Such is the question. Ordinary lead acid car batteries and EFB batteries are certainly cheaper than AGM so here's a rough guide as to the do's and dont's :
What you DONT do :
(1) Install an ordinary lead acid car battery
Because (as outlined here) they are not up to the job, will expire prematurely and will be exempt from their guarantee leaving you out of pocket. AGM and EFB batteries deal with energy release and recharging in a different way to ordinary car batteries and will not overheat on recharging.
(2) Pay through the nose at high street retailers or your local car dealership!
Because by spending 15 minutes of your own time you could easily save something like 30% probably a lot more which in real world terms would be something like £40 to £60+ on average.
What you DO do :
Open your car bonnet and check whether or not your battery has the information printed on it. Most do. If the battery has a plastic lid standing in the way then banish it temporarily.
What am I looking for on the battery ?
You are looking for AGM or EFB printed on the label. Failing that / next - write down the name / number of the battery - examples being Bosch S6 or Varta E39, this will help if you cannot see AGM / EFB as sometimes it is stated in the front label which may not be easy to see unless the battery is out of the vehicle.
Companies like BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Audi may have a Varta or a Bosch battery but the label might display FORD or BMW with a manufacturers part number. This does not mean that you have to buy another FORD or BMW car battery. It's the numbers and size of the battery that matter and can easily be replaced with a less expensive but equally solid and reliable alternative. Many cars have Varta's factory fitted as standard.
Next, where possible write down the CCA number. The battery will display something like 650CCA or 800CCA depending on its size. As long as the new battery matches the CCA you're on the right track.
Following that, to be doubly sure measure the longest side of the battery to the nearest CM and note that down.
Will replacing my battery give me any problems ?
As long as you know the security codes to your vehicle equipment and the replacement battery numbers match fairly closely (>10% but never smaller) then it is very unlikely. Bear in mind there are only a handful of AGM / EFB battery sizes available that fit virtually all modern vehicles.
We hope that this article has helped!
The team at Advanced Battery Supplies
Telephone Freephone 0800 195 98 97
(free from UK mainland landlines and local rates for mobiles)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org