Have you ever noticed that while your car works just fine on a warm, sunny day, it just won’t start on a colder day? Hence, it is always a good idea to invest in the best car batteries for cold weather that suits your requirements. One of the most important factors affecting the performance of your car’s battery is temperature. Car batteries in colder weather have to perform harder than car batteries in warmer weather.
How does climate affect my car’s battery life?
It has been observed that car batteries in warmer weather generally have a higher life expectancy than batteries in colder weather. To understand this, first we must understand the function of the car battery.
When you turn on your ignition, initially there isn’t sufficient energy for your engine to start on its own. The car battery helps in starting up the engine during the initial stage. The engine needs to build up sufficient heat to sustain itself.
Now, in warm weather, the engine usually starts up quite easily and the battery does not have to exert itself much. However, in colder weather, the battery has to exert more energy to counteract the cold weather.
Apart from these, colder weather call for extra loads such as heaters, daytime light, etc. This overuse heats up the battery(which is undesirable) and affects the chemical composition of the battery. As a result, over prolonged usage, the battery life starts to degrade quicker.
Top 9 Best Car Batteries For Cold Weather
Odyssey is one of the leading brands in the car battery space that produces durable and powerful products. One of the best in our list, this is the perfect battery for you if you drive a vehicle with a powerful and demanding engine.
This is a perfect fit for you if you have to drive on harsh terrain or high altitudes.The 950 CCA features make the battery powerful enough to start your machine even if it’s very cold outside.
If you’re looking for a smaller, lightweight yet powerful battery, this is the best choice for you. Optima is a brand known for its quality and versatility. The RedTop is one of their best products. The CCA rating of 800A is exceptional for its size and can handle a lot of load with ease.
The battery requires very low maintenance and thus becomes the ideal fit for rough terrains and extreme conditions.
ACDelco ACDB24R Advantage AGM Automotive BCI Group 51 Battery (Best Car Battery with Good Cranking Amps)
ACDelco is one of the leading brands in the automobile accessories industry. Tens of millions of consumers turn to the brand every year for quality products.
The ACDelco ACDB24R Advantage AGM Automotive BCI Group 51 Battery is the best battery for you if you’re looking for cheap replacements for your existing car battery.
The battery provides exceptional durability compared to its competitors at a very reasonable price without having you compromise the performance. It may not be the perfect product for larger machines but is surely one of the best when you’re looking for small and compact options.
Another amazing product from Optima, the YellowTop is the best in class when it comes to smaller batteries.
This is the best option for you if you like to have electronic items such as powerful audio systems or powerful lighting. Just like the RedTop, the YellowTop is the best in class when it comes to performance and durability, with an additional benefit for vehicles with custom accessories.
The most durable battery on our list, the NORTHSTAR Pure Lead Automotive Group 94R (L4) BatteryNORTHSTAR Pure Lead Automotive Group 94R (L4) Battery exhibits a whopping Pulse
Cranking Amps of 1650A. This beast can fire up any good vehicle almost instantly, giving it an extra edge when it comes to durability and lifetime. The decent CCA ratings make sure your vehicle doesn’t fail you even in the most challenging of weather.
One of the best all-rounder batteries out there, the DieHard 38232 Advanced Gold AGM Battery – Group 34 flaunts state of the art vibration protection. The decent CCA ratings and other parameters make it an optimal selection for rough terrains or unfavourable weather conditions.
With features similar to that of the Optima Redtop, with a higher MCA, makes the battery a good competition for its competitors.
If budget is a deciding factor for your purchase, you may wanna have a look at this particular battery. The ACDelco 78AGM Professional AGM Automotive BCI Group 78 Battery packs the same features as its competitors without having you compromise performance. The best budget solution if you’re looking for a sturdy, decent battery for your vehicle.
Speaking of cheap options, the Kinetik HC1200 is the best in the low end space. If all you need is a simple battery to run your car DVD player, etc. the Kinetik HC1200 is the best option for you.
With an extremely affordable price, the battery assures decent performance for all low-end vehicles where performance is not a concern and you want something decent for a small amount of money.
