Reviews & Guidelines for the Best Car Battery
The battery has a well-determined purpose in any vehicle – it is the kick starter of your engine and supplies energy for all the electric accessories you have on board (audio system, running lamps, power outlets, electric winches, and more).
Moreover, the quality of your battery unit decides if your vehicle will start in a cold morning or if there will be any more power left after long-term storage. It’s also about the type of power you receive and how the vehicle will start.
So, if you’re not interested in a medium model that will probably need to be changed pretty soon, have a look at our car battery reviews and select the one that suits your needs.
The quality of the battery decides how fast your engine will fire up, so if you want your baby to purr from the first key turn in the ignition, the 12V Optima 34R RedTop AGM is a wonderful choice.
This is on top of our list because it was designed to give you a most energetic 5-second starting burst while also delivering a longer life span than most conventional lead-acid batteries. The difference is made by the way this battery is built – with coiled columns of pure lead (aka SpiralCell technology) instead of flat sheets of impure lead.
As such, the energy moves faster through the materials ensuring high resistance and impressive output. Based on these, the Optima 34R RedTop is considered one of the best and long-lasting batteries on the market.
Moreover, this battery doesn’t need any maintenance because it is completely sealed so nothing will leak or drip out of it, regardless of where you mount it. Not to mention that it goes in almost any type of vehicle from sedans to hot rods and motorbikes, to SUVs.
Moreover, because everything is tightly wound inside, the battery is a lot more resistant to off-road conditions (vibrations caused by uneven terrain and potholes). It’s also known to work well even if the weather is not extremely friendly and has a rating of 800 Cold Cranking AMPs.
Designed to withstand harsh conditions, the Odissey PC680 is a reliable energy companion whether you’re an off-road enthusiast, a sailor, or a someone who has to face cold weather, snow, or extreme heats.
While the design overall may be a bit rugged, the Odissey battery is built using tightly packed pure virgin lead plates (this means more power). Moreover, due to its non-spillable AGM design, the battery can withold vibrations and shocks that take out regular products. This makes the product more durable (up to 400 cycles at 80 percentage depth of discharge), so you can consider it a long-term investment.
Other features that make the Odissey PC680 shine among other batteries are: high conductivity, a sealed design so the gases are recycled internally during operation or charging, an 170 CCA rating, corrosion-resistant tin-plated brass terminals, stable voltage for long periods of time, and robust intercell connections. All these make the battery perfect for power-hungry vehicles such as ATVs, high-speed boats, motorcycles, ultralight aircraft, snowmobiles, and more.
Finally, the battery boasts with the highest recharge efficiency among sealed batteries on the market (gets to 100% in 4 to 6 hours). Not to mention that it works both as a starting battery and a deep cycle battery!
This battery is designed with a negative paste with high density and a silver calcium alloy stamp that boosts life cycle and improves performance and battery life. Moreover, due to the fact that the 94RAGM battery is equipped with a vent cap construction and has adequate vent connectors, there is no risk of leaks regardless of its position.
Since most regular batteries have issues with vibrations and sudden movements, the 94RAGM is designed with a solid Envelope Separator that has a puncture-resistant back. This separator’s main job is to keep the battery cool while in use and make sure the acid circulates without any hindrances inside the battery.
Not to mention, each battery is pressure tested and sealed to protect the users from leaks in case of an extreme shock. Additionally, the battery can produce about 80 AMP hours of energy and about 800 Cold Cranking AMPs, which means you can rely on it even in harsh weather conditions.
Finally, the battery fits in any type of vehicles from sports cars to SUVs to heavy trucks.
Ideal for the F150 range, the DieHard 38217 battery boasts an AGM design and lasts about twice the regular lead-acid models’ lifespan. Moreover, the case is made to protect it from leaks or vibrations.
Since it can deliver and maintain sufficient charge, this product is mostly recommended for vehicles with a complex mechanism and heavy loading capacity. Additionally, the 850 CCA (Cold Cranking AMPs) ratings prove this is a battery that works in sub-zero climate conditions (which is why it’s different than any other heavy-duty designs on the market).
Overall, DieHard 38217 is a battery you can rely on even when the driving conditions are not ideal. So, if you want to make sure your vehicle starts without any extra encouragements, this is the product to have!
Designed with SpiralCell construction, the 8040-218 Optima battery is a 12V powerhouse with 620 CCA. It’s also guaranteed to last for over 300 recharge cycles and features about 100 minutes of reserve capacity.
This battery provides you with plenty of power, which is why it’s usually recommended for vehicles with lots of accessories (stereo system, lamps, and more). Due to its construction, the 8040-218 Optima is considered a clean source of power, which means it has a longer discharge rate (it holds the power for longer than standard models) and starts even in bad weather conditions (cold temperatures or high humidity).
