9 Best Car Battery Reviews For 2021: Ultimate Buying Guide
Having an efficient and reliable car battery is very essential to any vehicle. This is why you would need to be careful in making a purchase when the talk of replacement is already present at hand.
However, car battery features can be really too technical for some. And if you are not entirely a tech-savvy, you may find a few challenges along the way as you decide which car batteries would work best for your car.
So, if you are planning for a replacement real soon, this guide may help you in making your decision.
The Odyssey PC680 is one of today’s best sellers when it comes to car batteries. Aside from its affordability, this car battery features a great cycle life. In fact, the ideal deep cycle is rated at 400. And considering its price, it is very impressive and surprising.
Apparently, this one is grouped with AGM batteries or an Absorbed Glass Mat. Hence, maintenance is not entirely a matter of concern since it already avoids the acid spills in the long run.
In addition, the Odyssey PC680 actually features a vibration-resistance function, thanks to its battery manufacturers. So, it is quite safe to say that this battery is for heavy duty purpose and can really last for quite a long time without hampering its overall quality.
As for its recharge rating, it can be fully recharged within 4 to 6 hours.
For a price that falls under $150, you can already have a pretty decent AGM car battery that comes with a full 2-year warranty including parts and replacements. Also, you get to have up to 10 years of service life.
“Battery lasted 8 years in my ATV. Ordered new one and it arrived with a cracked corner. Batteries plus say it should be a 2017 battery when its a 2016 battery.”
The Optima 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting Battery is an ideal car battery for RVs and other stock vehicles. And since we are talking about RVs now, it only goes to show that this battery is fitting for larger sizes of vehicles.
Most car batteries are failing over time, which is quite a bummer. Apparently, Optima is marketing this battery as a very durable type compared to other conventional batteries due to its vibration-resistance feature. According to the brand, it has twice the power of the feature in comparison to other car batteries.
In addition, Optima takes pride in its RedTop model since it can outperform other traditional car batteries when it comes to cranking or starting power the engine.
“Most awesome car battery ever. Anyone that has ever owned an Optima knows this all too well. My previous Red Top last 7 years”
It can last for more than 5 years
Poor warranty terms
There are tons of distributors in the market that are selling fake models
This battery is ideal for vehicles that require more power due to electronic connectivity. It means that if your car has a lot of features related to electronic gadget usage, then the YellowTop Dual battery from Optima might be the best choice.
However, this model is quite more expensive than the Optima RedTop. But even so, it still offers a different functionality than the previous model.
“Great price for an excellent battery. Perfect replacement for my 09 Toyota Tacoma.”
Great functionality for mid-range type
Ideal for smartphone and tablet users
It’s quite expensive considering its overall features
The ACDB24R Advantage Automotive Battery from ACDelco is one of the most affordable car batteries today. For a price that falls below $150, you can already have a decent and very functional car battery.
What’s even more impressive is that the features and functions of this product are almost the same as the other mid-range batteries. Which is why this ACDelco model is considered to be quite a steal for many car owners.
“Excellent battery - fits 2010 Prius perfectly, works like a champ.”
Cycle life is three times more than the traditional rating
But in terms of its functionality and specifications, there is not much difference in it. And if you are aiming for a much lower price of a RedTop model, the 8025-160 might be a great choice for you.
“This battery has worked great. Installed it in a '95 NISSAN Pathfinder 4WD and it went straight to work. Daily driven vehicle. Provides really vigorous starts compared to conventional battery. Headlight show brighter, just all and all good functioning battery”
This RedTop 34 is quite different from the other RedTop models. In fact, this one is designed to deliver its owners an effective power cranking ability. And even if you are in the middle of a harsh weather condition, it still functions the same.
Also, this model features a unique SpiralCell design. And this is very beneficial to every user since the battery can provide a strong and clean power source.
Although the specifications are pretty much the same with the 8004-003 model, the RedTop 34 battery has become more popular to many vehicle owners.
“Rugged, durable. These batteries are designed to take a beating. They can also be mounted in different positions and don't leak.”
