Take the hassle out of buying a car battery by following our simple buyers guide.

When should I replace my car battery?

First you need to be able to recognise when your car battery is on the way out, the obvious sign is trouble starting your engine, you might notice it is turning over slower than usual, or your terminals are starting to get white or light green powdery substance build up, you can’t leave the radio or lights on very long before you can’t start the car engine or there are battery smells or fumes when charging.  Any or all of these things would indicate you’re going to need a new car battery installed.

Step One: Find the Right Battery Size

Car batteries are all categorized by size, this should be stated on the label of the battery currently in your car.

Alternatively you can take some quick measurements of your battery and plug them into our        Battery Measurement tool.  This is the most accurate way to work out which is the right  battery for your car.  Our Battery Measurement tool can be found at www.batterywarehouse.net.nz. All you need to do is put in your car batteries, height, width, length, terminal height, terminal width, battery type, battery use and terminal orientation, hit search and it will  pull up all batteries that are an exact fit for your car.

Step Two: Establish what the  minimum Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) are for Your Car

All cars and trucks come with specific power requirements to start the car, this is particularly important  in cold weather. It is known as the Cold Cranking Amperage or CCA. By not using  a car battery that is at least the minimum CCA recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, you might find yourself having problems getting your car to start.

You can easily find your vehicle’s minimum CCA rating by any of the following methods:

  • Look it up in your owner’s manual (if you still have it)
  • Find it written on the label of the car battery currently installed in your car
  • Call the guys at the Battery Warehouse.

It’s no problem at all to install a car battery that has a higher CCA than your existing battery, but you must never replace your car battery with one with a lower CCA rating than recommended by the manufacturer.

Step Three: Establish the Type of Car Battery Required

The majority of cars use flooded lead acid batteries.  These batteries have the cells submerged in a liquid electrolyte solution within a hard case. This type of battery does have lower CCAs. By and large, Flooded batteries are one of  the least expensive batteries available in New Zealand. Most cars can use a flooded lead acid battery with no problem.

Newer cars, that have start stop technology or simply higher power demands, will require AGM batteries.  Rather than using a liquid electrolyte they use glass mats that are soaked in the electrolyte solution and are a lot more powerful than flooded batteries.  They’re pretty much maintenance-free and extremely durable.

You can never downgrade from an AGM battery to a flooded battery, but you can upgrade from a flooded battery to an AGM battery. If your vehicle originally came with an AGM battery you’re going to need to replace it with another AGM battery.

Step 4: Choose Your New Car Battery

Right, we’re at the last step, choosing the car battery you want to purchase. You might like to  compare the car batteries that are fit for purpose for you vehicle. For example, below is a chart of the available batteries for a Mazda CX3. Each battery has a different design and CCA rating.

Possible car batteries for a Mazda CX3

Battery Number          Q85REFB                     S95LEFB

CCA                             660                              720

Warranty                     24 months                   24 months

All of the car batteries in the table meet the minimum requirement for CCA ratings as set by the manufacturer. If this is your everyday car that you intend to hold onto for the foreseeable future, then the Varta Q85REFB would be a great choice as it comes with a 2  year warranty. If you have a higher end model of the Mazda CX3 (with more power demands) then the Varta S95LEFB may be a good choice with its higher available cold cranking amps.

Something else you may want to consider is which region you live in

It doesn’t hurt to consider where you will be driving your car.  If you live in a region in New Zealand that has temperature extremes, be it hot or cold an AGM battery would generally be recommended.  AGM batteries are designed to tolerate weather extremes and outperform flooded batteries in nearly every way in this respect.

Finally, once you have your new car battery, you want to get the most out of it. 

To get the best service, or useful lifetime from a battery:

-Ensure it is securely mounted

-Keep terminals and connections clean

-Keep the top of the battery clean and dry.

Battery Warehouse for all your Car, Truck, Boat, Motorcycle, Motorhome, Mower and Golf cart battery needs

Still not sure which car battery is best for you? Drop  into the  Battery Warehouse and our guys will be there to help you pick out the best battery for your car. They’ll even install it for you while you wait.

Looking for some tips on how to install a car battery, check out our article here