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How do I choose the right battery for my car?

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I hope this forum isn't only house problems... How do I know which car battery to pick from? There are so many in the auto parts store to choose. Any help would be great
First you need to know the vehicle year, engine size, etc. Then go to your friendly auto parts store (I like sears diehard myself) and tell them all the details. They in turn will look up your car and reccomend the battery that fits. You really don't need to pick one on your own. The terminals need to be the right type as well as on the right side. PLUS the battery needs to be high enough amps to turn the engine over when it's cold. You should also check the battery cables and replace if needed.
Laughing What kind of car? You can look in the owners manual,it should tell you the proper CCA's (cold cranking amps) needed
for your car. I work a Saturn Retailership,in service for 10 years..If I can help with any car questions,please let me know...The guys here are very nice...I can ask them what I don't know...
Hey! I just went through this myself.

There are a couple of links that will take you to a place where you enter your vehilce make and model and year (it walks you through the process) and it will show you what battery you need.

It will be kinda coded into their part number, with a number like 74dt or 78st.

74dt would mean group 74 (that's the physical size of the battery) dual terminals (terminals both on top and on the side.

78st would mean group 78, side terminals only.

On so on.

Good Luck!
I owned my own retail battery store for 20 years.There are many and varied types of battery construction. One of the things to be aware of is heat, It is the most damaging to any battery. If you have a group 34 battery(10.75"long by 7.75 wide by about 9 tall) there is a limited amount of area in the interior of the case if you cram it full of plates(which is how you get cranking amps, Plate area) you have to displace an equal amount of electrolyte(battery acid) which also is a batteries coolant. What happens is a massive amount of power that does not last very long(life wise).We always recommended A battery that Exceeded the original batteries cranking amps but not massively so. For example Chrysler used a 500 CCA(cold cranking amp) We replaced them with 650 amp even when 850 amp batteries were available. i hope this clarifies things a bit.
PM me with what kind of car you have and i can advise what to buy.

Vic (as Shellie)
WOW! thanks for all the help! this is great!
the problem i have is the car is old... 72 mustang, it had a small motor before (289 i think) but now has a 390 from some other car. there arn't a lot of electrical things in the car but electric windows and seats. there is no manual for the car either. should i just get the biggest one that will fit on the tray?
First off If you buy the biggest that will fit (AMP wise) you'll have a greater likelyhood of premature failure. In a a mustang you may be limited to a battery tray of 9 ". if that is the case try to stick with something in the 650 CCA range if you can fit bigger then up to 750 is usually safe. Back in those days the general rule of thumb would have been one cca per cubic inch of engine(ie 390 amp minimum) if a nine inch tray is all you have you will need a group 35 or 22F. If you have a larger case a 24F group size battery would work. one thing to remember is DO NOT buy a battery because of the warranty(first of all they are steeply Pro rated) but most importantly warranties do not start cars, cranking amps do. I have always preferred Douglas batteries(hard to Find) or interstate(pricey but good) in that order.
Thanks... really appreaciate the help!


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