How to Choose Your Battery


How do you know which battery is right for your vehicle? Here are some of the key factors you should consider. If you are unsure of the requirements in any of these areas, check your vehicle manual or talk to your mechanic for the original equipment (OE) manufacturer’s recommendations. Also, look for a hassle-free warranty that includes a free-replacement time frame.

Find the right battery for your vehicle with our Car Battery Selector.

Compare Deep-Cycle vs. Starting Batteries
Different vehicles and driving styles can place varying demands on your battery. It’s important to first determine whether a conventional starting battery will meet your vehicle’s needs, or whether a deep-cycle or AGM battery is required. Learn about the difference between deep-cycle and starting batteries.

Starting, Lighting, Ignition (SLI) – Starter Batteries
These batteries deliver a large burst of power for a short time as needed for normal engine starting. The battery is then recharged by the alternator. Unlike a deep-cycle battery, starting batteries are not designed to withstand multiple discharge/recharge cycles, and draining it can significantly shorten its life.

Deep-Cycle Batteries
These batteries are designed to provide a steady amount of current over a long period of time. Deep-cycle batteries can be repeatedly discharged and recharged without causing damage or shortening their life. They are well suited to powering numerous electronics and plug-in accessories, or other applications that place high demands on them such as marine.

Some deep-cycle batteries can be used for engine starting as well (these are sometimes referred to as dual-purpose), but be sure to check the CCA rating to ensure the battery has sufficient starting power.

Car and Truck Battery Group Size
This refers to the battery size that will best fit the physical dimensions, terminal locations and type required for your vehicle. The Battery Council International (BCI) assigns numbers and letters for each battery group size. Group size is typically based on your vehicle’s make, model and engine type. Although some vehicles may accommodate a battery from more than one group size, it is important that you use a battery approved for use in your vehicle. Consult a replacement guide to find the battery group size that works for your vehicle. Also, make sure your new battery will fit and be held down properly according to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

Reserve Capacity (RC)
RC is a general indicator of how long a new, fully charged battery can continue to operate essential accessories if the vehicle’s alternator fails. It identifies how many minutes the battery can deliver a constant current of 25 amps at 80°F without falling below the minimum voltage, 1.75 volts per cell, needed to keep your vehicle running.

Amp Hour and C20 Battery Capacity
Amp Hour or C20 is an indicator of how much energy is stored in a battery. It is the energy a battery can deliver continuously for 20 hours at 80°F without falling below 10.5 volts.