8 Best Car Batteries Review and Buying Guide for 2018

You’re on the road and you’re cruising along, when all the sudden your car breaks down. You might look around everything on your car to figure out what the problem is, but eventually you might find that the issue isn’t your engine or any other big feature in your car – rather, it’s the battery that is causing the problem.

Having a dead car battery is the last thing that you should ever have to worry about. You need to find a replacement car battery for your vehicle that you can trust. Something has to work in your car for a while and will be easy to trust. But what is the best battery for your use?

Let’s look at some of the best car batteries you can find for your vehicle power needs.

Best Car Batteries Quick Comparison Chart

BatteryCCA TotalReserve Capacity (in minutes)Warranty
Odyssey PC689170302-year
Optima OPT8020-164720903-year
Mighty Max Battery ML35-12n/a301-year
DieHard 381887751204-year
Kinetik HC6008001201-year
Optima 8073-167450663-year
ACDelco 48AGMn/a603-year
Antigravity RS-30700301-year

1. Odyssey PC680 – A Lightweight Option

Let’s start by looking at the Odyssey PC680. This is a 170 CCA battery that operates with a slightly longer cycle life. This also has a good recharge rate that works well while keeping the battery sturdy. The extended reserve capacity of nearly 30 minutes ensures that the battery will stay functional for a bit after the alternator dies out.

The body of the battery can resist vibrations well. The battery will keep those vibrations in check while ensuring shocks will not influence its functionality or any other actions inside the unit.

Added plate surface area is included inside the battery. This added surface ensures that the battery has more room for use.


PROS:
  • Simple installation process
  • Easy to clear off the terminals on the battery
  • Does not add far too much weight

CONS:
  • Although it can last for ten years, this might last for only three in some cases
  • Tough to use in some colder conditions


2. Optima OPT8020-164 -Best Car Battery for Cold Climates

The red top on the Optima battery is noticeable, but there is more to the battery than just this. The 12-volt battery with 720 CCA operates well with a 90-minute reserve capacity.

The vibration resistance on this Optima battery is very strong. You will find that the battery is only about 30 pounds in weight too, thus helping you add a good unit without putting in lots of pressure or weight into your vehicle.

The six-pack design of the battery uses six separate plates that are linked together. This adds more surface power and coverage while being very easy to set up and use.

 


PROS:
  • Can be mounted in any position
  • The spiral winding inside the battery provides a strong unit that produces more output
  • Glass mat separators keep plates from leaking

CONS:
  • May not work for all electronics inside a vehicle
  • Takes a moment in colder conditions for the unit to work


 

3. Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 -Easy to Add and Install

The next choice to see is this Mighty Max battery. The rechargeable lead-acid material responds well and can last for up to five years in many cases. The 12-volt unit can be set up in any position and can even work on some small boats alongside basic vehicles.

The terminals at the top part are clearly labeled and are designed to stick out well so they will not be at risk of corroding or wearing. If they do wear out, those terminals will be very easy to clean off and use. This adds a comfortable surface that is not hard to use and should work well for most of the needs a person has for getting a battery ready.

 


PROS:
  • Lightweight at around 23 pounds
  • Easy to add onto most surfaces
  • The handle at the top improves upon how the battery can be added and removed

CONS:
  • Tough to figure out its full power limit
  • Short warranty term of one year


4. DieHard 38188 – A Fast Startup Time

DieHard is a popular name in the world of car batteries thanks to how the company makes strong models that work effortlessly. The DieHard 38188 battery is one such choice that adds a powerful body. The 775 CCA battery offers a full-frame positive and negative plate layout. The design keeps electrical shorts from developing as the battery is in use.

The electrolyte suspension system used inside of the battery allows electrolytes to work inside the battery without obstruction. These electrolytes will move unobstructed and will keep the inside features of the battery from wearing out prematurely.

The outside body also has added insulation. This keeps the battery from being impacted by any possible shakes or shifts that might develop inside of the battery unit.


