Let’s face it – if you actually plan on going anywhere, a car battery is an absolute must. But with most brand name car batteries costing anywhere from $90 to $300, how do you get your car moving without breaking your budget?
By searching for cheap car batteries!
There are cheap car batteries for sale out there; you just have to find them. However, before you buy one, you need to do your homework. Not all cheap car batteries are created equal, so you need to make sure that the good deal you have your eye on will actually work for your car. A big key to remember is that cheap car batteries are not the same as used car batteries. Plenty of people out there try to clean up old, used car batteries and sell them again. While they may come cheap, they provide very little value. You will never get a decent life span out of a used car battery – and you’ll wind up with a car that won’t start sooner rather than later!
To understand what cheap car batteries need to do for you, you need to understand how a car battery actually works. Every car battery stores energy in a chemical form. When the battery is activated, that chemical is released as electricity. Your car needs that electricity to crank the engine, spark the cylinders, and power the air conditioner, radio, and other accessories.
In fact, your battery will be used to power your car’s entire electrical system if the alternator goes out. Most car batteries will last 3-5 years. Unfortunately, though, they usually die without any warning – leaving you stuck. Bottom line – you need a car battery that you can depend on. Cheap car batteries can be incredibly dependable, but only if you buy one that’s right for your car. If you focus solely on car battery price – instead of the battery’s actual features – you are going to spend a whole lot more money in the long run. Soon enough, you will have to pay to have a new car battery installed, and you will likely wind up with a ton of repair fees.
If you’re looking for cheap car batteries that are actually of value to you, you need to look at several different factors:
- The Battery’s Power Reserve
A cheap car battery does you no good if its power reserve is too small for your car. Power reserve is the length of time that a battery can discharge 25 amperes of power and still hang onto enough power to be useful. If, for example, you like to listen to the radio with your engine turned off, you will need a battery that has a higher power reserve – so that you can ensure that the car will actually start when you try to turn it on. If your power reserve isn’t high enough, all of that music playing will drain your battery, and it won’t have enough power to crank the engine.
- The Battery’s Cold Cranking Amps
Known also as CCA, the cold cranking amps are the number of amperes that your battery can supply to start the car. If your CCA isn’t high enough, your battery will not have enough power to turn the car on. Every car has a different minimum number of CCA needed to actually start. You can find that minimum number inside your owner’s manual.
- Your Car’s Group Size
Group size refers to the outside dimensions and the placement of power terminals on the battery. Because every engine is constructed differently, different vehicles need different sized batteries and power terminals in certain places. If you get a battery with the wrong group size, it literally won’t fit in your car. Your Honda’s group size will be different than the group size for your friend’s Ford.
- The Battery’s Warranty
Cheap car batteries tend to come with a shorter (or even a non-existent!) warranty. Since even cheap car batteries can be a significant expense, you certainly don’t want to have to fork over more money if the battery dies two weeks later. You can find cheap car batteries with good warranties; you just have to look for them.
- The Battery’s Shelf Life
Don’t buy a car battery that has been sitting on the shelf for more than 6 months – no matter how cheap it is. Each battery has a date on the side of it, so look at it before you buy. You wouldn’t buy milk that had been sitting on the shelf for too long, right? So, don’t do the same thing with your auto battery.
Some of the best quality car batteries include: Optima, Duralast, Bosch and Autocraft, AC Delco, Exide, Amaron, SF–Sonic and Tata Green Car Batteries
With wholesale and discount retailers – and good promotional deals – you can find cheap car batteries that are also reliable. Just because you’re cutting cost doesn’t mean you have to cut corners. If you do your homework and get some car battery reviews, your car will thank you!