If you own a car, one of the things you should look out for and maintain is its battery. Of course, it is a good thing to hear your car starting at the first turn of the key but it won’t always be that way. There are many different factors yet one thing is for sure, your car battery will not last forever.
On the average, a battery can last up to four years. This normal lifespan is possible if the battery is under normal conditions. Meaning, it goes through full charge cycles, isn’t subjected to extreme temperatures and is attached to a reliable and consistent charging system. Another key factor is the accessories such as mp3 players, GPS receivers and other devices that may take toll on the battery.
Considering these factors, your car battery may need to be replaced before or even after the four-year mark. When that time comes, you better have an idea which battery to buy next for your car instead of just buying whatever is available in the market.
So on this list, we have reviewed the five best car batteries for you. We’ll start off the list with our top pick – the Optima RedTop Starting Battery. This infamous car battery assures start-up despite whatever weather conditions. It can also do well in different vehicles – from cars to trucks. Know more about this car battery and other best brands in the next section.
Top 5 Best Car Batteries
1. Optima Batteries 8025-160 25 RedTop Starting Battery
Optima RedTop Starting Battery is one of the most popular batteries you’d find. It is a great starting battery designed with optimal starting power even in extreme weather conditions.
It ensures a strong burst of ignition power so your car is sure to start-up on the road regardless of the rain, snow or even ice. The Optima RedTop can also handle hard launches and sudden, extreme corners. As such, it can perform well in various types of vehicles including trucks, SUVs, hot rods, and regular cars.
This 12-volt car battery features 720 cold cranking amps (CCA) and has a reserve capacity of 90 minutes for constant performance. The manufacturer claims that this model is a whopping 15 times more resistant to vibration, which is supposed to significantly increase the battery’s lifetime and performance.
Youtube review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwbc5o0bu9U
- 12 volt, 720 CCA
- High-powered starting ability in all weather conditions
- 15x more vibration-resistant
- Easy to install
- Shorter than expected lifespan
- Availing the warranty may pose a problem
2. Odyssey 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV Battery
This Odyssey car battery is part of the Extreme Series designed for power sport vehicles that need high-quality, powerful batteries. With 950 cold crank amps and vibration resistance, the Odyssey car battery can sure handle any power sport vehicle more than fine.
In addition to its vibration resistance that is designed to withstand high impact shock and mechanical vibration, the Odyssey car battery is also tolerant of extreme temperature. It can operate through -40 degree Celsius to 45 degree Celsius. It also boasts of longer service life, with 3 to 10 years, and longer cycle life, that is 70% longer than conventional deep cycle batteries.
Its recharge time is also faster, brought by the lead seal. It is capable of 100% full recharge in just 4 to 6 hours. Its design is spill-proof and it’s easy to mount any way you like.
Youtube review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gdaSgO_uKc
- Easy to install
- Long battery life
- 950 CCA
- Quite expensive
- Difficult to fit
3. ACDelco ACDB24R Advantage AGM Automotive BCI Group 51 Battery
The ACDelco car battery boasts of its maintenance-free Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology. It is advertised as “no water required, no spills, no leaks, and no maintenance”. It is particularly designed to meet the unique energy needs of the Toyota Prius.
In addition, this ACDelco Advantage AGM car battery features valve-regulated recombinant technology. This enables the battery to extend its cycle life three times more than the conventional car batteries. To ensure safety and long battery life, it is a calcium positive and negative battery with lead-proof pressurized valve. Such design prevents dry-out and acid damage to the terminals, making it one of the safest batteries on the market.
So overall, the ACDelco Advantage AGM car battery has a long life, easy to install, spill-proof and does not even require maintenance. It’s undoubtedly a great product but you should remember that it’s only for Toyota Prius models.
Youtube Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qey5AEVFz8g
- Easy to install
- Maintenance free
- Long battery life
- Suitable only for Prius models
- Some have issues on the battery’s fit
4. DieHard 38188 Group Advanced Gold AGM Battery GP 34R
This DieHard Advanced 34R is said to be one of the best gold batteries on the market. It also uses AGM technology which is great for power (with 775 CCA) and extreme longevity. As such, this one’s a good product for powering a machine, a regular car, or even a truck.
DieHard gold batteries are particularly designed for vehicles that undergo intense vibrations in everyday use. It boasts of 20x more vibration protection that safeguards battery performance over time.
It also comes with optimized power full-frame negative and positive plates that help prevent life-robbing electrical shorts, and enhanced electrolyte suspension system that protects internal components. With these specifications, longevity is said to be guaranteed.
The overall design is also spill and leak proof, ensuring protection for sophisticated electronic equipment. It is also maintenance-free and mountable in any position.
Youtube review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgvnjln23FQ
- 775 CCA and AGM technology
- 20x more vibration resistant
- Maintenance free
- Easy to install
- May not work in some cold conditions
- Not appropriate in some larger vehicles
5. XS Power D3400 XS Series 12V 3,300 Amp AGM High Output Battery with M6 Terminal Bolt
The XS Power D3400 is of superb quality. However, you should be willing to invest since its price is higher than other batteries in the market.
It is found to be extremely powerful that enables extreme performance especially for competitions of car audio. The XS Power D3400 has the capacity to maintain its strength even as the equipment or vehicle is being used. This is the reason why the XS Power can support even the energy-hungry installations such as those for car audio competitions.
