Tips for Buying a Used Car Battery

Driving an older vehicle is frugal, but it also comes with its own set of hazards. For example, now that winter is finally here, you may be driving with more trepidation than usual, worried that the cold will drain your battery. While buying a battery seems like it should be straightforward, it’s important to know what you’re doing. You don’t want to end up having made a bad decision! The following tips will help you next time you’re buying a battery for your used car in Doylestown this winter.Tips for Buying a Used Car Battery

Know What You’re Getting Into

If you’re in the market for a new battery, it seems like the process should be as simple as going to the auto store nearby and asking for one. But not all batteries are alike, and if you don’t ask the right questions or know what you should be getting, it could lead to more serious problems later on. There are a few pieces of basic information you should have readily available.

Battery Size and Positioning

Before you do anything else, check the owner’s manual for your vehicle. It should give you the information you need in regards to battery size, type, and other specifications that your car needs in a battery. Make sure to note the positive and negative terminals on the battery, and which sides they are located on. It’s possible you might think you’re getting the right battery and later on find out that the terminals are on the wrong respective sides! If you don’t have your owner’s manual or are still unsure about which battery to get, the auto dealer service center for your car should be able to help.

Think About Your Environment

Your car battery’s performance is often dependent on several factors, like those in your environment. When buying a battery for a used car, beyond making sure it’s the right size and layout, be careful to pick one that’s made for your temperature conditions. Here in Doylestown, we have fairly harsh winters with lots of snow, so you want to be sure your battery can handle that. Customer product reviews will give you some of the best information in terms of life capacity of different batteries, as well as the cost of each battery.

Terminology

You should also understand the following terms:

  • CA—cranking amps: tells you the battery’s current delivered at freezing temperatures.
  • CCA—cold cranking amps: measured by the battery’s potential current output at freezing temperatures.
  • RC—reserve capacity: if the alternator goes bad, this will tell you how long the battery will be able to run the car on its own.

Remember that the more powerful and efficient the battery is, the more it will likely cost.Tips for Buying a Used Car Battery

Used Car Battery Age

Finally, be sure to check the date stamp on the car battery. Instead of regular date formatting, it will normally show a letter between A and L to indicate the month (A is January, B is February, etc.), followed by a single digit that specifies the year it was manufactured. For example, if your car battery was manufactured in March 2013, the date stamp with read C3. It’s wise to secure a battery for your used car that is less than six months old if possible, and up to one year old maximum.

Buying a used car battery may seem like a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be one. We at Fred Beans Used in Doylestown, PA, are happy to help with any of your used car parts needs. Give us a call today!

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