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10 Best Car Batteries Money Can Buy

10 Best Car Batteries
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A car battery is an essential part of your vehicle which, at one point or another, you’re going to need to replace. Most manufacturer standard car batteries last 4-5 years, although it’s not uncommon for them to last as many as 10 before they need replacing. When it comes to purchasing a new one, there’s a variety of factors you need to think about, and a range of products and prices for you to choose from.

Most drivers will use a wet/flooded battery that is maintenance free and easy enough to replace. However, AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) and gel cell units are becoming increasingly common. The type of battery you should choose will depend on your vehicle and how you inted to use it. Let’s check out some of these factors:

Environment

If you live in an extremely cold or extremely hot climate, the type of unit you’ll need may differ. The key information to look for here is the reserve capacity and cold-cranking amps. Reserve capacity refers to the amount of stored energy that keeps the car powered when the engine is off. Cold-cranking amps are the amount of power available to start the engine when temperatures outside are very cold. Batteries specific for both hot and cold climates are available.

Usage

The type of driving you do will definitely play a big factor in what type you need. AGM batteries could be better suited to high power consumption vehicles (those with many electronic safety components, entertainment systems, and stop/start technology). If you’re an off-road enthusiast, you’ll want to choose a unit that will be up to the challenge that a rough terrain exerts on your vehicle.

Freshness

As odd as it sounds, batteries have a shelf life of sorts. The case should have details of when it was manufactured and can be written as a code; a letter represents the month and number represents the year. Try to purchase something made within the last 6 months.

Now that you have some pointers, let’s have a look at some of the best car batteries available today:


XS Power D3400

XS Power D3400 XS Series High Power Battery

Why it’s great
  • High output AGM battery
  • Sealed unit that is spill proof, valve regulated and vibration resistant
  • Ultra-low resistance internally
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The AGM technology of the D3400 XS is sealed against spillage and is also vibration resistant. XS Power makes racing batteries, and this pedigree shows through on their D3400 model. It provides ample power for vehicles that have a lot of different systems. The unit has very low internal resistance, meaning it’s unhindered in delivering the necessary power.

Key Specs
  • 2 volts
  • 1000 cold-crank amps
  • 65 Ah Capacity
Buying considerations
  • The flawless power and performance of this unit is reflective of its relatively high price tag.

Kinetik HC2400

Kinetik HC2400 Power Cell

Why it’s great
  • Excellent performance AGM
  • Perfect for vehicles with high power consumption
  • Lightweight construction
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The Kinetik HC2400 produces an impressive 2600 amps of power, which is more than sufficient for even the most demanding of tasks. Systems such as start/stop technology, heated seats and glass, can all be run at the same time as the usual functions. A slim build and lightweight construction make the HC2400 a versatile and easy to install unit.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 1700
  • 110 Ah Capacity
Buying considerations
  • This is another product that has a high price tag that is equalled by its performance.

Exige Edge FP-AGM24F

Exige Edge FP-AGM24F Flat Plate Car Battery

Why it’s great
  • SureLife Graphite Technology maximises available energy for sustained use
  • Long-lasting performance across high-usage situations
  • Extended warranty of up to 48 months
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There are a variety of features that make this an appealing choice as a replacement battery. Exige’s SureLife Graphite technology allows for sustained use of a lot of power without there being a falloff in performance. So confident are Exige about the quality of this unit, they offer a 48-month guarantee against failure. Expect a lot more usage out of it though, even in energy-intensive vehicles.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 710
  • 60 Ah Capacity
Buying considerations
  • This is neither the most affordable, nor the most high-performing example on our list.

ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM

ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM Car Battery

Why it’s great
  • High-density (compacted) negative paste for improved performance and increases lifespan
  • Low internal resistance
  • Sturdy and sealed design
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One of the big names in automotive batteries is ACDelco. They’re renowned for making high-capacity batteries that last a long time. This is no exception by any means. The high-density paste that they use in its construction means it lasts longer and performs better than competitors. A calcium lead composed positive grid increases the units conductivity and allows for a low resistance. Overall this is a very good option if you’re looking for a sturdy replacement.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 900
  • 95 Ah Capacity
Buying considerations
  • Some users have noted issues surrounding the fit of these batteries. Double check to make sure it is suitable for your vehicle.

Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35

Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery

Why it’s great
  • 98-minute reserve capacity
  • Good performance, even in adverse conditions
  • Excellent vibration resistance
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This is a strong contender for drivers who take their vehicle off-road, thanks to its excellent vibration resistance and sturdy design. You can rest assured that it’s as robust as all the other parts of your vehicle. Features such as SpiralCell technology and a 98-minute reserve capacity mean performance is consistently good, and it should last a long while.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 650
  • 95 Ah Capacity
Buying considerations
  • There have been reports of a very short lifespan on this model, of only around one year.

