Which car battery do I need ? (Part 1 of 2)

Choosing from the vast array of car batteries found on the internet can be a daunting task. "Which car battery do I need ?" is a good question. This article aims to simplify choosing the correct car battery for your vehicle.

Upon searching you have no doubt found several products, many of which look similar but have different battery product code numbers.  These will have been followed by other figures such as 60Ah or 500cca.

You will also have encountered product descriptions such as AGM or 'Silver Calcium Technology' but which one will do the job properly ?

Well, the first thing to note is the size of the engine in your vehicle.

Often, when navigating a car battery website you will be required to identify what car or van you own, its fuel type, year, engine size and so on.  Not all of this is a simple as it ought to be either...

Car manufacturers such as Mercedes and BMW for example don't clearly state the engine size.  A BMW 320 and a BMW 318 may have a 1.8 or a 2.0 engine.  The 320 no longer indicates the engine size.

In the days of yore, most vehicles displayed the engine size on the boot lip e.g. a BMW 320i was indeed a 2 litre.  A rover 216 had a 1.6 engine and so on.

Many car drivers know about the spec of their vehicle but equally as many people don't.
So, the conundrum for many people - what size engine has my car got ?

The first step would be your car handbook.

If you don't have access to that then the ownership documents and the insurance documents will have the engine size displayed.

For example BMW 320i - 1997cc.  The 1997cc is the bit of information that you need.  All car engines have a 'cc' figure which stands for Cylinder Capacity.  You then round it up to the nearest 1000, so, for example 1997 becomes 2000 (millilitres) or 2 Litre and 1597cc is a 1.6 Litre etc.

If, at this stage you are thinking simply of going to Halfords or to your dealership to save the hassle then think again.  Halfords and most car dealerships will charge at least £30 more because they make life easier for you.  That doesn't include fitting.  The average car dealership may even charge double for what could essentially be a 10 minute DIY job!

Those of you earning £50+ per hour might prefer to pay that kind of money.

In addition, certain car manufacturers make sure that the car battery installed is an unusual type or has numbers that don't exactly match standard sizes.  They want you to be intimidated into spending the extra and rely solely on consumer ignorance.

The truth is that in 99% of cars the battery can be replaced with a standard sized car battery.

Ok, you have identified your car engine size, now what ?

Open the bonnet and locate the battery.  Your handbook will make the job quicker.  Most modern car's have a plastic cover over the car battery.  You are looking for an oblong box the size of a loaf of bread with a release catch on the side.  Open it.

Next, grab a ruler and measure the length and width in centimetres (CM), write that down.

After that write down which side the positive terminal (red) and negative terminal (black) is in relation to the front of the battery.

The front of the battery has the car battery manufacturers sticker on it.  If the sticker is facing forward and the positive terminal is on the left then record [+]  [-] on your notes.  If the sticker is facing backwards and the positive terminal is on the right then [+] [-] is still the relative position for each terminal.

Happy with that information ? click here to find out which car battery you need.

Need more information 'Which car battery do I need - Part 2'

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