According to the german Federal Motor Transport Authority, over 40 million cars are registered in germany. For the longest possible service life, the vehicles must be regularly maintained and cleaned. This includes for example the replacement of wear parts- like a car battery. It is used to start the vehicle and feeds the onboard electronics at low speeds. After starting, the car battery charges itself while driving. Starter batteries for motor vehicles are usually lead-acid cells connected in series, each with a voltage of 2.12 volts.
In the cold season, car batteries are put to the test because they are subjected to greater demands at low temperatures. The ADAC’s breakdown statistics show that a flat car battery is the most common reason for calling roadside assistance. Sometimes the battery cannot be recharged afterwards. In addition, a short circuit can be responsible for the necessary change of a car battery. Car batteries are usually easy to change by amateurs.
The car battery comparison offers information on 8 models. Whether the selected battery is suitable for your vehicle can be found in the vehicle’s manual. In the following guide, we present further criteria that define a high-quality car battery with the longest possible service life. The text informs about the functionality, different types and some more. It also contains numerous tips on care and proper handling of a car battery. Finally, whether stiftung warentest andoko-test have conducted a car battery test.
Our favorites: 8 car batteries in a big comparison
Other useful products for car owners can be found in these comparisons
1. VARTA silver dynamic F18 car battery with 800 amps cold-start current for high performance when starting the engine
VARTA’s silver dynamic F18 car battery is part of the manufacturer’s dynamic series and is said to offer, among other things, solid performance. According to the manufacturer, it also has fast charging and high resistance to corrosion. The VARTA car battery offers reliable starting performance thanks to the patented grids. The powerframe® used here-technology is said to allow long use and powerful starting power.
According to VARTA, the battery is suitable for vehicles without a start-stop system. In the latter, there is an automatic shutdown of the engine when stopping to save power- for example at red lights. As the manufacturer states, the automotive battery has the following additional features, among others:
- As an original spare part, it meets all the criteria of the automotive manufacturers
- Provides up to 15 percent more starting power than blue-dynamic series batteries
- Recyclable and energy-saving in production
- Well suited for diesel engines
- High cold start current
- According to the manufacturer, fast charging
- Should have high corrosion resistance
- Not suitable for vehicles with start-stop system
2. Bosch S4 018 car battery with labyrinth cover system for more operational reliability and service life
The bosch S4 018 car battery is equipped with a central degassing system and a seal guard. The latter is designed to prevent the battery from leaking even when the vehicle is at an incline. One gas discharge in the case as central degassing is generally used in a car battery to dissipate the gases produced by chemical reactions inside the battery. According to the manufacturer, the two systems significantly increase the reliability of operation and leakage. The patented powerframe®-technology ensures very good current flows. In this way, a low-resistance and fast charging or discharging of the car battery shall be possible.
The patented powerframe®-grid is said to offer significant advantages over conventional grids. According to the manufacturer, the sturdy grille frame prevents grille growth and corrosion at the edges. This significantly reduces damage to the separator or a short circuit caused by contact between the grid and the negative plate. In a battery, the separator has the important task of separating the positive and negative plates from each other. Unlike conventional grids, the powerframe® is designed to be-grid no brittleness due to mechanical deformation during production.
The solid and precise structure of the grid shall ensure excellent adhesion of the active ground to the grid and allow low resistance and fast charging and discharging of the battery. In a battery, the negative terminal is used as ground. ground means the reference potential of a circuit. More technical details of the bosch car battery:
- dimensions of the car battery: 187 millimeters length x 127 millimeters width x 227 millimeters height
- Weight: 9.74 kilograms
- Voltage: 12 volt
- Cold start power: 330 ampere
- Ready for immediate use (filled and charged)
- Labyrinth cover is designed to ensure high operational reliability
- Powerframe®-grid for the best possible current flow
- Corrosion resistant according to the manufacturer
- Not suitable for vehicles with start-stop system
3. Ready-to-use car battery MAX80 from blackmax with 30 percent more starting power
According to the manufacturer, the blackmax MAX80 car battery with 12 volt voltage and 80 ampere hours capacity is suitable for diesel and gasoline engines and is said to be maintenance-free. The manufacturer certifies that the starter battery with calcium technology has enormous capacity reserves for excellent cold start performance even in extreme weather conditions. The blackmax car battery thus offers 30 percent more starting power than the normal batteries. The cold-start performance of the battery is quite high at 780 amps, which the manufacturer emphasizes.