It can stand even the toughest weather conditions
It does not leak
Pretty similar to the other RedTop Models
It gets very expensive for a short period of time
It has apparent issues with replacements and refunds
The Odyssey PC 1500DT is quite similar to the PC 1750T as a new car battery offer to the market. The only differences between the two are the size and price.
Apparently, this model is quite smaller than the previous model, which makes this version as one of the readily-available low maintenance batteries. Also, this one has a much lower reserve capacity rating. And there is a huge chance that these are the main reasons why the PC 1500DT is priced much lower than the PC 1750T.
For a price that falls below $300, you can already have a great high-end type of Odyssey battery.
“Amazingly enough I was able to go WELL over an hour without issue and the car started like a charm. And this is on a multi-amp system. Great upgrade and glad I made the choice to go to Odyssey.”
Great warranty terms
High-end features at a mid-range price
It has apparent issues with the package deliveries
The Kinetik HC600 Black Lead Acid Battery is the one Lead-Acid type on this list. As you can see, it offers the most affordable price among all the other car batteries. However, you have to take note that this entails a great demand for the maintenance.
Hence, you should also be practical in including the maintenance cost in your overall price computations.
Factors to Consider When Looking For The Best Car Battery
In this guide, we have provided you some of the finest car batteries of today. But while knowing which batteries are the top-rated ones is very helpful, you may also need to know that factors that need to be considered first.
Today, car batteries come in two basic types. The first type is the regular one which is very convenient for car owners. And this is because they don’t need maintenance.
Apparently, regular car batteries or the Lead-Acid types are usually the ones that require owners to periodically top off the water in the solution. This is because the liquid is where the power comes from.
Usually, these batteries are much inexpensive than the other type. However, they do not possess the same power as the other type of batteries would have. In addition, they cannot hold a charge for as much as the others can. Furthermore, they cannot tolerate a deep discharge.
On the other hand, Absorbed Glass Mat or AGM is the much more improved car batteries. They are actually designed to provide enough power to sustain different kinds of innovative features.
Today, AGM is considered to become a fully-conventional car battery as well. The reason behind this is that cars of today have become very innovative and advanced. They have features like power outlets for gadgets and electronic safety that would require much more power. And AGM can provide that amount of power.
However, the prices of these batteries are 40 to 100% higher than the Lead-Acid types. So, it would really require you a fortune. But, its quality would normally justify its price.
2. Size of the Battery
The size of the battery is one of the most important factors to consider. This is because batteries come in different sizes and dimensions. And as it happens, there is a specific size of battery that is designed for you car.
In short, you have to learn the size of your car’s battery tray.
Normally, the size of a car battery is comprised of the length, width, and height. And you can learn these figures by checking the manual of your current or previous battery.
But if in case that you do not have the manual, or you don’t know the exact size that your car requires (which rarely happens for car owners), you may want to consult a mechanic too.
Normally, these are the typical sizes of a car battery:
24/24F (Top Terminal): This size of battery is ideal for Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Infiniti, Nissan, and Acura vehicles.
34/78 (Dual Terminal): This kind of battery is perfect for large Chrysler vehicles. Also, they are very apparent to several 1996 to 2000 Gm Pickups, SUVs, and large sedans.
35 (Top Terminal): This is ideal for most Japanese nameplates. Normally, these include the most recent Honda and Nissan vehicles. It can be ideal as well for some Subaru and Toyota vehicles too.
47-H5 (Top Terminal): Perfect for several Volkswagen, Fiat, Buick, and Chevrolet vehicles.
48-H6 (Top Terminal): This car battery size can fit most European and American-made vehicles. These include BMW, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Volvo.
49-H8 (Top Terminal): Ideal for several European and Asian-made vehicles like Hyundai, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.
51R (Top Terminal): Perfect for several Japanese vehicles like Nissan, Mazda, and Honda.
65 (Top Terminal): This battery size is designed for large trucks, cars, and sport-utility vehicles from Mercury or Ford.
75 (Side Terminal): This is ideal for General Motors that are mid-sizes and compact. Also, there are cases that this battery fits a few Chrysler vehicles.
The power of a battery specifically points the Cold Cranking Amps and Cranking Amps.
