Q:

What information is included in a buying guide for car batteries?

A:

Quick Answer

Buying guides for car batteries suggest that the consumer look for a battery that comes with a good warranty. It should have adequate reserve capacity and advertise a long life. The battery should be maintenance-free and should have a carrying handle.

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Full Answer

Before purchasing a battery, know the size needed; this information is available in the vehicle's user manual or on the battery itself. Most automobile parts retailers can also look up the required size for the vehicle's make and model. In addition to the size, know if a high performance battery is needed; the answer is usually no, but if the vehicle is outfitted with aftermarket amenities that use a lot of power, it may be a good investment. If the vehicle is to be driven off-road, consider a sturdy brand such as Optima, which is outfitted with reinforced coils to fight off vibration and comes in a sealed case to prevent leakage. Choose a battery that has been sitting on the shelf for no more than six months to make the most of its battery life.

Consider the climate when purchasing a battery. Many batteries are labeled for use in southern or hot climates. Others are labeled for use in the north and are designed to withstand frigid weather.

If self-installation is not an option, research which automobile retailers can install batteries and the cost associated with the task. Bring the old car battery so the retailer can properly dispose of it.

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