According to blackmax, the automotive battery offers a constant starting power throughout its lifetime, a higher charging capacity and a large energy throughput. The battery can also be recharged quickly. The term energy throughput generally stands for the service life of a battery. The 12V battery should be suitable for vehicles with maximum energy requirements and meet the high demands of original equipment. The other technical characteristics:
- Dimensions (length x width x height): 278 x 175 x 175 millimeters
- Pole type 0: plus pole right
- Battery type: wet battery
- Delivery: filled and charged, ready for immediate use
- Ready for immediate use
- According to the manufacturer, 30 percent more starting power
- Shall provide good cold start performance and be quick to recharge
- Not suitable for vehicles with start-stop system
4. Accurat B46 basic car battery with leak-proof lid design and flame protection
According to the manufacturer, the B46 basic car battery from accurat provides high power reserves and reliable operation of any modern car day after day. Accurat says it relies on proven calcium technology for its lead-acid battery, which is said to offer a good price/performance ratio. Calcium batteries are said to have a low self-discharge rate, which should ensure reliable starting of the vehicle even with frequent short trips and longer periods of standing still.
Due to the extremely resistant continuous current behavior (when using heavy current consumers such as rear window heating or fan) and a balanced charging capability, the car battery is said to tolerate high charging currents without any problems. The low internal resistance and high load resistance even in low state of charge shall make the battery more efficient and durable than conventional batteries.
The manufacturer certifies that the battery has up to 30 percent more capacity than conventional batteries. Thanks to this property, the battery can be used in many modern vehicles. The battery should be delivered filled and charged and tightly sealed- acid leakage is said to be virtually impossible with this battery. It is considered absolutely maintenance-free according to DIN (German Institute for Standardization).
- According to the manufacturer, leak-proof and maintenance-free
- Up to 30 percent more capacity
- Integrated flame protection
- Like any lead-acid battery, relatively fast self-discharge
5. BIG AGM C100 heavy-duty car battery for more charge cycles- Suitable as a utility battery
The BIG AGM C100 car battery has a high capacity of 125 amp-hours compared to other batteries and is suitable for demanding use, says the manufacturer. Due to its sealed and gas-tight design, it is therefore suitable for dual-power use (starting and supplying) or as a supply battery. In the AGM car battery (AGM = absorbent glass mat), the acid is bound in a fleece, which reduces the distance between the plates. The result, according to BIG, is low internal resistance and high vibration and shock resistance.
The AGM C100 car battery has regulated valves and safety valves against overpressure. The battery is also said to offer good performance even at low charge levels and improved conductivity. Applications include solar, photovoltaic, renewable energy, sound systems and hobby applications, boats, yachts, sailboats, caravans and motorhomes. the dimensions of the car battery are 345 x 175 x 230 millimeters (length/width/height).
- With special technology for heavy loads
- Dual-power capable or suitable as a supply battery
- AGM technology to provide greater vibration resistance
- Poorly tolerate deep discharge
6. VARTA blue dynamic E11 car battery with 74 ampere hours capacity and central degassing
According to the manufacturer, the VARTA blue dynamic E11 car battery is one of the best-selling replacement batteries in the aftermarket. It therefore has good values in the areas of capacity, cold start current and safety and stands out as a true all-rounder. According to the manufacturer, the battery is absolutely maintenance free. A central degassing system is used for gas discharge.
The blue dynamic E11 is said to provide very good cold start current- up to 110 percent compared to conventional batteries. Its capacity is 74 ampere hours. In addition, the VARTA car battery should be suitable for vehicles of all classes. The powerframe® used-technology designed to ensure a long service life. The other technical details:
- Rated voltage: 12 volt
- Cold start current: 680 ampere
- Dimensions: 278 millimeters long, 175 millimeters wide and 190 millimeters high
- Pole type: 0
- Plus pole design: round, conical, 19.2 to 19.5 millimeters
- negative pole design: round, conical, 17.6 to 17.9 millimeters
- With central degassing
- Powerframe®-technology for a long life
- Memory effect possible with incorrect charging
7. Car battery S4 002 from bosch with special alloy for high corrosion resistance
Bosch certifies that the S4 002 car battery is of high quality for different requirements and vehicle types. Therefore, good performance and reliability are ensured by the patented grid with special powerframe®-technology. The flow-optimized grid design is intended to provide continuously high starting power and long service life. It leads the grid rods directly to the connector of the plates, which should favor a low flow resistance and ensure a high conductivity.
The patented punching process used in the model is said to ensure very good current flow, less corrosion and a long service life. Compared with conventional grids, there is no brittleness due to mechanical deformation during production thanks to the process.
According to the manufacturer, the automotive battery is 100 percent maintenance-free. The double backfire protection offers maximum safety to the battery according to the manufacturer. it is also designed to protect you from sparks during transport and when tilted. Sealed battery cover design is said to make acid leakage virtually impossible. Two ergonomic carrying handles are designed to ensure easy installation and transport.