By and large, Cranking Amps is the energy that your car needs in order for it to start at a temperature rating of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, Cold Cranking Amps is mainly the energy that your car needs to start at a temperature rating of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. And it is usually applicable and recommended to vehicles in areas where cold weather and cold temperatures is very rampant.
4. Positive and Type of Terminals
Keep in mind that the position of the terminal affects dramatically the polarity of your car.
Depending on the type of your car, the positive terminal is located either on the left or right side. This is very crucial for you to know since there is a huge chance of shorting when the positive terminal makes contact with a metal material.
5. Battery Life
Generally, the life of a car battery can last from three to five years. But, keep in mind that it actually varies from one battery to another and one vehicle to another. This is because there are a lot of things that affect the lifespan of a car battery. Nevertheless, it will still drain the life out if in the end due to its overall composition.
In totality, the two biggest factors that affect the battery life is your driving methods and the surrounding temperature.
When you are located in an area where the surrounding temperature is quite hot, the battery life tends to have a much lesser lifespan. As it happens, car batteries are situated under the hood. And the surrounding temperature in it is already hot. But even so, these batteries can stand such heat ratings.
But, if you are to drive always on locations where there is intense heat, the fluid that provides the overall charges inside the battery dries up. And keep in mind that once it dries, it can begin to discharge the battery within 48 hours.
So, be careful when driving in hot regions or during the summer.
The same is actually true for cold surrounding temperature. You would normally notice this when you experience having a hard time starting your engine. This is because cold temperature makes it quite difficult for the battery to start its initial burst of energy.
Moreover, cold weathers thicken the engine oil. And this is not essentially helpful. Although cold weathers and temperature ratings have an impact on the life of the battery, it is not as serious as what higher temperatures can provide.
But while the surrounding temperature is a factor that you cannot control, you definitely have a control over your driving habits.
Apparently, your driving habits also play a huge role in the life of the battery. When you drive for short periods of time, regularly, say start and stop within 20 minutes, you use the power of the battery and not allowing it to recharge itself.
This kind of habit actually drains the battery in a much shorter period of time.
6. Features and Accessories
When you purchase car batteries, it is always practical to look out for its accompanying accessories. Usually, these accessories will help you to get the most out of your chosen car battery. Moreover, this can help you maintain and prolong the lifespan of the battery.
Although some packages would include several additional accessories, there are only two to three essential things to look out for:
Handle or Loop
One of the most essential accessories that you must look for when purchasing a car battery is the handle or loop. Some car batteries do not possess handles or loops which makes it inconvenient for the users to bring down the battery in the engine.
Normally, these handles or loops can accommodate from 40 to 60 pounds of weight. So, having this accessory can largely help you when you are bringing down the battery in the engine.
When you are leaving your car or vehicle in store for a very long time or you won’t use the vehicle for some time, it is very practical to keep a trickle charger with you. This will automatically recharge the battery so it would not be discharged when the car is not in use.
Some trickle chargers possess features like a built-in circuitry. And this is a very useful feature if you think that you cannot check the vehicle upon storing it. Apparently, this feature will automatically recharge and stop the charging period when the battery is already full.
It is important for you to note that when car batteries are overcharged, they tend to be very susceptible to breakage. And this will be much more costly since it could result in replacements.
But, if in case that you will be able to check the car or the vehicle, along with its batteries when the car is not in use, there is no need for you to require your trickle charge with a built-in circuitry.
A jump starter is a very essential tool to have in your car emergency kit. When the battery discharges accidentally, you will surely need a jump starter to restart the initial burst of energy to start your engine.
Although most people would choose to connect the cars with other vehicles, a jump starter will omit this kind of inconvenience. Hence, it is very practical for every car owner to have this car battery accessory in their kits.
7. Maintenance Methods
The best car battery is usually divided into two categories when it comes to maintenance. Firstly, there are car batteries that require no maintenance. On the other hand, there are car batteries that require low maintenance methods.
The ones that require low maintenance methods would involve adding distilled water in it, every now and then. And due to this kind of feature, these types of car batteries are normally unsealed with a cap.
As for the batteries that do not require maintenance at all, they are actually sealed with caps. And the liquid electrolyte included in the battery is already sufficient all throughout its lifespan. Plus, you no longer need a replacement.
