Most automotive batteries will last around four to five years in your car, truck, or SUV. However, it is critical that you use the correct battery to get the most out of it and ensure that it works when you need it. An undersized battery will not last as long as it should, but it can also leave you stranded if it does not provide enough power to turn a cold engine over effectively.
One of the first things you need to consider when buying automotive batteries is the battery's group size you need. The group size defines the physical size of the battery case, the location of the connections on the battery, and the mounting system used to secure it.
If the battery is not the correct size dimensionally, it may not fit in the battery well, or worse, it may move around while driving. If the battery is not secure, the connections can contact the metal fenders or other parts under the hood, causing it to short out and potentially causing a fire in the engine compartment that can damage other parts of the engine and wiring.
The group size is marked on the battery label, but if you can no longer read it, an associate can look up the size for you at any parts store. While it can be tempting to buy a less expensive battery to save money, it is often not worth the risk, and getting the correct battery for your car or truck is vital.
Amperage And Cranking Power
Automotive batteries use two specific amperage ratings that will help determine the engine you can use them with. The first is the base amps and should match the one specified for your engine. If the manufacturer says the car needs four hundred and fifty amps to turn the starter and engine reciprocating assembly at speed, that is the minimum size you should buy.
The second rating is the CCA or cold-cranking amps, and this rating is the amount of amperage that automotive batteries can provide at zero degrees Fahrenheit for thirty seconds while maintaining at least seven and a half volts. The rating applies to twelve-volt systems and may differ for six-volt or twenty-volt systems found in large trucks, equipment, and other vehicles.
For vehicles used in colder climates, this rating is critical. If the battery does not have the required CCA rating, you may find the battery unable to start the vehicle in the winter when the temperatures drop below freezing. If the information is no longer available in the battery you are replacing, the owner's manual that came with your vehicle will have the battery listed, or an associate at the parts store can look up the recommended automotive batteries that will fit your car correctly.
If you need new automotive batteries, make sure to contact a company near you.