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An unfortunate fact of life is that most people don’t replace their car battery until it’s too late. And while they want the best car battery for their vehicle, they usually settle on the cheapest option. This means that they’re in need of a new car battery two years later. If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to install a quality battery.
The moment your car doesn’t start is the wrong moment to learn you need a new battery. That’s why you need to look at the best car battery of 2018 and find the one that fits your car. If that means spending more for a quality after-market battery than you usually would, you should do it. But how do you know what is the best car battery?
Best Car Battery FAQ
You might be wondering what qualifies a car battery as being the best. Because there is a wide range of batteries for all different uses, the best car battery depends on your usage. For instance, a 24/24F top battery is intended for almost all Japanese import sedans and coupes, but if you drive an F-150, then you’ll want a Size 65 battery.
With that information in mind, you can narrow the field down to the eight best car batteries based on eight different uses for these batteries. One piece of good news is that the same three companies produce all the car batteries in North America. These are Exide, Johnson Controls, and East Penn. Some of their brands include AutoCraft, NAPA, and Interstate, to name a few.
What should you look for in a car battery?
As well as making sure your car has enough power to run, the best car battery needs to include the following features:
- A handle or loop for easy carrying and removal
- A battery that is less than six months old
- Which side of the battery the positive terminals are located (depends on your car)
- A minimum of 60 ah (amp hours)
What makes a car battery “the best car battery?”
In all cases, the best car battery will fit in your car. It will last you four or more years of heavy use. We’ve narrowed down all the batteries to eight that we are confident will meet these requirements. But there are a few more details at which we looked.
The best car battery consistently delivers 60 or more amp hours (AH). This means that it can provide one amp for 60 hours, or two amps for 30 hours, without fluctuating from these benchmarks. If many lesser-quality batteries claim they deliver 60 AH, but they fluctuate between 45 and 60 AH, you’re not getting full power from your battery.
Also, the best car battery has a high reserve capacity. This is how long the battery can run on its own without the engine turning to power it. The higher the reserve capacity, the better the battery.
In addition to delivering consistent ah and having high reserve capacity, the best car battery should have higher Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), especially if you live in a region that experiences frigid winters.
Finally, the best car battery needs to have a warranty of at least three years, if not a lifetime warranty. This is because you want to make sure that the battery will stay with you for four or more years. A company that stands behind their battery for three years or longer is a company who has confidence in their batteries.
Where can I buy the best car batteries?
If you can only find the batteries in an obscure custom chop shop in Tokyo, then they’re not much good to you. For this reason, the best car battery is also readily available. The eight best car batteries of 2018 are at most major retailers, including Amazon and Walmart.
How much do the best car batteries of 2018 cost?
Because you’re shopping for quality and not for savings, you can expect to pay a little more than you usually would. However, not all of the eight best car batteries of 2018 are expensive. For the most part, they cost between $50 and $250.
How We Reviewed
If finding the best car battery for your vehicle seems like a daunting task, you may be tempted to simply run to Walmart and grab the cheapest after-market battery you can find. This is where most people make a mistake. For this reason, we’ve narrowed the list down to the eight best car batteries of 2018.
To review car batteries, we looked at the most prominent brands we know and discarded the ones that didn’t meet our minimum requirements. As we said earlier, those requirements are amp hours, reserve capacity, and CCA. Also, the best car batteries include a handle and a warranty.
Next, we looked at customer reviews. Because we trust reviews written by real people, we read through a lot of them on both Amazon and AutoZone. Consequently, this gave us an idea of how each battery performed in the real world. AutoZone and Amazon average each customer rating and provides an aggregated five-star rating system. The higher the stars, the more satisfied customers were.
The 8 Best Car Batteries of 2018
With this in mind, the eight best car batteries listed below are the ones you should consider. At the same time, remember that each of these car batteries relates to a different size vehicle or usage. For this reason, the best car battery for a Chevy Impala may not be the best for a Toyota RAV-4. If you’ve customized your car to include a supercharged engine, you’ll want a specialized car battery. We’ve got that covered. Also, we listed these batteries in no particular order.
1: DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold car battery
For most Japanese import sedans and coupes, including Lexus and Subaru, the DieHard 38188 is the best car battery. DieHard is a Sears brand of car battery. DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold batteries come encased in a vibration-proof housing. This extends the life of the battery. Also, it has 55 ah, which is a little below the benchmark of 60 ah, but for this class of vehicle, it’s not a problem. Next, it has a reserve capacity of 120 minutes and a CCA of 775. It costs between $189 and $200 and comes with a three-year warranty. Customers on Amazon rated it 4.1 out of 5 stars.