PROS:
  • Simple design for protection
  • Adds a strong surface for most uses
  • Starts up faster

CONS:
  • May not work in some cold conditions
  • Not appropriate for use in some larger vehicles


5. Kinetik HC600 – Works For Audio Systems and More

The Kinetik HC600 is a 12-volt model that offers more than 800 amps at a time. The battery does well with powering up many vehicles, but this model does exceptionally well with vehicles that have lots of outside materials. These include vehicles with large audio systems that have been installed in their bodies.

Fiberglass mat separators are included around each cell. The separators absorb content and produce a sturdy body for most uses and should not be overly complicated.

This all comes with a low discharge rating and a high vibration resistance level. These features add a stronger approach for handling your content. This should be useful for when you need to keep your vehicle sturdy and strong.


PROS:
  • Works for most audio systems
  • Adds a high energy density level
  • Can be used in smaller vehicles as well

CONS:
  • May be too extreme for some compact cars
  • The terminals are hard to clean off


6. Optima 8073-167 – Insulated For Cold Weather Starting

This next option from Optima is part of the Yellow-Top series of batteries from the company. This 12-volt model uses 450 CCA to create enough power even in the most difficult weather conditions. The more resistant design also ensures that the layout is kept comfortable and sturdy.

The spiral winding functions on the six-pack layout adds a good touch. This helps to prepare a strong layout that is easy to work with in any situation.

This battery works mainly for cases where the electrical load needed is higher than the average one that someone may use. This is a big difference between the yellow and red-top versions of what Optima have to offer.


PROS:
  • Adds a strong amount of power for most situations
  • Suitable for many aftermarket stereo systems and other add-ons in your vehicle
  • The insulated body ensures the battery will stay functional for longer

CONS:
  • The installation process might be tough for some people
  • The terminals are hard to clear off


7. ACDelco 48AGM – More Power For More Needs

The high-density negative terminal on the 48AGM adds a strong body that extends the battery’s life and allows for more power. The silver calcium on the alloy surface adds a great deal of power while working in a matter of moments. The envelope separator included also allows acid inside the battery to move around well. This allows the battery to last for a while and will keep the surface from wearing out prematurely. The vent cap also allows air to move through while keeping acid from leaking.

The technical design involved works well for many vehicles. However, this works even better in GM vehicles. Many of ACDelco’s parts are designed to work with GM vehicles in mind, thus adding extra power for some of these vehicles.


PROS:
  • Powerful design adds more energy for most uses
  • Easy to install
  • Adds a consistent amount of power

CONS:
  • Takes a moment to start up in cold conditions
  • May work best for smaller vehicles


8. Antigravity RS-30 – Lithium Power Allows This to Charge Safely

The last choice to note is this battery that uses lithium power. This recharges quickly and offers more energy without containing any lead or acid in its body. The unit is also about half the weight of what you will find elsewhere, thus making this a more efficient and useful model for your control.

This also uses a short self-discharge setup. That is, the battery is not likely to run out of power on its own over time. This is vital for allowing the engine to keep working and to avoid problems relating to the engine not working as effectively as one might expect to get out of this. The restarting feature only takes a few moments to use too.


PROS:
  • Operates quickly and starts up in moments
  • Safer to use in most vehicles
  • Can work in warm and cold conditions alike

CONS:
  • Works better in smaller vehicles
  • May not operate well with after-market items
  • Nunc a libero at sapien placerat tristique


Shopping Guide For the Best Car Batteries

How to Choose the Right Car Battery

There are a few points of note to use when finding the right car battery for your needs:

  • Review the size of the battery versus the car you need to get your battery installed in. Be aware of the requirement for your car based on its electrical needs and the size of the engine.
  • Review the conditions that you will use your battery in. You might need a battery that works best in cold weather conditions if you are regularly in freezing conditions.
  • See how well you can maintain the battery. Most of today’s models are maintenance-free, but you should still look at how well any battery can work for your use.
  • Identify the warranty. The warranty should cover the battery for a certain amount of time or miles. Be advised the warranty is only for cases where you use the vehicle regularly and without hassle.

What Should You Look For In a Car Battery?

