People’s sign: If civilians simply advertised car batteries for sale along the street—well, this would be a telltale sign of the end of days. Another signal would undoubtedly follow, perhaps in the manifestation of hungry civilians strung out roadside, gripping wires and signs that read, “Free Battery Jump”. Rather than waiting for this exciting moment, it is advisable to think about buying a new battery in advance. Our material will provide insight on how to choose a battery, deciphering reasonable prices, as well as navigating other current market realities.
Choosing a Battery: Where to Start? Merely glancing under the hood to estimate the size of the battery and locate the terminals, is not recommended. For instance, batteries may either protrude over the lid, or be drowned in it. Most likely, if there were no problems with the old battery, you can safely select the battery with the most similar characteristics.
As for the terminals, there is little wisdom here. As a rule, the battery is located «face» to the salon. If, when looking at the battery from the front side, the positive terminal is located on the right — this is the reverse polarity, to the left — the straight line. Incorrectly chosen terminal arrangement can result in a shortage of the wire length for connection.
When accounting for cold weather, many recommend selecting a battery with measurable capacity reserve. This advice is typically sound, and an additional 5-10 Ah will not be superfluous. But it is not worth the cost of buying a battery with a capacity that is significantly higher than the old one. In addition, there is a possibility that the battery will never be fully charged, which will reduce the overall life of the battery.
In summary, seek a new battery that has similar characteristics and starting current of the old one. See the manufacturer’s recommendations and consider the experience of the previous battery.
Market: We’ve figured out the basics of selecting a battery. Now, let’s take a look at the educational program from the specialists of one company engaged in the sale and maintenance of batteries.
— What is the first thing that buyers consider when selecting a battery?
The main guideline is the price: the lower it is, the better. By the way, prices have not changed much since last year; however, an interesting trend is found during the first frost, when people begin to select more expensive batteries.
But one must keep in mind the peculiarities of price formation. Sellers tend to make a big fuss on budget models. Sometimes the situation is reversed, leading to discounts on expensive batteries.
— This trend is understandable in sales of conventional batteries, which will always be in demand. But what happens when this tactic is turned towards AGM and «gel» batteries?
— The demand for AGM is very high. These batteries are installed on many business-class cars, such as the Audi A8, BMW X5, 7-series, VW Touareg. The main difference between AGM-batteries and conventional batteries is their ability to quickly charge. Business-class automobiles are known to have high energy consumption, so it is important that the battery is constantly charged, and that there is no chronic undercharging. Putting AGM on simple cars is unnecessary.
But the «gel» batteries are mostly used by participants in the competition for auto sound. Simply stated, these batteries are not for civilian cars.
— What factors besides price influence a buyer’s decision?
— Buyers look at everything; including quality, brand, appearance, and release date. Most customers will even read reviews, and ask advice from friends. You cannot distinguish a producer-pet. In principle, much depends on the seller. A professional is able to sell the battery he needs from his inventory, while maintaining customer satisfaction.
The battery must be matched for the car, taking into account the operation of the vehicle. For example, in European catalogs, there is no calculation for more severe weather conditions in the northern part of the country, and it’s impossible not to reckon with them. For example, for 1.5 DCI initially put batteries at 60 ampere-hours, and for the northern climate much better batteries for 70-75 ampere-hours.
First of all, it is necessary to look at the size and location of the terminals. No matter how good the battery is, it’s just not going to fit into an inappropriate car.
— Motorist often complains that batteries have been kept in stock for years before being sold.
— Paying attention to the release date is definitely worth the trouble. It’s true that many manufacturers design this information in an «encrypted» form, so the question can always be addressed to the seller.
However, car batteries can be stored for a long time without harming themselves. One of the leading battery manufacturers has even confirmed that their product can be warehoused for a year and a half without recharging. At the end of this time period, the battery will still be functional, but will simply require a slight charge.
Honest sellers should provide a voltmeter and a loaded fork to check the battery with the buyer. Voltage without load should be no less than 12 and a half volts. If there is no device for verification, it is better to contact another vendor.
— And do not forget about the guarantee…
— The warranty is counted from the date of sale. But the product’s warranty is not necessarily a guarantee that the battery will endure for the specified time. It is important to remember that the warranty extends only to factory defects.
This is especially true for the cheapest models. The more expensive batteries typically last longer, usually enduring without problems 3-4 years and more. Much depends on the operation of the car.
— What discount can you expect when buying a battery, if you pass the old one in the credit check?
— On average, you can save 5 dollars. Many customers take advantage of this, and some even bring two or three batteries.