Skip to Content

What Should I Look for When Buying a New Car Battery?

Power - by Joe Weber - updated on 3/20/2023

Shelves of Auto batteries

Buying a new car battery can be confusing for those who have never had to buy an automotive battery before. There are multiple brands, types and power levels. Which one should you buy? There are many factors that play into this decision, including where you live. Keep reading to learn what's important to look out for when you are shopping for your next car or truck battery.

6 Things to Look For


It's essential to consider the brand when shopping for car or truck batteries. Batteries Plus only carried the highest quality batteries for your car or truck.

  • X2Power, Batteries Plus' exclusive premium battery brand, offers relentless power to power your adventures. Never worry about your car, truck, SUV or RV battery again with our premium TPPL batteries that provide top-tier power and durability.
  • Duracell Ultra makes high quality batteries with designs starting at your basic flooded conventional replacement battery all the way up to the platinum AGM for power hungry applications.
  • Optima batteries are recognized around the world for their unique six-pack design and are designed for and used by many professional racing drivers and off-road enthusiasts.
  • Odyssey takes car batteries to another level with their thin plate pure lead (TPPL) design. Offering 15% more plate area than Optima's spiral design for more available power when you need it.


Automotive batteries at Batteries Plus carry limited warranties that range from 12 months all the way up to 48 months. Warranty length is often tied to the type of battery (flooded or AGM), brand and what use the battery is designed for. Batteries that are within the warranty period that fail due to a manufacturer defect will be replaced free of charge.

For example: A simple flooded battery that meets manufacturer recommendations may only come with a 1-year warranty but a premium AGM battery that features higher Cold Cranking Amps, great vibration resistance and temperature tolerances may come with a 3 or 4-year warranty.

This does not mean that the battery with a 1-year warranty will only last one year. The average car battery should last between 3 and 5 years if it is properly cared for while it's being used. This means charging properly, cleaning and inspecting the terminals occasionally. Learn more about caring for your batteries in "Top 5 Car Battery Maintenance Tips For Summer Weather".

Pro Tip

Keep your vehicle's owner's manual handy for looking up the next two important battery factors when buying a new battery. You can also use the fitment finder on to see the batteries that fit your car.

Battery Size

Every car has a requirement for a specific battery size often referred to as the BCI Group Size. The group size refers to the physical size, type and terminal position of the battery. Using the correct size battery that your car or truck is designed to accept is crucial to a stress-free drive. See the table below for a general look at some common battery sizes.

Commonly Seen BCI Group Sizes

Group Size Commonly Seen In
24/24F (Top Terminal) Acura, Honda, Lexus, Toyota, Infiniti, Nissan
35 (Top Terminal) Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Subaru
65 (Top Terminal) Ford, Lincoln, Mercury
48 (Top Terminal) Acura, Chevy, Ford, BMW, Cadillac
75 (Side Terminal) GM, Chrysler, Dodge
34/78 (Dual Terminal) Chrysler, Dodge, GM
94R (Top Terminal) BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen

*This chart is for reference only. Before purchasing a battery please confirm the battery size you need with our experts at Batteries Plus or by using our fitment finder on

As we learned in "What Happens If I Use the Wrong Group Size Battery?", using a battery that is too large or too small can result in some negative consequences including physical damage to the car or the inability to properly power your electronic accessories.

Cold Cranking Amps

Every vehicle has a minimum Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) rating. This is a rating system that helps show how much power a battery has to start or crank an engine in cold weather. The higher the number, the more power to crank the engine. You should never install a battery with a lower CCA rating than what is recommended from the vehicle manufacturer. If you do, you may find yourself having difficulties starting your car.


If you are not in tune with the technical aspects of your car, the position of the terminals on the battery might seem like something that doesn't matter. In fact, this is a huge thing to pay attention to because your vehicle's wiring harness is designed with a specific battery in mind and if you get a battery with the terminals flipped (the positive terminal is on the other side) you may not even be able to connect the battery to the car. This is one reason why you need to pay attention to the battery size.

Reserve Capacity

In basic terms, reserve capacity measures the time that a battery can deliver a certain draw before needing a recharge. This is important when you have an alternator failure or when you are using the radio or charging your phone while the engine is off and your car or truck is running on the battery alone. The higher this number, the longer your battery will have power. For example, if a battery has a reserve capacity rating of 135, that means it can run for 135 minutes.

To learn more about the difference between CCA and Reserve Capacity, read our blog "What is the Difference Between Cold Cranking Amps and Reserve Capacity?".

Anything Else I Need To Know?

As you can see, picking out a new car battery can take some thought and a little research but never fear, it doesn't have to be a scary process. If you have your vehicle's owner's manual nearby or are mechanically savvy, you can get the information you need from the car directly.

If you need a little extra help deciding which battery to buy, take a look at our handy car and truck battery buying guide or our beginner's guide to choosing a car battery to give you a little more information on our batteries so you can be confident in your new battery purchase.

Can Batteries Plus Install My New Battery?

Don't spend time installing your new battery at home with printed off instructions or a YouTube video. Have your new car or truck battery expertly installed by the professionals at Batteries Plus. Fees may vary from location to location or the difficulty of the installation. Choose to upgrade to our Premier Installation service (which we highly recommend) you can drive off with your fresh battery installed with anti-corrosion materials and you don't even need to lift a finger.

What is Premier Installation?

Batteries Plus recently introduced our new Premier Installation service that you can optionally upgrade to when scheduling to have a car battery installed. With this inexpensive upgrade, you will receive a few extra life-extended procedures while your new battery is installed.

  • Installers will spray terminal cleaning and protection sprays on the battery terminal to prevent corrosion from forming on the battery terminals.
  • Before connecting the battery, terminal protectors will be installed on the battery adding another layer of corrosion protection.

In states and municipalities where allowed by law, you will be able to take the terminal cleaner and protection sprays home with you when you leave.

How Does A Car Battery Work?

Battery technology is a technical marvel. Your car batteries take it to another level all while being designed and engineered to live and work in the harsh environment of a vehicle. Watch this quick video for a brief overview of how a car battery works.

If you still want to dig a little deeper, read our blog post "How Does a Car Battery Work?" to get into the details of how car batteries provide power to start your car or truck and run its electronics.

Batteries Plus Is Your One-Stop-Shop for New Car & Truck Batteries

Batteries Plus has everything you need to get you back on the road when your car or truck battery is on its way out. From booster cables, chargers and jump starters and battery terminal protection accessories to batteries from top brands like Duracell and X2Power, we have everything you need to keep your car battery healthy so you have the peace of mind that you're always ready to go when you start your day.

Need a new car or truck battery?

Shop Car & Truck Batteries