- With special alloy for maximum corrosion resistance
- 100 percent maintenance free according to manufacturer
- With double backfire protection
- As with any wet battery, gas leakage (hydrogen escapes) is possible
8. Exide car battery EA530 premium boost with carbon for many years of high starting performance
The EA530 premium carbon boost from exide is a specially developed car battery that is said to provide very good current consumption and short charging times. According to the manufacturer, the starter battery easily withstands extreme temperatures and weather conditions and is well suited for use in cars with many electrical consumers or large engines. The battery is not suitable for use in vehicles with start-stop system.
The manufacturer points out that the battery meets the highest safety standards. Thanks to the use of a patented double cap, the EA530 premium carbon boost is one of the safest batteries on the market. The specially shaped battery cover is designed to ensure leakage protection even when the vehicle is heavily inclined. The battery comes filled and charged on delivery.
- Manufacturer claims 30 percent more starting power over many years than conventional batteries
- Thanks to carbon, up to two times faster charging is possible
- With patented double cap
- Shall be suitable for cars with many electrical consumers and large engines
- Relatively fast self-discharge
What is a car battery?
A car battery is a rechargeable battery used in motor vehicles. Without the battery, starting a vehicle is not possible, as the starter motor needs the energy to start the engine. The car’s alternator generates electricity and passes it on to the car battery how the battery recharges.
To ensure the necessary capacity of the car battery, several energy cells are interconnected. The car starter requires a nominal voltage of 12 volts. For this, six batteries with a nominal voltage of 2.12 volts have to be connected in a row. Smaller vehicles, such as motorcycles or scooters, use batteries with a voltage of 6 volts only three batteries are connected in a row.
Depending on the model, a car battery is capable of storing between 26 and 120 ampere hours of energy. The storage capacity of a starter battery is marked with the letters "ah" what ampere-hours mean. Scooter batteries require less capacity than typical car batteries.
Features of car batteries
there are different types of car batteries on the market. A maintenance-free battery, where the fluid level does not need to be checked, is the standard. Nevertheless, experts recommend checking the level at regular intervals. It should be noted that the liquid contained in the battery is a corrosive acid. It is therefore advisable to observe certain protective measures when checking the battery. As explained earlier, starter batteries are essential for starting a vehicle. To perform their task correctly, they should have the following characteristics:
- Before starting, the car battery must provide sufficient energy for important systems such as the glow system, ignition coil, control unit and injection system.
- The energy of the battery must be sufficient to supply the starter motor with electricity during the starting process.
- In the event of an engine failure, the starter battery should supply enough energy for the lights and hazard warning lights and for the start attempts.
- If necessary, a functioning car battery can provide the necessary capacity for an alternator that is too weak.
the car battery charges itself while driving. The alternator of a vehicle generates the energy while driving and passes it on to the car battery- the battery is charged. to prolong the life of a car battery, a steady charge is required through the regular movement of the car. If the vehicle is not driven regularly, it is advisable to connect the car battery to a battery charger from time to time.
Car batteries, like any other battery, are very sensitive to cold. In winter, its capacity can drop to the point where it is no longer sufficient to start the vehicle. That’s why it’s important to check your car battery regularly in winter to avoid unexpected surprises.
How a car battery works?
The structure of a starter battery is different from any other battery. The classic car battery is based mainly on the chemical reactions between lead and acid contained in the batteries. The chemical reactions are much more intense in a car battery, so that the engine gets a correspondingly higher energy charge for starting. To withstand the acid, the outer skin of a starter battery is made of a strong, robust and, above all, acid-resistant material.
Inside the battery is the so-called electrolyte (battery acid). The electrolyte is a 37-percent sulfuric acid that is responsible for certain reactions. The housing also contains special plates that are alternately connected to the negative and positive terminals. Both the poles and the plates are made of lead. To avoid a short circuit, between the plates there are the so-called separators. You separate the positive from the negative plates.
The positive plates of the car battery contain lead oxide when charged, while the negative plates form a lead sponge. In the battery case, the battery acid surrounds all the plates. Discharging a car battery triggers the following reaction: lead oxide, lead and sulfuric acid react with each other, releasing lead sulfate, electrical energy and water. With a charged battery, the reaction is in the opposite direction.
The shelf life of car batteries is limited. Even with proper care, replacement is necessary after a certain period of time. Due to chemical reactions, damage occurs over time as a result of corrosion on the plates. If the plates are damaged, the chemical process in the car battery cannot take place fully. It does not generate enough energy to start the vehicle and supply it with power. the only solution is the replacement of the battery. The other functions of a starter battery:
- Smoothing of voltage peaks while driving
- Regulation of the alternator voltage
- Covering the energy demand for navigation, clock, radio or similar electrical devices when stationary
- special auxiliary battery for vehicles with parking heater
What are the different types of car batteries??
