How to choose the right 12V battery for your car?

Arif · Oct 9, 2020 05:00 PM

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 01

If you drive an automatic car, it is impossible to push start the car. Your only option in case of a flat battery is to jump start the car and get a battery replacement ASAP. A weak car battery has obvious tell-tale signs like a slow crank and dim lights.

Changing a car battery is a simple task, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s still a high chance of screwing things up.

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 02

Not the kind of push-start you want. Photo

If you have absolutely no experience in replacing a new battery for your car, here are a few guidelines to help you out.

1. Is it “L” or “R”?

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 01

If you look at car battery types, you will notice that they usually have “L” or “R” in the name. The Perodua Axia’s battery is a 34B19L. A Proton Persona’s battery on the other hand, is 46B24RS. “L” and “R” just mean Left and Right respectively.

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 02

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 03

Observe the postion of the positive (red) and negative (black) terminals.

Left and right are in reference to the position of the positive terminal. This may seem like a small thing, but the terminal cables in your car are not long enough to be reversed. Even if you flip the wrong battery around, the correct terminals of the battery become out of reach to the connectors.

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 04

In the unfortunate event that you connect your car to the wrong terminals, some fuses may blow to protect the sensitive electronics in your car.

2. Will the battery fit?

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 05

Check the size of the battery – length, width, and height. Online listings will usually have this information for you. You don’t want to end up with a battery that won’t fit in the engine bay.

3. Is the terminal the right size?

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 06

"Standard" and "Small" terminal sizes. Photo

You may not realise this, but battery terminal sizes can differ. Do not use the standard connector on a small terminal. The small gap creates potential for sparks which could lead to much bigger disasters.

4. Does your car have auto start/stop?

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 07

A car with auto start/stop function will be more demanding of the battery. We’ve talked about this before. Hence, if your car is equipped with such function, you will require a different type of battery.

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 08

Cars with auto start-stop like the Perodua Myvi D20N will require an EFB batteries or AGM batteries. Be sure to check the battery specification before making a purchase.

5. What do the numbers mean?

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 09

Photo

The standard car battery voltage is 12V. There’s very little chance of getting this wrong.
Other numbers that you will see when shopping for a car battery would be the:

  • Battery capacity (Ah)
  • Cold Cranking Amps (A)
  • Reserved capacity (min)

Here is where you have a little bit of freedom to choose what battery you want. Some batteries have higher capacity than others. This is denoted by the Ampere hour (Ah) rating. A bigger "Ah" number indicates a bigger capacity.

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 10

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) indicate how capable the battery is at starting a cold engine. A bigger CCA number means the battery is better at starting the car in cold conditions.

Reserved capacity tells you how long the battery could last, should the alternator fail.

6. Is all of this in the owner’s manual?

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 11

They’ll usually let you know the battery type in the owner's manual. Use that information to look up more information on the internet.

Conclusion

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 12

Choosing the right battery for your car is simple. You can find out the battery type of your car in your owner’s manual. Car batteries are generally 12V batteries so you can hardly go wrong there. Just make sure the battery physically fits (terminal position, terminal size, & battery size).

How to choose the right 12V battery for your car? 13

The specifications concerning car batteries include the battery capacity, cold cranking amps, and reserve capacity. Keep your car battery in check to avoid being stranded with a car that wouldn't start.

Arif

Writer

Previously an engineer in an automotive manufacturing company and a highway concessionaire. A part-time research student on biofuels and diesel engines. Obsessed with vehicle electrification and the future of transportation.

Trending Discussion

Comments

Up to 20% higher than average trade-in price

2020 Honda City 1.5L S

Upgrade

Add your car

Service powered by carsome

Latest Cars