How to Choose a Car Battery Paul Petersen December 18, 2016 Automotive Statistics reveal that of the 30 million motorists on the UK roads, about one-fifth have to purchase new batteries each month. As a result, battery problems are the most frequent motoring issue in the UK, accounting for about one in seven breakdowns. What’s more, the damper and colder the weather, the more likely it is that battery trouble will strike. Do You Have Difficulties Starting Your Engine? Most automotive batteries last around five years. However, it you have had your battery for less than five years and have difficulties starting your engine, you need to replace the battery. Before you make a battery purchase, you need to know a little about the product. Whilst it is less costly to replace your battery yourself, you also have to dispose of the old battery properly. To dispose of the old part, look for recycling stations with orange outposts and covered containers, or take the old battery to an automotive supply store. Some shops offer discounts or pay cash in exchange for the purchase of a new battery. A Powerful Automotive Accessory The car battery is considered a powerful accessory because it supplies the electricity that is required to power your sliding windows, door locks, and lights. When your car’s battery dies, your auto simply cannot be driven. Therefore, it pays to know the basics of battery buying. When asking yourself, “What type of car battery do I need?”, think about the size, brand, reserve capacity, and the age of the part. Battery Size The size of a battery refers to the width, height, and length of the part. Batteries come in varying group sizes to fit a car’s battery tray. Size is important as the battery should fit both snug and secure. You can find the specific size of a battery by referring to your car manufacturer’s manual. You may check at a battery retailer as well. To save money on the battery you purchase, research and contrast battery prices first before making a buying decision. Learning to remove and install your car’s battery will also help you save money on an installation fee. Usually, it is best to buy the brand of battery that is recommended in your owner’s manual. Follow the Specification Requirement However, if the brand is too costly, follow the specification requirement, also located in the owner’s manual. Just don’t be tempted to put out money for the cheapest brand as it might turn out to be the most expensive battery you ever bought. The reserve capacity for a battery refers to the number of minutes the part can continuously provide power should an auto’s fan belt or alternator fail. If the reserve capacity rating is good, your auto can still run on the battery if the alternator does not work. Determining a Battery’s Age A battery’s age is an indicator of how long it will perform. Fresh batteries are considered to be under six months of age. To determine the age, look for the date of manufacture. Most of the date codes are stamped on a battery’s label or case. The battery details begin with two characters. The letter represents the date (A = January, B = February, and so on) and the digit indicates the year (9 = 1999, 0 = 2000, 16 = 2016, and so on). Knowing the above information represents a good start—with respect to car knowledge as well as your car itself.