With so many manufacturers and so many products, it is difficult to decide on a specific model. Which car battery is the best cannot be answered in one sentence. To find your way around the different types and types of batteries, the following classification with advantages and disadvantages of each type should help you.
this type of battery is most often used in car batteries. In this type, several lead accumulators, so-called wet cells, are arranged in a row and equipped with electrodes made of lead dioxide and lead. Sulfuric acid is responsible for transmitting the current pulses. The lead-acid batteries ensure an almost maintenance-free power supply and are available with different capacities- among others as 12-volt battery with 44, 45, 60, 70, 80 or 100 ampere hours.
- Almost maintenance free
- Generally offers a long service life
- Most favorable car battery type
- Available with different performance parameters
- Comparatively sensitive to cold a battery check before winter is recommended
- Unsuitable for vehicles with automatic start-stop system
- Partially shock sensitive
Gel or EFB batteries
This type of battery is intended for vehicles with start-stop systems. The gel or enhanced-flooded battery (flooded- flooded) is very durable. Gel batteries have an increased dynamic charging current acceptance of +170 percent. In addition, the cycle life of car batteries is 100 percent longer than that of conventional lead-acid batteries.
EFB batteries can also be discharged and recharged quickly, thanks to the polyester scrim braiding. This is a special braid mounted on the positive electrode plate of the battery that holds the active material in place. There is a wide range of batteries available for cars with start-stop systems, as more and more cars are equipped with them. The automatic start-stop system switches off during long periods of standstill, such as at a red light, resulting in fuel savings. On the other hand, an EFB car battery is more demanded.
- Lower internal resistance for longer capacity even at standstill
- Leakage of acid during tipping or in case of damage is hardly possible
- Longer life than traditional lead-acid batteries
- Insensitivity to cold- no starting problems even at the lowest temperatures
- More charging cycles possible therefore suitable for vehicles with automatic start-stop system
- Maintenance-free due to automatic gas discharge
- More expensive than conventional lead-acid batteries in a car battery comparison
- Unsuitable for vehicles with recuperation technology (energy recovery during braking)
the AGM (absorbent glass mat = AGM) car battery is a further development of the conventional lead battery. A non-woven absorbent glass absorbs all the acid in the battery, thus allowing a high cycle stability. The battery can be charged and discharged repeatedly without loss of power.
AGM batteries are mainly used in boat building because they are much less sensitive to shocks. Furthermore, they are not as susceptible to deep discharge, which prolongs the service life. Vehicles with an AGM battery start better even at low temperatures.
- Lower internal resistance for longer capacity even at standstill
- leakage protection in the event of tipping or damage for greater safety
- Longer life than conventional lead-acid batteries
- Insensitive to cold
- More charge cycles- thus suitable for vehicles with automatic start-stop system
- Can be used in vehicles with recuperation technology
- Higher capacity
- Very suitable for boats with high voltage requirements
- Less sensitive to shocks
- More expensive than lead-acid batteries in a battery comparison
- Susceptible to high temperatures installation in the engine compartment is not recommended
What battery capacity do vehicles need?
Even the best car battery becomes useless if it does not meet the requirements of the vehicle type. When charging a car battery, the capacity of the individual products is crucial. The capacity is given in ampere-hours with the abbreviation ah. For example, vans and transporters need 80- or 100-ah batteries (or more). A mid-range car needs an average capacity of 60 to 70 ampere hours. On average, a car battery with a capacity of between 44 and 55 ampere hours is sufficient for vehicles in the compact class.
Diesel and gasoline vehicles
diesel and gasoline vehicles require different starter battery amperages. In the case of a gasoline engine, between 200 and 1.000 amps required. With a diesel engine, the requirement is higher than with a gasoline engine.
Gasoline vehicles need an average of 2 to 15 seconds to start, while diesel vehicles need between 2 and 100 seconds. To charge the capacity loss during the starting process back into the car battery, 3 to 5 minutes of driving time are necessary.
Vehicles with automatic start-stop system
batteries for vehicles with automatic start-stop systems have to meet different requirements, because they have a different profile than older vehicles. They must be able to withstand many starts in quick succession and continue to power the vehicle’s electronics during the stop phase.
For this reason, the cars require a car battery with a higher capacity than vehicles with a conventional starter. This reduces the risk of premature discharge of the battery. Modern vehicles are equipped with many additional electronic devices that switch on before the start and require a large amount of current.
