A battery stores energy in chemical form that can be released on demand as electricity. This electrical power is used by the cars ignition system for cranking the engine. The car's battery also may power the lights and other accessories. Should the alternator belt fail, the battery might also need to power the vehicle's entire electrical system for a short period of time.
Size: What are the dimensions of your original battery?
Power: What are the Cold Cranking Amps required to power your vehicle?
The size, power (Ah) and CCA should equal or exceed the original battery as fitted by the vehicle maker.
Cold Cranking Amps is a rating used in the battery industry to define a battery's ability to start an engine in cold temperatures. The rating is the number of amps a new, fully charged battery can deliver at -18° Centigrade for 30 seconds, while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts, for a 12 volt battery. The higher the CCA rating, the greater the starting power of the battery.
Before you start, always check the type of grounding system the vehicle has. If you remove the positive connector first in a negative ground system, you risk the chance of creating a spark. That could happen if the metal tool you're using to remove the positive terminal connector comes in contact with any piece of metal on the car. If you are working near the battery when this occurs, it might create an ignition source that could cause the battery to explode. It's extremely important to remove the ground source first.
Reserve Capacity, (RC) is a battery industry rating, defining a battery's ability to power a vehicle with an inoperative alternator or fan belt. The rating is the number of minutes a battery at 30 degrees C can be discharged at 25 amps and maintain a voltage of 10.5 volts for a 12 volt battery. The higher the reserve rating, the longer your vehicle can operate should your alternator or fan belt fail.
Hot temperatures will deteriorate a battery's life quicker by evaporating the water from the electrolyte, and corroding and weakening the positive grids.
The best way to safely dispose of your battery is to take it to a municipal or council recycling facility.
Many other problems can keep a car from starting, take a look at our troubleshooting guide.
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