All of us have, at one time or another, had experience with a dead car battery. They almost never seem to fail at a convenient time. When they do, fail, however, it can sometimes be a bit daunting to find a replacement. There are several things to take into consideration when buying a battery: Cold Cranking amps, Amp-Hours, Group number, Battery type, and terminal location.
|So to star things off, This is a Battery. This particular example fits the 2011 - 2015 Hyundai Sonata and 2007 - 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, as well as a few other models. As you can see, this is a Lead-Acid Battery, as indicated by the 2 caps on top. This is a Group 124 battery, which indicates it's exterior dimensions. This is also known as a Top-Post Battery, as it's Negative (-) and Positive (+) Terminals are on top (the 2 shiny bits) rather than on the side.|
|Most batteries tend to lose charge over time. Most battery suppliers rotate their stock. The date code sticker indicates the date of manufacture. Usually, retailers rotate their stock every 3 months. This is also a good indicator of battery age.|
|Some cars use an Absorbed Glass Mat, or AGM battery. Also known as a Spill-Proof, Gel Cell or Maintenance-Free Battery, these tend to be quite expensive (nearly double that of a Lead-Acid type), but can be mounted in any orientation...even upside down. Shown above is an Optima-brand battery, the most common aftermarket AGM brand. (photo credit: Google images)|
|Some high-performance cars might have a lightweight Lithium-Ion battery like this example from Braille Batteries. These, while more expensive than even the AGM type, are super lightweight and compact, while having the same output and recharge-ability of a standard lead-acid type. (photo credit)|
So, if you need to replace your battery, remember to look at your old battery to get the specs. If there are none, which is common with Original Equipment batteries, your local auto parts store usually has a catalog you can use to find what group number your car calls for.
When it comes to making the purchase, look at the warranty on the battery, as well as the brands. Most automotive batteries are manufactured by one of 4 or 5 larger manufacturers, including Johnson Controls, Deka and Interstate. Hyundai's batteries are all made by Interstate. I haven't done enough research to know if any one brand is better or worse than any others. But, it's always a safe bet to get a battery made by the same manufacturer as the factory battery.
Anyway, I hope this was a help. Do check back for more awesome cars, event coverage and, hopefully, car art and build coverage. And stay tuned. I'm working on a new post covering a special exhibit at the Gilmore Car Museum.