Are deep discharge and overcharge harmful to a battery??
Long idle times and frequent short trips can cause deep discharge. In addition, this can be caused by parking heaters, rear window heaters, etc. Deep discharging is not directly harmful, it only prolongs the charging of a car battery. Overcharging occurs when charging with a battery charger for car batteries without electronic charge control.
When is it necessary to replace the car battery??
When the vehicle won’t start, it’s often due to a faulty car battery. If it is unusable, it has to be replaced because repair is usually not possible. The battery can discharge quickly due to various external influences.
One of the most common causes of low charge is the cold winter days. In cold and frosty conditions, the starter battery requires a higher current to start the vehicle. The more time required to start the engine, the lower the charge capacity of the car battery. If the car is left unused for a long period of time, the car battery can discharge quickly. Some electrical equipment in the vehicle is always live and permanently consumes energy. Short journeys, seat heating and incorrectly set voltage regulators are among the other factors that can lead to a drop in the battery’s performance.
Depending on the model and quality, some car batteries can be fully recharged with the help of a good charger. With a little knowledge, you can charge your car battery without removing it. However, if the car battery is older, it may be worthwhile to replace it in time due to its limited lifespan. The other signs that the car battery needs to be changed are:
- In winter, if the vehicle does not start on the first or second try.
- If the headlights are dim.
How to change a car battery?
If it is determined that the car battery no longer has the required capacity, it is usually necessary to change it. There is a possibility to have the car battery replaced by an expert in the workshop. This ensures that it is used properly. However, changing the battery is one of the tasks that most drivers do themselves at home. Before changing the battery, it is necessary to make some preparations.
The necessary tools: Special tools are not usually required for changing the battery. A wrench or screwdriver and a pair of pliers are all that is needed. To remove the old car battery, a ratchet (tool for screwing and unscrewing screws) can be helpful.
Prepare the replacement of the car battery correctly: in order not to endanger yourself or other people and not to damage the vehicle, a safe working environment is important. It is best to park the vehicle in its own garage or on a free and level area not frequented by vehicles. It is important to keep a large distance from open flames smoking near the vehicle is not allowed before and during the change. It is advisable to wear work clothes, gloves and safety goggles when changing the battery. It is also important to cut off the power supply to the vehicle.
Prepare the vehicle: first it is necessary to switch off all electrical components in the vehicle as well as the engine. Then open the engine hood and lock it in place. Now remove the battery cover. Now the car battery is ready for replacement.
The car battery change step by step
There is a strict sequence for changing the battery, otherwise short circuits or sparks could damage the engine. The following instructions show how to carry out such a change step by step.
Remove the old battery: the car battery can be recognized by its box shape and the two terminals to each of which a cable is connected. On newer batteries, the poles are usually marked red and blue or red and black (the plus pole is usually red). The negative terminal must be disconnected first, otherwise sparks may be generated or a short circuit may occur. To do this, unscrew the nut from the negative terminal and disconnect the black connection cable. Loosen the nut from the positive terminal to be able to remove the red cable. Now unscrew the screws of the retaining system. If the car battery is exposed, it can be removed.
Charging the car battery properly with a battery charger
A car battery is most stressed when starting the car. The aging of the car battery is mainly caused by the repetitive cycles of discharging and recharging. Although the alternator charges the battery while driving, in certain situations the battery is not charged and the engine will not start.
If there is no defect, it is possible to charge the battery on your own with a battery charger. This is especially useful if no other vehicle can provide a jump start. After connecting the charger to a power outlet, the battery can be connected to the charger and charged with mains power. This can be done without special knowledge.
After the car battery has been connected to the charger in accordance with regulations, special microprocessors monitor the charging process. The device does the charging by itself. A modern and high quality charger is characterized by the following functions:
- Suitable for different battery types
- Independent control possible
- Automatic charging
- Integrated tester function to detect defective batteries
- Charging is possible even when the battery is deeply discharged
- Equipped with fuse against reverse polarity (reversed poles), overheating or overcharging
- High-quality workmanship and uncomplicated operation
The automatic functions of a charger are especially advantageous for people who are less technically minded. If the device is equipped with a delta-peak cutoff and automatic charging, charging the battery is safe and easy.
Procedure for charging the car battery
care should be taken to ensure that a charger supplies the correct voltage for the battery to ensure correct operation. For a car, this is usually 12 volts, while for a truck it is 24 volts and for motorcycles 6 volts. The following safety precautions must be observed before actually charging the car battery:
- Switch off all electrical appliances in the car, such as the radio, navigation system and lights.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe handling of the charger as described in the manual.
- Carry out the charging process in a dry environment and ensure adequate ventilation. This is important because during the charging process gases are formed.