8. Warranty Terms
Another important factor that you need to consider is the warranty term for the overall package. It is always practical for you to choose the batteries that come with much longer warranty terms, including its replacement periods.
Normally, the ones that have a great warranty term are the ones that you can trust. So, be very mindful of these things before purchasing your chosen car battery.
Replacements: When To Replace?
Sooner or later, you will need to replace your car battery. And as much as you want to save up, there will come a time that this is essentially required. And no matter how you keep it well maintained, all car batteries will need a replacement.
But, more often than not, car owners do not entirely know when to replace their batteries. So, in order for you to avoid these kinds of inconveniences, you might want to learn the symptoms and signs that your battery already needs replacing:
Check Engine Lights Indicator
Some vehicles feature a Check Engine Light in its dashboard. Apparently, when this light turns on, it only indicates that your battery is already in its weak state.
In some cases, some or a few of your indicator lights like the coolant indicator would turn on due to the poor quality of the battery. And there are cases as well that this could mean that there is already a problem with your battery.
So, when some of your indicators turn on or warn you as you use the car, try to check your engine, especially your battery.
Sluggish Engine Crank
Another indicator that would mean your car battery needs replacing is when the cranking of the engine starts to become slow. Also, it might take you a while to start your engine when the battery is already weak and dry.
As for the sound, you will also notice that the sound your engine makes is quite different from the normal starting sound.
When you notice an unpleasant smell as you check your engine, it only means that the battery has already started to leak. The unpleasant smell that is present is actually caused by the sulfur. And when this happens, it means that you already need to replace the battery as it might negatively affect the other parts of the engine.
Low Battery Fluid Level
Normally, car batteries have an indicator in its casing which you can utilize to keep an eye on the fluid level. When the fluid level has reached below the lead plates, you might already need to replace the battery.
But, you must also perform several tests first before deciding to replace your battery. It may save you costs and time too.
When your car battery has reached its third year of functionality, it is normally considered as an old type already.
Although there are batteries that can last for 4 to 5 years or even more, it is a must that you keep an eye on all the indicators, symptoms, and signs to avoid further inconvenience on your end.
In short, once your battery is already in its third year, prepare yourself already for a much sooner replacement.
Primarily, this car battery features a superior quality that cannot be compared with the other car batteries. Secondly, it comes with a very effective warranty term and service life. In fact, the warranty of this model is valid for up to 4 years. As for the service life, it can range between 3 and 10 years.
Although this model is quite expensive, you will surely get what you pay for. And personally, we think that this battery is really worth the price.
Choosing the best car batteries is very challenging and difficult. Aside from the fact that there are quite a lot to choose from, there are also a lot of factors to regard. And more often than not, these factors are entirely technical.
Most car owners of today are not largely tech-savvy which, at times, can be really tricky in buying car batteries. But even so, it is still important that you learn the important details in choosing a car battery for your vehicle.
Learning these aspects will help you choose the most appropriate type for you. But if in case you are still having difficulties, it is still practical to ask for consultation and assistance from your local service provider.
Talk to mechanics or even car specialists. Certainly, they will help you when it comes to choosing the best battery car for you and your vehicle.
Also, it is best that you check first your battery before heading out and make a purchase. Sometimes, all you need to do is to clean and have it checked by specialists.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I choose a car battery?
There are five basic things you should look for in a car battery. Those are size, brand, reverse capacity, age, and cold-cranking amps. Car batteries are available in different sizes like Size 75, Size 65, Size 35, Size 34, and Size 34/78. Some batteries are made specific to your car brand. The age code, RC, and CCA are important to consider too. Look at your car manual to determine the best car battery.
What should I look for when buying a car battery?
You need to determine whether to buy a deep cycle or starting battery, the battery group size, the cold-cranking amps (CCA), Reverse Capacity (RC), Amp Hour or C20, and warranty. You need to check if the battery is compatible with your car brand. There will be batteries designed specifically for your car brand and model.
Which is the best car battery brand?
