by Joshua Thomas
The car battery is a vital car component. It is responsible for engine ignition and without it you cannot start your vehicle.
However, the car battery is also one of the most overlooked parts of the car. Most of the time, it is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to check and replace the car battery when necessary. Workshops rarely check the car battery and replace it for you.
So, if you are interested in a new car battery, or don't know if your current car battery needs replacement, then welcome. We made this article to answer these questions.
Below we rounded some of the best car batteries on the market and give you our expert impressions. Let's see which one belongs in your car!
1. Odyssey PC680 (Best Overall)
2. Yuasa YUAM6220C
3. Odyssey PC925
4. Mighty Max ML35
5. Optima OPT8020-164
6. ACDelco 94RAGM
7. Vmax V35-857
Since there are so many models of car batteries on the market, it is sometimes difficult to find a model that is suitable for most people, both in terms of price as well as in terms of performance. This is a problem that the Odyssey PC680 car battery is here to solve.
Indeed, not only is this car battery exceptionally cost-effective, but it also uses AGM technology that makes it very reliable and long-lasting. Moreover, since it uses AGM, it can withstand shocks and vibrations better than other types of batteries.
One of the best things about this model is definitely its fast recharge time as this model can fully recharge in about 4 hours to 6 hours, depending on the size of your alternator. In addition, it has 400 cycles which shows that it will also last a long time.
Therefore, the Odyssey PC680 is the best automotive battery for those who have a low budget and do not need an excessive amount of power capacity but still need the reliability of a premium car battery.
The only few problems we have with this car battery is that it is not very heavy-duty especially when compared to the competition. Also, due to the low cold cranking amps of 170 CCA, this model is not recommended for use in cold weather.
Most of the time, you can judge a car battery by its brand. One typical example is the YUAM6220C by Yuasa. One of the best things about this 12 V car battery is that it is a small and compact battery that is ideal for powering any type of vehicles despite its fairly low capacity of 18 AH.
Indeed, with this type of capacity, it is definitely not the most powerful battery on the market. However, this battery is extremely reliable and for casual use or for powering your vehicle that is not loaded with electric components. It is an excellent choice especially considering its relatively affordable price.
Moreover, one of the best things about this battery is its reliability. Indeed, it uses a sealed design that will prevent any battery acid from leaking. The lead-calcium technology used will make it last at least 3 times longer than a conventional lead-acid battery.
All in all, if you're looking for a small and compact and yet performing car battery, this is an excellent model to consider especially that Yuasa is one of the best car battery brands on the market.
Just keep in mind that this is not a heavy-duty car battery and you must absolutely install it in a flat position for it to work optimally.
The Odyssey PC925 is a popular car battery found in many vehicles. One of the best things about this model is its long lifespan of 3 to 10 years. Moreover, this battery uses a completely sealed design which means that it will not spill battery acid even if you mount it at an awkward angle.
In addition, since this battery the typical quick recharge time of 4 hours to 6 hours that you will find in most Odyssey car batteries. This is mostly explained due to an efficient internal design of the battery.
Furthermore, it has excellent resistance to vibrations and shocks. Therefore, if you usually use your vehicle in rough terrains then the Odyssey PC925 is a top-rated car battery and an excellent model for almost any vehicle owner. The only problem we have with it is its price which is a little bit high considering its feature set.
Not everybody can afford a car battery that costs several hundred dollars. After all, a high-performance car battery is generally an expensive car item. This is a situation that Mighty Max is here to solve as the ML35-12 is one of the best car battery on the market when it comes to price.
Despite being fairly affordable, it still does not sacrifice performance, reliability or durability. Indeed, this model has a high-capacity of 35 AH which means that it will have no problem powering a vehicle that has demanding electric devices installed.
Even if this model uses lead-acid technology it still remains quite reliable and this unit is also maintenance-free. Additionally, this car battery will not under-perform even when exposed to high temperatures inside your car.
If you're on a short budget, the ML35-12 is an excellent model to consider. Of course, this model cannot possibly compete with a true AGM car battery because it is a lead acid battery. But for the price, you get a lot of bang for your buck. This model comes highly recommended especially that it has a high-capacity of 35 AH!
Operating a car during wintertime is often difficult for many people. This is because the cold temperature usually is not an optimal temperature for a car battery. Luckily, this Optima car battery has a very high cold cranking amps of 720 CCA, which means that cold temperatures will have no effect on the discharge rate of the battery.
Moreover, its reserve capacity of 90 minutes will ensure that this battery will be able to send a high amperage current without any interruption for an extended period of time. But one of the best things about this Optima car battery is definitely its high resistance to vibrations and shocks.
Indeed, due to a completely sealed design, as well as the position of the electrodes inside the battery, this car battery is almost 100% vibration and shock resistant. Best of all, you can install it in any position you like as well.