- Risk of explosion! Always keep the charger away from open flames.
- Leave the starter battery in its place in the car for charging- still disconnect the battery to avoid damage to the onboard electronics or short-circuiting the body.
- If there are screw caps and individual chambers on the battery, it is not absolutely maintenance free. In this case, open the doors so that the escaping gases can evaporate.
- Check the battery water. If the level is too low, refill the chambers with distilled water up to the markings.
- Now connect the charger to the car battery. To do this, connect the red cable to the positive terminal of the car battery and subsequently connect the black cable to the negative terminal.
Observe the duration and termination of charging- the charging process usually takes several hours. High-quality and intelligent chargers check the state of the battery during the process and stop charging automatically when the battery is fully charged. With older chargers, it is always necessary to check how far charging has progressed and terminate it manually accordingly. The progress is indicated by the pointer: at the maximum charge level it is at zero.
After successful charging, switch off the charger and unplug it from the mains. Then it is necessary to disconnect the pole clamps. When disconnecting, it is again important to follow the correct sequence, which in this case is reversed: first disconnect the black cable on the negative pole and then the red clamp.
What to look for when buying a car battery?
Before buying a new car battery, there are some important purchase criteria to consider. Above all, the model should match the vehicle. To do this, pay attention mainly to the capacity, dimensions and type of grounding bar. To make it easier to buy a new one, here is a summary of the most important features to help you find the best car battery for your needs.
The battery type
the different car battery types are included in the guidebook. In the case of vehicles with automatic start-stop, it is also important to check whether the car battery is compatible with the technology.
The value indicates the amount of electrical charge that the battery can store and deliver. For smaller cars, car batteries with 30 to 40 ampere hours are sufficient, while mid-range cars should have car batteries with 40 to 70 ampere hours of charging capacity. The following list shows in detail the capacities required by vehicles:
|scooters from 30 centimeters displacement||4 to 14 ampere hours||6 to 12 volts|
|motorcycle||6 to 19 ampere hours||6 to 12 volts|
|small car||36 ampere hours||12 volt|
|compact class||28 to 50 ampere hours||12 volt|
|mid-size car||40 to 70 ampere hours||12 volt|
|transporter||55 to 120 ampere hours||12 volt|
|truck up to 7.5 tons||175 ampere hours||12 to 24 volt|
|Truck over 7.5 tons||225 ampere hours||24 volt|
The values listed are only guide values. According to experts, it makes sense to choose the next highest value when buying a car battery. Modern small cars have many technical extras such as seat heaters or navigation devices, which consume a lot of energy. A stronger battery is recommended in any case.
The cold start current
other names are cold start power, cold test current or CCA. The cold start current is the maximum current that can be delivered at -18 degrees celsius over a period of 30 seconds. For a typical starter battery for a car, the value is usually between 200 and 850 amps. In winter, a high value is recommended. According to the German industrial standard DIN, the total voltage of a 12V battery should still be 9 volts after 30 seconds.
The pole type
the value is usually marked 0 or 1. 0 means that the positive terminal is on the right. it can be recognized by a red cap or a small plus sign. The minus pole (ground) is marked with a minus sign or a blue cap.
the 0-pole type is the most popular pole arrangement in the trade. In pole type 1, the plus and minus poles are reversed. When installing or connecting the battery, the correct polarity plays an important role. If the car does not start and the car battery is to be bridged, the correct clamping is important.
The type and dimensions of the ground wire
when changing a car battery, it is important to always refer to the values of the old battery. Most often, the car battery is attached to the bottom bar, which is why it has a key role in the purchase: what value is needed can be found on the battery. It is the letter "B" on the battery in connection with a number, for example "B13". These specifications can be used to find suitable models when buying online.
How to properly dispose of an old car battery?
When a new car battery is installed by an auto repair shop, the shop will take care of disposing of the old car battery. If the battery is replaced by yourself, it must be professionally recycled. Proper disposal is important because starter batteries contain toxic lead, environmentally harmful additives and corrosive acid. The high lead content means that car batteries are considered special waste and must be disposed of in accordance with the law. It is therefore strictly forbidden to dispose of the old batteries "wildly" or simply throw them in the household garbage.
The old batteries also contain important raw materials that are recyclable. remanufacturing is possible for about 99 percent of the material of the housing and interior. In 2009, the legislator created a deposit system through the battery law in order to recycle used starter batteries. Before returning the battery, the following points must be observed during transport:
- Battery housing must not be damaged.
- Battery must be secured, must not slip or fall over.
- Housing must not show any dangerous traces of acid on the outside.
- Battery must be protected against short circuit.
