehicle the battery operates, from modern cars with a number of electronics and on-board computers running on it to heavy duty vehicles, it’s important to know the right battery for your car to ensure optimal functionality.

The easiest way is to flip through your car-owner’s manual. Many car owners often disregard this booklet but it contains useful source of information like the specified battery Ah for your car, always keep it close. In a case you can’t find the owner’s manual, you can:

A Weak Battery
  1. You can find it by group size: you must make sure that your car battery fits securely in its battery tray. A car’s battery tray varies in sizes depending on the manufacturer, but most are designed to accommodate batteries of a specific group size. Common group sizes are 75, 65, 35, 34, 34/78
  2. You can find it through the Battery Reserve Capacity (RC): referred to as its “standing power.” This is the amount of time the battery can continuously supply the minimum voltage necessary to run your car should the alternator or fan belt fail. With an excellent reserve capacity rating, your car can run on its battery alone if the alternator stops working. Consult your owner’s manual to learn the recommended reserve capacity rating for your particular car model.
  3. Battery’s age: newer batteries tend to perform better and last longer than older batteries. Make sure to check the manufacturing date on any replacement battery. Generally, a battery is considered “fresh” if it is less than 6 months old from the date of manufacture. Unfortunately, manufacturing dates are rarely listed in a way that is simple to understand. Rather 2-character alphanumeric codes are used to express the age of the battery. The first character is a letter from A to L, indicating A-January, B-February, C-March and so forth. The numeric code represents the year of manufacture with number 0 to 9 indicating 0-2010, 1-2011, 2-2012 and so forth. At the end of each decade, the numerical characters used in battery manufacture date codes complete a cycle and reset at zero (e.g. 2020 becomes 0, 2021 is 1, 2022 is 2, and so on).
Battery Date Code

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About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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