Odyssey Extreme PC310 Battery

Odyssey Extreme PC310 Battery

Why it’s great
  • High recharge efficiency and cold-cranking power
  • Great performance in cold temperatures
  • Shock and vibration resistant
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The extreme name of this Odyssey battery is well deserved. The power output is fantastic in even the coldest conditions and it’s quick to recharge. Odyssey use 99.9% pure lead in their Extreme range, resulting in better performance than competitor models. It’s also shock and vibration proof, which is a plus for off-road users.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 100
  • Capacity: 7 Ah
Buying considerations
  • The batteries in this range have been reported to be difficult to fit, needing some adjustment before they’re fitted correctly.

Optima Batteries 34/78

Optima Batteries 34/78 RedTop Starting Car Battery

Why it’s great
  • 100-minute reserve capacity
  • 800 cold-cranking amps for optimal cold weather starting
  • Resistant to vibrations
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The Optima 34/78 RedTop range is designed to deliver high performance in all conditions. The 800 cold-cranking amps mean it’s guaranteed to start your vehicle; even when temperatures are extremely low. Vibration reduction and a leak proof design make the RedTop another good choice for off-roaders and racers. Optima claim that the RedTop is at least 15 times more resistant to vibrations, and has a life span of up to twice as long as competitors.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 800
  • Capacity: 7 Ah
Buying considerations
  • Much like the YellowTop, some users have reported a shorter than expected lifespan on this product.

NorthStar Ultra High Performance Group 31

NorthStar Ultra High Performance Group 31 AGM Battery

Why it’s great
  • 1150 cold-cranking amps, perfect for starting in the cold
  • 220-minute reserve capacity
  • Two-year warranty
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Another battery that’s perfectly suited to heavy-duty use in the cold is the NorthStar Ultra High Performance range. With a huge 1150 cold-cranking amps, your vehicle is sure to start no matter the conditions outside. The large reserve capacity means you can use various functions for a long while without turning the engine on, as well as leave the vehicle stationary for a longer time. It also has a faster than average recharge time.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 1150
  • Reserve capacity: 220 minutes
Buying considerations
  • At 70 pounds, this is a particularly heavy unit that some users may struggle with.

Stinger SPV69C

Stinger SPV69C 1100 Amp Power Series Dry Cell Battery

Why it’s great
  • Powerful battery that’s ideal for users with a professional sound system installed
  • Leak-proof, non-hazardous design
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Drivers who have an aftermarket professional sound system installed should definitely consider this Stinger model. It works well as either a replacement or addition, and can be used with 1320 watt car audio systems. A robust and safe design means the Singer SPV69C can be safely mounted almost anywhere without the risk of spillage or leakage. The battery stores energy well, so there’s no need for a capacitor on your system.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • Cold-crank amps: 550
  • Reserve capacity: 100 minutes
Buying considerations
  • It has a relatively low level of cold-cranking amps, so this may not be suitable for those who regularly drive in frigid conditions.

Shuriken SK-BT45 1250 WATTS

Shuriken SK-BT45 12-Volt High Performance AGM Power Cell Battery

Why it’s great
  • Excellent for users with sound systems up to 1250-watts
  • Fantastic heat and vibration resistance
  • Reinforced ABS case
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The Shuriken SK-BT45 is another great battery for vehicle owners who have a high-quality sound system installed. A reserve wattage of 1250-watts means it can power systems up to this rating. Other features such as heat and vibration resistance, and a reinforced and sealed case, make this a good choice of battery for those who drive in hot conditions regularly.

Key Specs
  • 12 volts
  • 45 amp hours
  • 1250 watts
Buying considerations
  • This is not a battery for those looking for a cold weather unit.

When to Change Your Battery

By now you should have a fair idea of what to look for in your new battery, but how do you know exactly when it’s time to change? There are a few signs to look out for, and some are more obvious than others. Although it’s a good idea to think about changing every 3-5 years, this is only a guideline. Some batteries will last longer or shorter than that.

Cold-Cranking Performance

Cold-Cranking Performance

If your car is struggling to start in cold weather, taking a long time to turn over, this could be a sign that the battery is about to die. Even with a high cold-cranking rating, if the unit you have installed is about to fail, it will still take a while to start up.


Battery Light

Battery Light

Once you’ve got your vehicle started, the indicator on the dashboard usually stays on for a short time. However, if it stays lit for longer than usual, this could very well be a sign that it’s time for a change. It’s your car’s way of telling you that there’s something not quite right with the charge.


Intermittent Starting

You may find that some days your car starts fine, while other days it struggles a lot. This could be a sign of a few things, such as a power leech or corroded terminals, but it could also be that your battery is about to die.


Performance Tool (W1673) 20' 4-Gauge Jumper Cable

Jumper Cables

If you find an increasing need to jump start your vehicle, it’s highly likely that the battery is old and ready to give out any moment. You can usually tell when your car isn’t starting right, so pay attention to the signs. It’s better to bite the bullet and buy a new one before it completely gives out.


Nothing Happens

This is perhaps the most obvious sign that you need a new battery. When you turn the ignition and nothing happens, there are no sounds or lights showing, then there’s no life left in it. The issue could of course be with your alternator or something else if the battery isn’t charging, but if it’s an old battery, it’s probably time to replace it.


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