Dealers and garages usually take back the old car battery. The deposit is only refundable where the battery was purchased or where a new one is purchased. If the purchase of a new battery does not return an old model, the dealer requires 7.50 euros deposit. He may only pay out the money again when the used battery is delivered. Some recycling centers accept old starter batteries. There is no refund, but there is proof of proper disposal.
Start vehicles with the help of a jumper cable
A weak or empty battery cannot always be replaced immediately. It can either be recharged with a battery charger or the engine can be started using a jump lead. If you hear a droning sound when you start the engine, the cause may be a weak battery and recharging is recommended. If, however, nothing happens when the engine is started repeatedly, often only a jumper cable will help.
When using a jumper cable, it is imperative that the correct sequence is followed when connecting or disconnecting the battery. To bypass the battery, first connect the positive terminal of the battery in the other car to the red cable. Now connect the positive terminal of the empty battery to the other side of the cable. Finally, connect the black cable to the negative terminal of the donor battery and to a metal part on the receiver vehicle.
If both car batteries are connected, start the donor vehicle first and then the broken down vehicle. If the engine is running in the broken-down vehicle, it is advisable to switch on a powerful electrical consumer there- such as the rear window heater or the blower. This prevents possible voltage spikes in the electrical system when the pole clamps are disconnected. If everything goes according to plan, first disconnect the black cable and then the red cable in the broken down vehicle and switch off the electrical device.
Jump-starting without a cable is it possible?
A situation may arise where neither jumper cables nor charger are available. In this case it is possible to start the car by pushing it. The best way to do it is with helpers: the helpers push the car while the driver of the vehicle, with the ignition on and second gear engaged, slowly lets up on the clutch and carefully applies the accelerator. Then disengage the clutch and accelerate again until the engine runs reasonably smoothly. Towing with a rope is the second option and the procedure is the same as for pushing.
Jump starting without a cable is also possible with the help of a jump start battery. These are practical portable power packs that can be recharged at the socket. With charged batteries it is possible to perform the breakdown service up to 15 times. In some cases, a jump-start spray can be helpful in emergencies. The engine can be started by spraying the spray into the intake manifold that feeds the air filter. The engine sucks in the spray and may start.
How important is a battery voltage measurement?
Most battery failures occur in the dark, in winter or on a Sunday. When it is cold or dark, more power consumers are in use than during the day or in summer. The driving lights are switched on earlier, the rear window heating, the fans and perhaps the seat heating are running at full speed. Therefore, it is advisable to regularly check the voltage of the battery with a car battery tester. Special test equipment and methods can be used for testing:
- Tester with ground terminals: open the hood and connect the terminals in the correct order- first connect the red cable to the positive pole of the battery and then connect the clamp of the black cable to the negative pole.
- Measurement with a plug for the cigarette lighter: insert the plug of the meter into the cigarette lighter and read the measured value.
- measurement by means of a smartphone app and bluetooth (wireless radio transmission): the measurement set consists of a transmitter with the connection cables and the cables maintain contact by means of ring lugs, which should always be left on the battery. For the measurement, download a free app on the smartphone, which gets the state of charge via bluetooth connection from the transmitter. In case of undervoltage, the program warns with a signal tone. A possible polarity reversal has no influence on the battery and on the transmitter.
- Professional battery voltage measurement: this is usually only possible in a workshop. The acid is highly corrosive and therefore appropriate safety precautions must be taken during measurement. Using a float with a specific weight, the density of the acid can be determined during the measurement and thus the state of charge can be determined.
Proper care of the car battery
The life of a car battery depends on maintenance and care. If the battery is used regularly, it will last longer than if it is hardly used. This is mainly due to the fact that the lack of use leads to the formation of crystals in the lead, which later coalesce in the battery. To keep a car battery fully functional and strong for as long as possible, there are some helpful tips and tricks:
- Avoid short trips: short trips prevent the car battery from being fully charged. If the car is driven frequently or exclusively on short trips, the life of the car battery is drastically shortened.
- Proper storage: it is important not to store a car battery tilted. If a battery is left in a tilted position for a long period of time, corrosive acid can enter the battery’s venting system and damage it.
- Check the fluid level: at least once a year it is recommended to check the fluid level of the battery. If the level is too low, it may be advisable to refill it with distilled water.
- Charging in winter: in the cold season, a deep discharge can occur quickly. To prevent this from happening, the car battery can be charged with a charger from time to time.
- Save the battery: if the battery is already weak, all electrical consumers should be switched off as a precaution when starting the car, so that the engine gets enough energy to start the engine.
What accessories are available for a car battery??