2: Odyssey 0752-2020 battery
Next is the car battery from Odyssey batteries. This battery fits most American and European vehicles, including several luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes, and Dodge Chargers. The Odyssey 0752-2020 is one of the best car battery because it meets all the benchmarks. It provides 69 amp-hours, 900 minutes of reserve capacity, and 725 CCA. Also, this battery is nearly 11-inches long and 7-inches wide, so make sure your car can handle it. One thing to note is that this battery costs between $250 and $300, but it comes with a great four-year warranty. AutoZone customers gave it 5.0 out of 5 stars.
3: GreenLife GL80 Lithium Ion car battery
Next is a battery for side-mounted terminals found in GM midsize and compact cars. Also, this battery will fit in a few Chrysler vehicles. This means you’ll need to check your owner’s manual to make sure it’s the right battery. The GreenLife Lithium Ion car battery provides 80 ah of power. In addition, it has 240 minutes of reserve capacity as well as 800 CCA. One neat feature of GreenLife batteries is that they can be recharged right back to full. This means your battery could potentially outlive your car. As if to press that point home, GreenLife offers a full lifetime warranty on all their batteries. They cost between $650 and $1,400. Although they’re expensive, AutoZone customers gave them 5.0 out of 5 stars.
4: Optima Yellow Top battery
Next is the unique yellow-top battery from Optima. This is a Johnson Controls company that began in 1995. Because the battery is for vehicles with a lot of extra gear, such as winch cables, hydraulics, and powerful stereo systems, it’s the best car battery for custom jobs. For this, the battery puts out 50 ah with 98 minutes of reserve capacity. Also, it has nearly 700 CCA. You can buy the distinctive Optima battery for between $250 and $330. Additionally, the battery comes with a 12-month replacement warranty and then 2 years of additional limited warranty. Finally, customers on AutoZone gave it 4.9 out of 5 stars.
5: Duralast battery
Next up is the Duralast battery. Because Duralast is from Memphis and they manufacture all their parts in the US, this is a favorite of American car owners. The Duralast 24F-DL battery is for cars in cold climates. This battery has 600 CCA, more than enough to start on the coldest morning. Also, it provides 110 minutes of reserve capacity and runs at 60 ah. With a three-year warranty, you can buy this battery for between $145 and $175. Customers on AutoZone gave it 3.2 out of 5 stars.
6: Motorcraft Ford/Lincoln batteries
If you drive a Ford or a Lincoln, then the best car battery for you will be Ford’s brand, Motorcraft. All Motorcraft batteries are designed with Ford vehicles in mind, although they will also fit in Dodge, Toyota, and some GM vehicles. This battery produces 65 ah and 750 CCA. Also, it has 140 minutes of reserve capacity, making it one of the best batteries you can put in your Ford. Expect to pay between $140 and $400. It comes with a 100-month warranty, making it one of the best in the industry. Customers on Amazon rated it 5.0 out of 5 stars.
7: AC Delco 94R AGM battery
Next is the battery by AC Delco. This is a GM-owned brand, so AC Delco batteries will fit in most GM vehicles which includes Nissan. The AC Delco 94R AGM is the best car battery of this class for 2018, so if you drive a Jeep, you won’t go wrong installing this. First, this powerful battery spits out 80 AH, then it has 140 minutes of reserve capacity. Finally, it enjoys a whopping 850 CCA. You can buy this battery for $199 to $249, and it comes with a 3-year warranty. Customers on Amazon rated it 3.8 out of 5 stars.
8: NorthStar 94R battery
Finally, there’s the NorthStar 94R “Quick Start” battery. Because NorthStar is a Montana-based company devoted to power and energy technology, you know their batteries include the latest systems. That shows up in the NorthStar 94R battery, which produces an astonishing 85 ah and has more than 150 minutes of reserve capacity. Also, it’s called a Quick Start battery because it delivers 840 CCA, the highest of any battery of 2018. This battery is for luxury vehicles and European imports. Despite the luxury class of the NorthStar battery, you can buy it for between $265 and $300. Additionally, it comes with a four-year replacement warranty. Best of all, customers loved it and rated it 5.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Our Final Thoughts
Because the best car battery of 2018 depends on the car it’s meant for, there is no single best car battery. Instead, there are several extremely good car batteries. There are some universal features every battery should have if it wants to be a great battery. These include producing more than 60 amp-hours and having a high reserve capacity. Also, the higher the ACC, the better.
All in all, our favorite batteries were the GreenLife battery and the NorthStar battery. If the price of a GreenLife battery scares you away, just remember that it is designed to outlast your car and comes with a fantastic lifetime warranty. This is potentially the best car battery of 2018, although it’s also costly. Alternatively, the NorthStar is a high-performing battery which is more reasonably priced. You can’t go wrong with either.