Your car is a network of complex systems and computers that run on current. Even the engine with fuel injectors and electronic throttle aids runs via a computer. And no points for guessing what powers these systems -- the car battery. Available in a lot of sizes and specifications, these batteries ensure whenever you turn that key, the car cranks and you get going.

 

And because the requirements of different cars are different, picking the wrong battery for your car can leave you stranded on the side of the road. If the time has come for you to change your car’s battery, keep the user manual handy as it has the specifications which will help you pick the one for your car. To pick the right battery, you need to find and understand all of these parameters.

 

Ampere-Hour (Ah) rating

The first and foremost thing that you need to look for is the Ampere-hour rating. This denotes the power of the battery and determines how long it can work. Luxury cars have a higher Ampere-hour rating because they need to run a lot of complex electric systems like touchscreen, cabin lights, massage seats and curtains. If you use a smaller battery, it will deplete quickly and will need to be replaced.

 

Cranking amp rating

The first and foremost job of the battery is to crank the engine to start it. And, this is also the most power-hungry requirement that the battery fulfils. The bigger the engine, the higher Cranking amps it will need. It denotes the peak current it can deliver for thirty seconds at 0 °C.

 

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

Similar to the Cranking amps, Cold Cranking Amps determine the peak current the battery can supply to crank the engine, but at 18 °C. A colder engine is much harder to fire up and hence requires a heavier cranking force. So if you live in an area where the vehicle is often covered in slow in the morning, this rating becomes all the more important.

 

Dimensions

Your car comes with preinstalled battery mounts. And while the sizes are standard, knowing them could help you be sure that the right battery you are about to pick will fit your car.

 

Type of battery

Most cars today come with Lead Acid batteries but a few premium ones have switched to more advanced Dry Cell batteries. If your car allows, do upgrade to a Dry Cell battery as they require less maintenance and offer a longer life.

 

Manufacturing date and warranty

The manufacturing date of the battery is listed on the packaging and also on the battery itself. It is mentioned in the code of A to M (except I) which determine the month from January to December. This is followed by the year (17 for 2017). Ideally, pick a battery that is less than 6 months old. Also, keep the warranty card safely as most manufacturers offer a 1-year free replacement warranty for manufacturing defects.