The SpiralCell technology also makes the entire design resistant to vibrations, so it can be installed in off-road vehicles without worrying about leaks or spills. Finally, due to its low-discharge rate, this battery is ideal for vehicles with seasonal use. As such, if you store your car during summer or winter, you are almost guaranteed that it will start when you take it out of storage, next season!
Finally, unlike several models on our list of reviews, this is a portable and compact design. As such, it makes it easier to use it on smaller cars, boats, or boat accessories.
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Different Types of Car Batteries
As you can notice from the reviews above, there are several different types of batteries. This aspect is important when you’re choosing the product that’s the best fitfor your vehicle since there isn’t a universal battery type that will work with all types of vehicles.
Below, we’ve listed the most common battery types you’ll usually find on the market.
These are the most affordable battery types, but they can be easily damaged through overcharging. The basic design uses differently charged calcium alloy plates and bubbles in the fluid to mix the various acid densities.
Since they use calcium, these models have a slow discharge rate and there’s a lower risk of leakage or spills.
Also known as flooded or wet batteries, these units are affordable and wildly use for personal vehicles. The old designs required the drivers to regularly top off the water in the electrolyte solution to make sure the battery ran at optimum parameters. This step was important because the electrolyte solution is the power source of this unit.
However, more modern designs don’t need to be topped off since they are made to retain the fluid for as long as the battery can be used.
Moreover, because of the way they are built, these designs are spill-proof and maintenance-free. Still, you should know they can’t hold a charge for too long and don’t tolerate deep discharge well.
Deep cycle batteries differ from regular car batteries through a series of features. For instance, due to the use of thick plates, deep cycle units are amazing for storing (they have an increased capacity) and providing a steady amount of energy over a long period of time.
They are mostly used for electric cars, golf carts, or small boats and can be used to store solar and wind power. Not to mention, they last longer than regular car batteries and are quite resistant.
These units work on lead acid but are equipped with safety valves that regulate the intake of fluid. Also, there are pressurized pipes that help prevent fluid loss, which is why they can be mounted in almost any position.
VRLA batteries come in two different designs: GEL and AGM. GEL units use silicone to maintain the acid as a gel, while AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) units are considered some of the most reliable batteries on the market.
Equipped with smart features and impressive abilities, these are the best designs for personal cars because they handle well the multiple charging cycles and repeated energy draining. They also come equipped with electronic safety systems, stop-start features, fuel saving methods, and more.
However, AGM batteries are more expensive than regular lead-acid ones, which is why they’re not extremely popular. Still, if you’re the kind of driver who leaves their car in the garage or parked for long periods of time, this type of battery is one of the best choices.
While we didn’t review any of these products, it’s still important to include them here. They are quite expensive right now, so only divers with high-performance vehicles use them. But these units are most likely to be found in electric cars, and as the industry grows, their price may drop, and more people may become interested in buying them.
How to Choose the Best Car Battery?
As a driver, you should know that each vehicle needs a specific type and size of battery to work at optimum parameters. Now, in order to learn which unit is best for your car/boat/truck (and so on), you have two options: either check your vehicle’s maintenance manual or go to a repair shop and ask a professional.
Now, if you have an idea of what you need, there are other factors to consider such as:
Keep count of local weather conditions as some batteries are influenced by the temperature, humidity, and sudden weather changes. Still, battery producers provide a useful guiding system by marking their products according to the type of weather for which they are suited:
- N (for North) – cold-weather batteries;
- S (South) – hot-weather batteries.
Type of Roads/Activities
If you usually drive off-road or your routes include dirt roads, you should consider a unit with high resistance to vibrations.
Even though there are some affordable models on the market, the best car batteries will still set the regular fellow’s budget back a bit. So, to make sure your hard-earned money is well-invested, we recommend buying only from reputable brands that have a long history with making good batteries.
If you’re not sure about the brand’s reputation, do some research and read reviews from other customers. These will provide enough information and may even save you from making a bad purchase.
The one biggest enemy for every type of battery is time. These products lose their strength as the time goes by (even when stored according to producers’ specifications), which is why we recommend our readers to only purchase batteries manufactured in the last 6 months.
You can ask the supplier about the date or you can check the battery’s packaging. Some even use a code to give you an idea to the month in which they were produced (A stands for January, B for February, C for March, and so on).
Our guideline offers information on both best products and brands, so anyone can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right model for you. We also included details on how to select the best product according to specific needs.
However, before you decide, keep in mind that, even though some products may be a bit high-priced, they deliver the best performance and durability. As such, if you want your vehicle to work flawlessly regardless of weather conditions and activities, we recommend splurging on the best money can buy.