The only caveat we have with this unit is its fairly steep price. However, you get what you pay for. This Optima battery is by far one of the best car batteries for cold weather that you can buy. If you usually have difficulty starting your car due to extremely low temperatures, then we seriously recommend that you consider this car battery as your next purchase.
ACDelco is a trusted brand that makes car components for manufacturers like General Motors. This high-performance car battery has an impressive capacity of 80 AH, which makes it one of the most powerful models in this car battery review.
In addition, this unit uses AGM technology which makes it both efficient as well as heavy-duty. It has excellent resistance to shocks and vibrations and will have absolutely no problem delivering a very high amperage current for an extended period of time.
You will not experience vehicle hiccup during startup with this battery, regardless of the number of electric devices you have installed in it.
Moreover, the sealed design of this battery makes it safer as it will not spill battery acid especially when the vehicle is driven on rough terrains.
Best of all, due to an improved internal design, the battery acid can move freely inside so as to dissipate heat more easily. Bottom-line, the battery remains cooler and hence works at optimal performance all the time.
But despite this ACDelco model being one of the longest lasting car battery on the market, the only problem with it is ironically its big size. You must ensure that it will fit your battery compartment before grabbing this model.
If there is one award that you can give the Vmax857 then it is in its build construction. Indeed, this car battery is built like a tank and has a completely sealed design which means that you can install it any way you like and it will not leak battery acid everywhere.
Moreover, with its capacity of 35 AH, this model can be used as a heavy-duty car battery as it will be able to send a sufficient amount of current to power relatively demanding electric components. With a reserve capacity of 75 minutes, you are guaranteed to get a high amperage current for a long period of time.
What we like about this model is also the presence of thick handles at the top that allows you to easily carry the battery anywhere you like. Indeed, you can use this deep cycle car battery as a camping battery if you so wish. So, it is quite versatile as well.
Best of all, this high-quality car battery has AGM technology making it very reliable especially for those who use their vehicles in rough terrains.
When it comes to the cold cranking amps, its 300 CCA is definitely not the highest we have seen but it is still high enough so as not to be affected by very low temperatures. Therefore, you can safely use this battery during wintertime.
Just be careful when charging this battery because undercharging it can cause short-term and long-term damage as it will increase its discharge rate drastically.
Car batteries are generally made in different sizes to fit a specific type of vehicle. Here is a quick overview of the different car battery sizes so that you can find the right fit for your car.
Often times, choosing between lead-acid and AGM battery is a question of price.
Indeed, the lead-acid battery is significantly less expensive than the AGM battery. For casual and general-purpose use, as in simply starting a vehicle, the lead-acid battery is more than enough.
On the other hand, if you need a heavy-duty battery to power demanding electric components in vehicles, then AGM was originally designed for that. Indeed, this is a heavy-duty battery that is able to send a lot of current for an extended period of time without suffering from drainage.
Additionally, AGM is more resistant to vibrations and shocks because the electrodes are made from a sheet of fiberglass that is very close together which eliminates movement inside the battery. Moreover, AGM batteries have a longer lifespan as it is made from components that do not get damaged easily.
Therefore, if you have a short budget, then you can go with a lead-acid battery for basic car needs like car ignition. However, if you need more juice in your battery, the AGM is the way to go.
The power requirement is related to the capacity of the car battery. Logically, the more electric devices like headlights, music system and other you have installed in your car, the more powerful and high-capacity your car battery needs to be.
This is because, at startup, a high-capacity battery will be able to send a high current with a high amperage to your power all your various components without running the risk of them at a low startup voltage.
Therefore, if you have many components installed in your car then it is best to go with a high-capacity car battery of at least 40 AH or more. On the other hand, if you have basic electric devices installed, then you can safely go with a lower capacity 28 AH car battery and save some money as they are generally cheaper than a high-capacity one.
Basically, the cold cranking amps is an industry standard for measuring the current flow in a car battery at very low temperatures. The higher the CCA value of the car battery, the more you will be able to use it under optimal conditions in low temperatures.
So, if you usually use your car in very low temperatures then it is best to go with a car battery that has a high CCA value of at least 300 CCA or more.
The reserve capacity is how long the car battery is able to send a high amperage current defined by the manufacturer before it drains below 80% capacity. Of course, the higher the reserve capacity, the more heavy-duty and long-lasting the car battery usually is. In most cases, you should be fine with a car battery that has a reserve capacity of 40 minutes or more.
However, for heavy-duty purposes where you need a very high current flow in your car then it is best to go with a model that has a reserve capacity of 100 minutes or more. This is to ensure that your car battery is reliable enough in providing such a high current flow.
When purchasing a car battery, you do not want to go with a no-name brand. This is because you want to ensure that the car battery you buy is made from high-quality components that you will only get when going with a trusted brand.
Brands like Optima, Odyssey, ACDelco, Yuasa, amongst others, are trusted car battery makers which make some of the best car batteries for the money. You cannot go wrong with any of them.
