What Kind of Battery Does My Car Need

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What kind of car battery do I need, where do I get it and how can I be sure that I’ve chosen the right one? If you’re a long time car owner, this question has probably come up quite a few times in the past 10-20 years. However, if you’ve only just bought a new car within the past 3-4 years, choosing the right battery can be much more challenging. The following should provide you with a few useful guidelines on how to choose your battery and what to look for. 

Get the Right Size Car Battery

When it comes down to answering the question “what kind of battery does my car need,” a lot of experts will first advise you to check your car owner’s manual, check online or even call a dealership to ask for help. The car owner manual should provide you with the simplest advice on selecting the right size battery for your car. You can also check online charts to see what other vehicles use the same type of battery, and it might also be a good idea to research a few alternatives such as lightweight batteries or advanced lithium-ion technologies for better efficiency. Online battery size charts are the quickest way to find a type of battery that actually fits your car.

Advance Auto Parts stores offer free battery testing and installation*.

Wet Cell vs. Dry Cell Batteries

A lot of people tend to ask, what does my car battery need in terms of the technology it uses? Wet cell and dry cell batteries are usually the main debate. Wet cell lead-acid units are the most common. The design requires topping off with distilled water, but it is quite cheap, efficient and resilient. Dry cell batteries are newer and even more efficient. Their electrolyte gel-based design allows for complete sealing and requires no ventilation like in the case of wet cell units. One notable characteristic of these batteries is their high energy density, which allows for lighter, more compact designs.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Technology

Many would inquire, “what kind of battery does my car need to make sure I don’t need to top it off or be careful about shaking the battery?” Absorbed glass mat batteries are the quickest answer. This sealed battery technology has been around since the 1980s, and it’s great for minimizing internal resistance losses and adding more electrical efficiency to your car’s system. AGM technology has come a long way, and many auto experts would recommend it, especially if you’d like your car to run without needing much battery maintenance. 

Car Battery Price and Life Expectancy

It might come as no surprise whatsoever that car batteries are priced according to their life expectancy. As a result, buying a more expensive battery will likely be the more lucrative option if you don’t want to replace your battery too often. On the other hand, many of the aforementioned technologies continue to become more practical and efficient, so in some cases, it can be a good idea to choose a cheaper battery, as long as the brand responsible for manufacturing it can offer at least some form of guarantee. As you can see, the question “what kind of battery does my car need” is not that straightforward, and you may need to weigh your options carefully before you proceed.

Still confused? Find an Advance Auto Parts store close to you. One of our Team Members will be happy to help you find your perfect car battery.

*Car battery testing and installation available on most automotive vehicles, at most locations, unless prohibited by law.

Last updated March 18, 2021