Yet another battery from the renowned ACDelco brand, the ACDelco 94RAGM is an all-rounder battery perfect for moderate uses. If you do not want to spend a huge sum on a high-end battery but cannot risk using a low-end battery either, worry no more.
This is the perfect choice for you. The battery provides an exceptional price to performance ratio. With a decent CCA and RC rating, the battery assures smooth performance so that you don’t have to worry about your car shutting down unexpectedly.
How to prevent your battery from dying in cold weather?
Unfortunately, buying the perfect battery is just the first step in guaranteeing smooth performance and longer battery life.
Cold weather is especially hard on a car battery and a lot of batteries may perform poorly and even break down under cold conditions. The electrolytes in the battery start losing their properties as the temperature falls and in some cases the interiors may freeze up too. Here are some practices for you to follow to keep your car battery in top shape.
Check the charge from time to time.
All car batteries will get unusable eventually. But you can prolong their working time by checking their charge from time to time. All batteries have a voltage range from around 11.6V to 12.6V when fully charged. If you see that your battery has rather low readings, get it checked as soon as possible.
Keep your battery clean.
Just like the exteriors, the best way to keep the interiors of your car in top shape is to keep the interior clean.Check the battery for deposited dust or moisture that may aid corrosion. If you see corrosion around the leads, consider having it cleaned properly to prolong battery life.
Keep your battery warm.
Just like humans, cars prefer being kept warm and nice. If you live in a cold area, it is a good idea to keep your car inside in a garage or similar space. It is highly recommended that you do not leave your car outside in cold temperatures unless absolutely inevitable.
Keep your battery charged.
A car battery will die out if left discharged for a long time. If you’re not using your car outside for some reason, it is a good idea to start the car and keep the engine running for some time on regular intervals. Alternatively, you can charge your battery manually using a charger. Note that it is recommended to use proper chargers for your specific battery. Cheap generic alternatives are likely to ruin your battery.
When to replace car batteries?
Car batteries, like all other batteries run out of their charge holding capacity with time. Though in most cases, your battery can still be saved as there are a lot of reconditioning methods like ez battery reconditioning but sometimes it’s just a better investment to just get a new one. Check the voltage across the terminals with a voltmeter. If the voltage at the terminals is as low as 10V or less, your battery is as good as dead. There’s nothing you cando to save it and you should just buy a new one.
How to store car batteries in cold weather?
If you do not have a proper garage, the least you could do is to manually remove your battery and keep it indoors. But again, that’s another challenge in itself with bulky batteries, isn’t it?
F.A.Qs Regarding Best Car Batteries for Cold Weather
✅ What type of car battery is best for cold weather?
The performance of your car battery in cold weather is rated in terms of CCA. In simple words, CCA or Cold Cranking Amperage is the amount of current your battery can provide for a standard period of time when temperatures drop below a certain level. A battery with higher CCA will work better in colder weather.
Another important criteria for determining the performance of a battery is the Reserve Capacity, or RC. It is the number of minutes the fully charged battery can hold a decent amount of current in standard conditions. (25A at 80°F)
✅ How long do car batteries last in cold weather?
Ans: While it is impractical to state a general time period as the battery life depends a lot on the quality of the battery itself, it can be safely said that car batteries have a lower life expectancy in colder weather than warmer weather.
In cold regions, the battery has to work harder to heat the engine up hence goes through more stress. Secondly, the extreme temperature challenges the chemical composition of the battery in general.
✅ Which brand of car battery is the best?
While opinions vary, some of the best brands to invest in according to us are Optima, Olympus, ACDelco, Costco and DieHard.
It should be noted that most brands have decent products and you should smartly select the product best for you.
✅ How to choose a car battery?
The things to keep in mind while buying a car battery are:
– Ratings(CCA, MCA, PCA, RC etc.)
✅ Are Costco car batteries good?
Yes. They have excellent user reviews and you can surely look at some of their products.
Buying a car battery can be a lot of pressure. We understand. We hope that all the recommendations and tips will help you in buying the best car battery for your car for cold weather.