Sometimes, you may be tempted to buy a second-hand battery and save some money in the process.
However, this is a bad idea because the electrodes and electrolyte in a used car battery are usually in bad condition and will cause the car battery to under-perform.
Therefore, it is always best to go with a new car battery even if it costs more as new batteries are almost always more reliable than old ones.
It is almost impossible for the average person to repair a car battery. So, it is important that you choose a model that comes with a warranty. Keep an eye out for a car battery warranty period of at least 2 years to be on the safe side.
The price of the car battery can quickly get out of hand, especially if you choose a high-capacity and heavy-duty car battery like AGM.
We recommend that you set a budget before purchasing your car battery and stick to that budget. In most cases, a high-quality car battery should cost you anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on its capacity, brand and technology used.
As every component in your car, your car battery will not last forever and will require frequent changes. Each battery has its own specification and will depend on both the amount of time the battery has been used as well as the rated manufacturer spec of the battery.
As a rule of thumb, you will need to change your car battery every 3 to 5 years. Of course, some car batteries have a longer lifespan and a few reputable manufacturers claim that the car battery can last up to 10 years.
However, there is another neat way to know if you need a battery replacement or not. It's by using a multi-meter. A car battery in good condition should test around 12.6V when the engine is off. If you note a voltage below 12.6V, then your car battery either needs to be recharged or replaced altogether.
Additionally, the voltage should be 13.7 V to 14.7 when the engine is on. The voltage is higher when the engine is powered on because the alternator is now charging the car battery.
Some batteries are labeled as maintenance-free. What this means is that you do not have to perform maintenance on the battery and they usually have a sealed casing which means that you will not be able to open the battery without breaking it.
However, if you are using wet cell batteries, then it uses distilled water as the electrolyte. Wet cell batteries normally have open caps so you can open the battery, remove the electrolyte and then replace it with distilled water. It is recommended to replace the electrolyte every 3 months or so when it comes to the wet cell battery.
Additionally, wet cell batteries also have an indicator at the top that will show you when it needs maintenance.
ODYSSEY 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV Battery - Walmart Link
ACDelco Gold 48AGM 36 Month Warranty AGM BCI Group 48 Battery, Black - Walmart Link
Optima Batteries 8025-160 25 RedTop Starting Battery - Walmart Link
ACDelco Gold B24R 24 Month Warranty Hybrid Vehicle AGM BCI Group 51 Battery - Walmart Link
Delphi BU9094R MaxStart AGM Premium Automotive Battery, Group Size 94R (Reverse Terminal) - Walmart Link
ODYSSEY PC680 Battery, red top - Walmart Link
XS Power D3400 XS Series 12V 3,300 Amp AGM High Output Battery with M6 Terminal Bolt - Walmart Link
Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 - 12V 35AH U1 Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery Replaces 33Ah, - Walmart Link
Interstate Batteries 12V 35Ah Deep Cycle Battery (DCM0035) Rechargeable Replacement - Walmart Link
Optima Batteries OPT8003-151 8003-151 34R RedTop Starting Battery - Walmart Link
DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery - Group 34R - Walmart Link
Optima Batteries OPT8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery - Walmart Link
ODYSSEY 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV Battery - eBay Link
ACDelco Gold 48AGM 36 Month Warranty AGM BCI Group 48 Battery, Black - eBay Link
Optima Batteries 8025-160 25 RedTop Starting Battery - eBay Link
ACDelco Gold B24R 24 Month Warranty Hybrid Vehicle AGM BCI Group 51 Battery - eBay Link
Delphi BU9094R MaxStart AGM Premium Automotive Battery, Group Size 94R (Reverse Terminal) - eBay Link
ODYSSEY PC680 Battery, red top - eBay Link
XS Power D3400 XS Series 12V 3,300 Amp AGM High Output Battery with M6 Terminal Bolt - eBay Link
Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 - 12V 35AH U1 Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery Replaces 33Ah, - eBay Link
Interstate Batteries 12V 35Ah Deep Cycle Battery (DCM0035) Rechargeable Replacement - eBay Link
Optima Batteries OPT8003-151 8003-151 34R RedTop Starting Battery - eBay Link
DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery - Group 34R - eBay Link
Optima Batteries OPT8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery - eBay Link
As we have seen, the car battery is responsible for starting your car ignition system and helps to power your various aftermarket lights, electronics and electrical devices that you install in your car. Therefore, the more equipment you install, the more powerful and reliable your car battery must be to cope with your vehicle's electric needs.
Additionally, we have seen that there is a wide range of car batteries intended for different usages and budgets. Nevertheless, you can still get a high-quality car battery that will last you for years without spending a fortune.
Finally, if you have read our car battery review above and still not sure which model is right for your car, then we recommend you go through our reviewed products again.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.