There are a number of accessories available on the market that can help in an emergency, should the battery refuse to work:
- Charger/starting aid: these are universal chargers suitable for charging car batteries. Some models also offer the SUPPLY function- the device serves as a power supply in the case when the car battery is removed.
- Pole grease: it protects both poles of the starter battery and the electrical contacts from corrosion.
- Jumper cables: larger engines are equipped with larger starters. Accordingly, a larger starter requires much stronger currents from the car battery during ignition. The jumper cable must be able to withstand the high current values, therefore it should have a correspondingly larger cross-section, the stronger the engine is.
Internet vs. specialized shops: where to buy a car battery?
If the old car battery shows signs of weakness or fails completely, it is necessary to buy a new battery. To buy a new starter battery, there are several options to choose from. Buying in a specialist shop has the advantage that specialist advice is available there. Frequent disadvantage: the car battery you are looking for is often not in stock, which means waiting times. In addition, there are workshops that usually replace the battery and dispose of the old car battery straight away. The disadvantage is that an appointment is usually required for the replacement and the battery is often not in stock. It can happen that the car is not available for a week or more.
When buying a car battery, the internet offers a price advantage, among other things as a rule, the products are cheaper when purchased online than when bought in a specialty store. By law, even online retailers are required to charge a deposit if a used battery is not returned. When buying on the internet, the deposit is usually waived. However, the online dealer is obliged to prove the deposit. The handling is usually done in such a way that the net dealer takes over the deposit and no further costs are incurred at the time of purchase. The old battery must still be disposed of properly.
Which are the most popular car battery manufacturers?
On the market there are car batteries from different manufacturers. These are some of the leading manufacturers and brands:
VARTA: Founded in 1887 by adolph Muller, the company manufactured rechargeable batteries from the very beginning first manually and after a short time industrially. VARTA is considered today as a specialist in this area. In addition to its headquarters in germany, the company has numerous locations around the world.
BSA: the company has been in existence for more than 35 years and is mainly engaged in the production of car batteries. BSA produces batteries for a wide range of vehicles such as cars, trucks, motor homes and motorcycles. The range includes classic and AGM models. BSA’s products are also used in other areas such as work platforms and boats. The company has also established itself in the field of solar batteries.
Energizer: founded in 1886, the u.s. company from the state of missouri is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rechargeable batteries. Energizer supplies all types of batteries, from button cells to truck batteries. according to the manufacturer, energizer products stand for high quality and durability.
Bosch: the company was founded in 1886 and was one of the first manufacturers to offer batteries with the AMG technology. According to the manufacturer, bosch car batteries are characterized above all by their high performance and innovative technology.
FAQ- frequently asked questions about car batteries
- When to change a car battery? A car battery should be changed or is no longer usable when it can no longer maintain a voltage of 12 volts and the current drops below the specified minimum value. First, however, the capacity steadily decreases until the car no longer starts. A change should be made on average every 4 years.
- When is a car battery deep discharged?? This occurs when the battery voltage is below the final discharge voltage. In the case of lead-acid batteries, the end-of-discharge voltage can be determined by measuring the acid density. If the acid density is significantly less than 1.1 kilograms per liter, the battery is deep discharged.
- At what point is it necessary to charge the car battery? If a car battery shows a charge voltage of less than 12.5 volts, it must be charged. How long the car battery has to be charged depends on the energy level. There are no general statements to be made here. Generally, a charging time of between 4 and 12 hours should be expected.
- What is the voltage of a car battery?? For most car batteries the voltage range is 12 volts.
- Are car batteries harmful to health or the environment?? If the battery is handled correctly and the safety instructions are observed, there is no risk to health. It should be noted that car batteries contain electrolytes that are corrosive. It is therefore important to read and apply the safety instructions. The starter batteries are not harmful to the environment if they are disposed of in accordance with the law.
- How far can a starter battery be discharged with 12 volt voltage?? Depending on the type of battery, 50 to 75 percent of the capacity of most car batteries with a capacity of 100 ampere hours can be used without premature wear due to deep discharge. When comparing car batteries, pay attention to the number of cycles at 30, 50, 80, and 100 percent DOD. The abbreviation stands for depth of discharge and refers to the degree of discharge or the depth of discharge of batteries and accumulators.
Is there a car battery test byoko-test?
No, the consumer magazine oko-test has not yet dealt with this topic. As soon as the portal conducts a starter battery test, a report on it will be published here.
Has the stiftung warentest carried out a starter battery test??
In 2012, the experts at stiftung warentest tested seven car batteries for start-stop systems and put them to the acid test. In addition, three conventional lead-acid batteries were put under the microscope in the car battery test. The tested batteries have performed well to very well in the test and especially the low-priced batteries could convince in the test. The detailed test results can be read here.