There's no single car battery brand that is considered the best. There certainly are some battery brands that enjoy a high reputation. Amaron, Exide, Optima, Panasonic, and Yuasa are some of the best car battery brands that last more than a decade. You should look at the specific car battery models when making the purchase.
What brand of car battery lasts the longest?
Most car battery brands have battery models that are designed for long-lasting performance. You should look at the "battery lifespan" to determine the longevity of the battery. On an average, the car batteries last between four to six years, while some lead acid batteries last for shorter than that. Optima Batteries RedTop can last up to a decade. Some battery models of ACDelco brand too last 8-10 years if taken proper care of.
What is the best car battery Consumer Reports?
As per Consumer Reports, Bosch, Diehard, Deka, Delphi, and Optima offer the best car batteries. The Bosch Premium Power S5-51R is highly rated and recommended. It lasts long and delivers superior power. DieHard Gold 51R and Silver 51R, which you can find at Advance and Sears stores, are also rated highly.
How often should I change my car battery?
On average, you should change your car battery every three years, even though they can last for 5 or even 10 years. But after three years, car batteries and car battery terminals tend to get worn down. So you'll have inefficiencies and cranking issues. If you've purchased a car battery with 10 years lifespan, then you may use it for 6-7 years before replacing it.
Are Walmart car batteries good?
Walmart offers EverStart car batteries that are made by Johnson Controls at some of its retail stores. The batteries are good enough and tend to last longer than the warranty period. They also offer free replacement for a certain period from the date of purchase. You should check for other specifications before purchasing the batteries.
Are Costco car batteries good?
The main benefit of buying Costco car batteries is affordable price and extended warranty. They sell interstate batteries, and one of them being the Kirkland batteries. These batteries are known for their low price and generic functionality. Duracell is the company behind the Kirkland batteries, thus you can expect high-quality and functionality. These tend to last four years.
Who makes DieHard batteries now?
DieHard batteries were made by Johnson Charles company and sold exclusively at Advance, Carquest, and Sears stores. In December of 2019, Advance Auto Parts purchased the DieHard brand from Sears. In the same year, Johnson Charles sold their battery division to Clarios, who are now the manufacturers of DieHard batteries.
Who sells the best car battery?
You can find car batteries at various retail outlets like Walmart, Sears, and, Costco. Each retailer has its pros and cons. For example, the batteries at Costco are low priced and generic. The batteries at Walmart offer a fairly long warranty and a flexible return policy. In terms of overall quality, Sears batteries are considered better. It’s a matter of personal choice and necessities.
What's the best car battery for cranking amps?
You can find a list of Car batteries with highest CCA on topofthings.com . CCA stands for “Cold Cranking Amps” and it indicates the amount of power a battery has to crank an engine in cold conditions. The higher the CCA rating, more is the number of amperes it provides. So you need to pick up a battery with high amperage rating to start your engine during winter.
What's the best car battery for starting amps?
Battery with highest starting ampere rating will be able to start a larger vehicle like a truck or a bus easily. You should look at these ratings before making the purchase as they can vary from a battery to another.
How to increase the lifespan of a car battery?
You can increase the life of your car battery by taking proper care of it. The first and foremost thing which you should do is adjust the temperature based on whether it's summer or winter. In hot weather, keep your battery cool with an air conditioner so it does not overheat and discharge faster. In cold weather, use a heating blanket for optimal results. You have to check labels before using these accessories as they might harm your car batteries if used improperly. And even after all this, you will need to replace your old batteries after three years.
What's the best car battery for aftermarket radio?
Choosing the right car battery is very important if you are planning to install an aftermarket radio into your vehicle. For that, you need a compatible AGM or deep-cycle battery with high CCA (cold cranking amps) to handle increased pressure on starting system. Most of these batteries are heavy in weight and require special installation techniques. You should consult professionals before making any major changes to your vehicle’s electrical system.
How long should I let my car sit idle without charging?
Car sitting idle for more than two days might have an effect on its lifespan so it's good to take it out every other day without fail. However, if you can't take it out for some reason, you should at least charge the battery once a week. The best way to do this is to use a trickle charger which will help in maintaining optimum charge level. The charger will also prevent sulfation on the plates of the battery, which is one of the main reasons for reduced battery life.
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