  • Maintenance Points. Most of today’s batteries are maintenance-free. That is, they do not require you to review the electrolytes inside the battery or to add distilled water just to keep the battery working accordingly.
  • Terminals. The terminals on the battery should be monitored based on how they function and what you can do for keeping them open. The terminals have to be brushed on occasion to allow them to be accessible and functional for power-related considerations.
  • Cables. Review how well the cables in your car battery are laid out. The cables should be sturdy enough to where they will produce enough energy for your car. The wires must be sturdy and easy to work with in any situation you come across.
  • Recharge functionality. Many of today’s batteries can restore their full power levels in a few hours. The timing varies by each battery, so look around to see what fits in with your needs for a battery.

Types of Car Batteries

There are two particular types of car batteries you will come across. First, there are SLI batteries. These are Starting, Lighting, and Ignition batteries. This produces a large amount of power in a short period to allow the engine to start accordingly. The battery will use an alternator to allow the unit to work. This is not designed to handle many discharge and recharge cycles; draining the battery can cause its lifespan to decline dramatically.

A deep-cycle battery is another choice to find. This type of battery produces a consistent amount of current over an extended period of time. You can discharge and recharge this battery as many times as needed. You can use some of these batteries for starting needs too, but the deep-cycle battery is designed mainly for long-run use. The cold cranking amps or CCA on the battery might be smaller than what an SLI battery uses as well.

How You Can Tell Your Car Battery Is About To Die?

Your car battery is about to die when you notice these concerns:

  • The engine is cranking, but the vehicle is not starting. In some cases, it might take more seconds than needed for the engine to start.
  • The battery operates sporadically; that is, the battery might work on one day and will then diet the next day.
  • The battery has been jumped a few times already and requires regular external power for it to work. You can tell you need a new battery if you’ve had to jump start it at least three times in one week.
  • You keep on cleaning off the terminals on the battery but they become dirty and worn far too quickly.
  • The cables on the battery have worn out and are frayed.

Important Car Battery Specs

  • Nominal Voltage – The voltage of the battery is the general amount of power produced.
  • Cranking Amps – The cranking amps in your battery is a measurement of the battery’s starting power. You must review how well the CA total works alongside the power needs for your car.
  • Cold Cranking Amps – The CCA is the measure of cranking amps at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a vital measurement as a battery will not operate as effectively as usual while in cold conditions.
  • Capacity – The capacity is measured in AH and is the amp-hours produced when the battery is discharged at a certain current or C-rate.
  • Cycle Life – The cycle life is designed as a measurement of how many times a battery can start and stop during its lifespan. This is based on approximate totals of how well a battery can start and stop.
  • Reserve Capacity – The RC refers to how long a battery can run for if the alternator in the vehicle fails to work. This works for a few minutes and can provide the driver with help for moving the vehicle to another place so the person will not be at risk of being stranded if the alternator suddenly wears out and dies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a car battery wear out faster if more things are being used inside of the vehicle?

Sometimes the air conditioner and other features in a vehicle might add more pressure onto the battery, but those items are usually minimal. That is, the battery will spend most of its attention on starting up the engine.

Is a used battery good enough?

Avoid using a used battery in your vehicle; a used battery will not work as well and might not fit in your vehicle.

Does a battery need a new charge after a while?

You might need to get a new charge on your existing battery after about three years of regular use, although the standard for doing so will vary based on the battery you have.

What is the warranty like on a battery?

A warranty can be good for a few years on average, although the terms will vary by each battery. You would have to use the battery as required too; not using it properly can result in the battery wearing out too quickly.

Conclusion

Our pick for the best car battery you can use is the DieHard 38188 battery. This is a basic option that is simple and straightforward. The strong amount of power adds a nice tone that is easy to follow and use without being too hard to control. This can make a real difference when getting one’s vehicle up and running in any situation. The DieHard battery is also very easy to install in a matter of moments, thus making it a simple solution for anyone to handle.

Regardless of your choice, you will find that a great car battery can help you keep your vehicle running in even the toughest conditions. An effective battery will do well with managing large amounts of power and making your car run quite well.

Be sure you look around to find a proper battery model that fits your needs and offers the energy your car needs for staying active. Look at how well it can work with your specific vehicle and how a certain total amount of power may be produced. You will find when using the DieHard battery that it is not too hard to plan this out or make it work for your power demands.

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