The XS Power D3400 also features AGM spill-free technology that allows it to be protected from spills especially during the mounting process. Another feature is that the battery is sealed, preventing leaks all over the engine. In addition, vibration is reduced while the engine is running.
Another added protection to the battery is the fiberglass.
Youtube Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ0TmOVLTx8
- High output AGM battery
- Sealed unit, spill-proof, valve-regulated, and vibration resistance
- Ultra-low resistance internally
- Most expensive on this list
Buying Guide (Things to Consider)
Undoubtedly, all those mentioned car batteries are great. But for you to make a well-informed decision here’s a quick buying guide (based on consumerreports.org) to help you decide better.
One of the first things you should consider is the size and terminal locations of the battery. Make sure that they are a correct fit to your vehicle. If you are unsure, check your owner’s manual or an in-store fit guide before buying any battery.
If you live in a place with a warmer climate, you should look thoroughly on the battery life. Frequent high temperatures are pretty tough on batteries, increasing plate corrosion and more quickly vaporizing the electrolyte needed for the current.
Long battery life is also crucial if you frequently take short trips that don’t give the battery much time to recharge.
Cold-Cranking Amps (CCA) and Reserve Capacity
The CCA and reserve capacity test ratings reflect the starting power that the battery provides. Most batteries can easily do well with these tests but there is performance variation.
Similar with other batteries, those of cars also lose strength when kept in storage for quite a long time. So, make sure to purchase one that is no more than 6 months old.
As reference, you may check the shipping code on the case. The code usually has a letter to indicate the month (“A” pertains to January) and a number for the use (“8” for 2018). Others simply use a numeric date.
At the onset, in terms of battery, the better choice is the one with the longest free-replacement period.
The battery’s warranty is measured in two figures: the free-replacement period and the prorated period. The prorated period allows partial reimbursement.
For example, a code of 24/60 indicates a free replacement period of 24 months and a prorated warranty of 60 months. However, in the prorated period, the amount that you can reimburse usually drops off pretty quickly.
In availing the warranty, the company will also check for any sign of neglect. Indicators such as low water levels and improper installation may void a warranty. Also, if the battery’s not recommended for heavy duty use, high-end car audio and marine applications are also another reasons to void warranty.
Types of Car Batteries
Next to knowing the factors that you should consider, you must also be aware of the different types of car batteries. Based on an article by sears auto center, here are the different types of car batteries.
Starting, Lighting and Ignition (SLI) Batteries
Majority of automotive batteries belong to this type. As the name implies, these batteries do not just help start your car but also provide power to ignition, mirror dash camera, lights, radio, and more.
SLIs typically have a shallow charge cycle (or the time that it takes to run down the battery and charge it back up) and can only deliver power in short bursts of time.
Deep Cycle Batteries
Deep Cycle Batteries, on the other hand, can provide sustained power over a longer period of time. As such, this type is more ideal for marine vehicles, small recreational vehicles, and golf carts.
Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) Batteries
These batteries are the low-maintenance ones to the point that you don’t even have to regularly add water to the battery cells. Since they don’t require regular maintenance, these batteries are sealed so they will not spill even if accidentally tipped over or inverted. The downside of these batteries being sealed, however, is that they cannot be serviced. If there are issues, they just need to be replaced.
There are two sub-types of VRLA – the Absorption Glass Mat (AGM) and the Gel Cell.
AGM batteries are known to deliver a higher rate of power in short bursts compared to other sealed batteries. This is possible because of the fast reaction between the electrolyte and the tin fiberglass surface mat.
Gel Cell batteries, on the contrary, have silica-based electrolyte. This make them work best for deep-cycle applications (such as marine vehicles and golf carts), but are less effective in extreme temperatures.
Wet Cell (or Flooded) Batteries
Wet Cell batteries are called as such because they have liquid (combination of lead, sulfuric acid, and water) that creates the battery electrolyte. This type of batteries are often less expensive than others but they also can’t provide the same convenience and cycle life like those of VRLA batteries.
Some wet cell batteries may also require regular maintenance to replace lost electrolyte.
Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Batteries
This one may have been a surprise to you since this type of batteries are usually incompatible to the majority of vehicles on the road. However, in the recent years, we can see the arising number of hybrids and electric cars that use lithium-ion batteries.
Li-ion batteries can significantly store more energy yet are way lighter than those traditional lead-acid batteries. However, one drawback is that Li-ion batteries have short lifespan – usually up to three years max only.
By now, you are ready to make a purchase of a great battery for your car. Remember NOT to randomly choose any brand from the best five presented but to also consider the factors stated in the buying guide. Then, in relation with those factors, you can identify the type of battery that’s best for you and your driving needs.
Have a safe drive!
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Best Car Batteries
- 1. Optima Batteries 8025-160 25 RedTop Starting Battery
- 2. Odyssey 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV Battery
- 3. ACDelco ACDB24R Advantage AGM Automotive BCI Group 51 Battery
- 4. DieHard 38188 Group Advanced Gold AGM Battery GP 34R
- 5. XS Power D3400 XS Series 12V 3,300 Amp AGM High Output Battery with M6 Terminal Bolt
- Buying Guide (Things to Consider)
- Types of Car Batteries
- Closing Words