When it comes to car batteries, it is recommended that you check and change them every five years – although many people argue that they have never had to change theirs since purchasing their vehicle. However, basic car maintenance means getting the bonnet lifted and take five minutes to check your battery is performing correctly.
Cold weather and short distances can play havoc on car batteries so it’s important you know yours won’t leave you stranded on the driveway in the morning.
However, should your battery need replacing it can be a daunting task finding the correct one and then fitting it yourself – and in your panic pay someone to do a job that’s actually relatively easy to do.
Before you start, check your car manual to see which type your vehicle requires and then look for a battery supplier, such as Pure Drive Batteries, who offers the option for you to enter your car make and model and will then generate a list of reasonably priced batteries for you to choose from. So which type of battery should you buy?
Calcium v Lead
Calcium batteries are better for those people who do shorter journeys, it takes around 20 minutes for a battery to fully charge during a drive so shorter journeys will impact the charging ability of a battery. However, calcium batteries are a little more expensive, due to their long shelf life and are harder to recharge if they do go flat but are great if your car is left sitting unused over a long period of time or you only drive ten minutes to work each morning.
Lead batteries are the most common battery type, they can be overcharged with no negative effect and deliver very high currents, so will start your car up quickly and effectively. They are the most recycled battery type, because most cars come with them as standard, so you should have no trouble finding a replacement. The battery type you choose really depends on your requirements, so cars driving shorter distances will benefit from calcium but for everything else lead will do the job.
Stop Start Function
If you have a car that uses the new start/stop function then you need to pick up an AGM or EFB battery, which can cope with the constant starting and stopping of the engine. They are a little more expensive and it is recommended that you get these type of batteries fitted by a professional, because they have to link directly with your car’s computer.
Removing and replacing a battery
Now you know what type of battery to look for it’s time to fit it in your car. Firstly, check that you have all the PIN codes and settings for electric items such as the radio and alarm system. Remember when changing a battery yourself to remove negative first, remove positive second. Replace positive first, replace negative last.
You should also wear protective gloves, because battery acid is highly corrosive and also keep your keys on you because removing the battery can activate the central locking on some car types. Take a look at this helpful how to video on changing a car battery.
So now with these tips in mind, you should have no trouble when it comes to swapping over that important battery before it fails you over winter.