Three Things to Consider When Buying a Battery – SIZE, POWER, AND FEATURES & BENEFITS



1. SIZE 


What are the dimensions of your original equipment battery? 


The Battery Council International (BCI) uses a number called group size to identify the height, length and width of numerous original equipment sizes. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual or ask your battery retailer. Any of these options will provide the vehicle manufacturer's group size and CCA rating requirements for your car




What are the power requirements of your vehicle? There are two ratings which may be important for you to consider.

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) This industry rating measures the cranking power a battery has available to start a car's engine at 0°F.

Battery Council International defines it as the number of amperes a lead acid battery at 0 degrees F can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell. In general the higher the number, the greater the starting power of the battery. Remember: Never use a battery with a CCA lower than the manufacturer's recommendation. Also, be judicious when choosing a battery with a CCA level higher than necessary for the application. A higher CCA does provide greater starting power that might be needed in extreme conditions, in some group sizes; it also reduces the amount of acid in the battery. This can be a cause of reduced battery life. Also, whenever available, a battery with a higher CCA is more capable of providing for the electrical needs of older vehicles, and will not adversely affect the vehicle's electrical system.

Reserve Capacity (RC) As power demands become increasingly important, so does the need for more reserve capacity. A battery's Reserve Capacity represents the length of time the battery can maintain the vehicle's electrical needs without the engine turned on or in the event the alternator fails. Battery Council International defines Reserve Capacity as a measure of the time (in minutes) a lead-acid battery can deliver 25 amps at 80°F and maintain terminal voltage of at least 1.75 volts/ cell. (Battery voltage of 10.5 volts) In general, the higher the minute rating, the greater the battery’s ability to run your lights, DVD players, Radio, and other accessories with the vehicle off before recharging is necessary.



 There are different technologies of batteries which deliver unique benefits to the end user.

Flooded Lead Acid – This is the traditional technology used for the last 100 years to power cars, heavy duty trucks, commercial vehicles, boats, motorcycles, etc

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) - AGM is a top of the line battery. An AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery is one where the battery water-acid electrolyte fluid is held in place with a specialized glass mat (like a sponge). A standard lead-acid battery has the electrolyte in a free floating fluid mix throughout the case.



This technology can be manufactured in two different ways:

"Spiral Wound" AGM –High tech, spiral wound and sealed batteries. The plates (or separator mats) are wound or rolled into a tubular form like a roll of carpet and placed in multiple configurations where the cylinders may or may not be visible.

"Flat Plate" AGM –The positive plates, negative plates, and separator material are arranged in a straight line or row of six sets inside the battery, somewhat like slices of bread in a loaf. The plates are compressed and inserted onto the battery container.