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How Do I Know Which Car Battery Fits My Car?

Batteries Plus Blog - Power - by Joe Weber - updated on 8/2/2022

Looking at a car battery

Every car owner knows the feeling they get when it's time for a new battery. For most people, it's a feeling of uncertainty. With so many different car and truck batteries available, how do you know which is the right one for your car? Choosing the wrong battery could mean having to replace the battery much quicker than normal or even prevent your vehicle from running electronic accessories efficiently. Read on to learn some tips and tricks to ensure that you buy the right battery for your car, every time.

Are All Car Batteries the Same?

Car batteries are not a one-size-fits-all product. A large V8 truck will not use the same battery as a small 4-cylinder hatchback. Replacing the battery with the same size is key to ensuring that your vehicle starts every time and can efficiently power your car's electronics. Car batteries are assigned a group using the Battery Council International (BCI) group size standard. But that's not the only thing to consider when shopping for a new car battery. It is also important to pay attention to the power demands of the vehicle. One car may have four or five different batteries that all fall under the same BCI Group Size but have different cold-cranking amps, lead-acid designs and warranties. More on that later.

What Is A Battery Group Size?

Every vehicle battery is assigned a code that refers to physical dimensions, terminals and type requirements for the car. BCI assigns numbers and letters for each group and is generally based on the vehicle's make, model and engine size. Although some cars and trucks will accommodate more than one group size, it is important to use a battery that is meant for your vehicle. This standardized coding makes finding the correct battery much easier. See below for a listing of the most common BCI Group sizes.

Group Size Commonly Seen In
Group Size 65 (Top Terminal) Commonly Seen In Ford, Lincoln, Mercury
Group Size 75 (Side Terminal) Commonly Seen In GM, Chrysler, Dodge
Group Size 24/24F (Top Terminal) Commonly Seen In Acura, Honda, Lexus, Toyota, Infiniti, Nissan
Group Size 34/78 (Dual Terminal) Commonly Seen In Chrysler, Dodge, GM
Group Size 35 (Top Terminal) Commonly Seen In Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Subaru

How Do I Know Which Car Battery Fits My Car?

There are several ways to determine what battery fits in your car.

  • You can look at the battery section of the Owner's Manual of the car or truck.
  • If the owner's manual can't be found, look at your existing battery and see what BCI Group Size is already installed. The Group Size is labeled in several places on the battery. Generally on the top and/or on the front of the battery.
  • There are several reference tools available on the internet that you can use to look up the group size that you need.
  • Shop the selection of car batteries available at Batteries Plus. Select the year, make, model and trim of the car or truck and we will show you all of the battery options available for your vehicle.

So you've used one of the above tools to find out what size battery your car or truck requires. What about the Cold Cranking Amps or Battery Type? It is equally important to choose a battery that will be strong enough to start your car or truck in any weather and run all of the car's electrical equipment and accessories without fail.

Minimum CCA

Purchasing a battery below the recommended minimum Cold Cranking Amps listed by the manufacturer will greatly reduce the ability to start the engine, especially in cold climates. Just like BCI Group Size, the minimum CCA requirement is listed in the Owner's Manual. If the manual is not available it is also listed on the existing battery, although you will want to confirm that it is the correct CCAs for the engine. Batteries Plus will also list out the minimum CCA when you shop our selection online.

As an example, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox V6 3.0L has a minimum CCA requirement of 615CCA. Batteries Plus carries five batteries for that vehicle ranging anywhere from 680CCA to 800CCA. Any one of the batteries offered will work and perform better than the original battery.

Types of Car Battery Designs

Flooded? Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)? Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) AGM? What do all of these mean? There can be a profound difference between some of these battery designs and it can be overwhelming for those that aren't familiar with car battery technology. Here is a basic breakdown of each battery type.

Flooded

  • The most common type of battery seen in new cars from the factory.
  • Will feature lower CCAs.
  • Struggles in extreme heat or cold.
  • Not the best option for cars with a lot of electronic accessories (heated seats, remote start, power liftgate, etc.).
  • They do require routine maintenance by monitoring and topping off the liquid electrolyte with water.
  • Flooded batteries tend to come with a shorter warranty period.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)

  • AGM is designed to work well in extreme hot or cold conditions.
  • Has higher CCAs than flooded batteries.
  • Perfect for vehicles with a lot of electronic accessories.
  • AGM batteries contain a special glass mat separator that absorbs the electrolyte solution making them 100% maintenance-free during the life of the battery.
  • Will generally come with longer battery life and warranties.

Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) AGM

  • The perfect battery for the car enthusiast.
  • Will feature some of the highest CCAs available.
  • Features the greatest performance in extreme weather conditions.
  • Built with 99.9% pure lead providing the fastest charging times and run times.
  • TPPL batteries will last on average 3x longer than flooded batteries
  • Feature the longest warranties on the market.

If you are looking to replace your current car or truck battery with the longest-lasting, best-perming batteries on the market, our exclusive X2Power TPPL AGM line will have you on the road for many years to come.

One thing to note when it comes to AGM batteries. If your car or truck came with an AGM battery from the factory, you can not replace it with a flooded battery. Replacement with another AGM is required.

Large Car and Truck Battery Selection at Batteries Plus

Stop into your local Batteries Plus location to speak with one of our knowledgeable associates to help you determine the best car battery replacement for you. Not sure if you need a new battery? No problem. Either bring in the old battery or have us test the battery still in the car, free of charge.

To learn more about how car batteries work please read our blog article titled "How Does a Car Battery Work." Need a little more information on what types of car batteries there are? Check out our blog "Flooded vs. AGM: What is the Best Battery for Your Car or Truck?" to learn more.