How to Decide Which Car Battery to Buy?

Car Battery
Rich Moffitt, Flickr

Picture this: Snow is falling and the temperature is below freezing. You are at work, or the mall, or over the river and through the woods. Anyway you are far from home as you climb into your car with the hope that it starts right up and gets you going without a hitch. Much here depends upon your battery, a square little black box that gets forgotten until it really needs to perform. You all know that familiar, heart in the throat scene – the crossing of fingers, the quick benediction – until we hear the roar of victory or the click-click-click of defeat.

Batteries are the most important item to check when heading into the colder weather. At least once, and maybe twice for good luck, have the battery checked out sometime during the fall as part of your oil change or general maintenance work. Many shops will check batteries as a courtesy and modern testers produce results in very little time. A battery that worked fine all summer may be one or two cold days away from conking out.

Like us, a car is harder to get going in the cold weather so more power must be drawn from the battery to turn over the engine. Manufacturers rate batteries for cold cranking amps. The higher the cold cranking amps the better the battery will perform in the cold weather.

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Batteries come in all shapes and sizes so its best practice to install the battery that is appropriate for your car. It should be the right size to fit into the battery compartment and be held down firmly. A battery that moves around will fail much faster than a secure battery. Brands are important here too. AC Delco, Interstate and Motorcraft are batteries that many technicians consider top of the line and will last much of the length of the warranty.


Diehard and Exide are good brands too. Remember that even with the most generous of warranties a battery that fails still leaves you on the side of the road, so dependability is the key.

While changing a battery, good technicians will clean off the clamps so there is good contact between the battery terminals and the cables that deliver the punch to the starter. Even some corrosion can rob enough power to prevent the car from starting. A good protective spray should be the final touch of any surface. This protection will slow down the corrosion that will build up on the connections. A little extra work on the installation will really add up when the weather goes south on the thermometer.

Who can change a battery for you? 

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Most automotive service professionals can perform this service. You’ll want it serviced by qualified professionals without getting taken advantage of financially. Also, you want it serviced at a time and place convenient for you.

At Openbay, we connect you with trustworthy automotive service professionals who compete to earn your business. Qualified professionals respond with service offers custom fit to your needs. They accommodate your schedule. They answer questions you may have about your service request. All of this happens on the Openbay platform.

You’ll receive and compare multiple competitive offers. Check availability on when the service can be performed. Read customer ratings and reviews for each of the professionals that responds with an offer. Check how far you will have to travel to get your vehicle serviced or in some cases, the service professional will come to your driveway or place of employment. Now, that’s convenient.

It’s that’s not enough, Openbay maintains an online history of service for each vehicle you have registered with Openbay. We do all the work for you. And best of all, Openbay membership is completely free.

If you are not a member, sign up today or download the Openbay mobile app.

Article written by an ASE Master Technician