Consumer Report Reveals the Best Car Batteries for 2020

We don’t typically think about the importance of our car battery until it’s dead — boy isn’t that typical. Depending on where you live, you probably have to replace your car’s battery every 2 – 5 years. On top of temperatures changes from seasons and general use, leaving your car in your garage without turning it on for weeks at a time, like say, during a quarantine, could also cause your battery to drain. When the time comes to get a new one, there are a lot of options for brands, and most of them we’ve never heard of. It’s hard to know which battery option is the right one, but that doesn’t mean you have to opt for the most expensive option at the store. According to Consumer Reports, these are the batteries worth buying in 2020.

Testing brands

While jumper cables or a jump-starter are essential tools to keep stocked in your car, they can’t always save you from a dead battery. When your car refuses to jump-start or it dies continuously that could mean it’s time for a new battery. Whether you are on the hunt for a new car battery or just want to keep some brand names in mind for when you need one, these are the most reliable, affordable options as rated by Consumer Reports.

Car Battery
Car Battery | Christophe Gateau/picture alliance

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Like cleaning your engine, changing out your battery isn’t part of routine maintenance, but it can be just as important. It’s hard to conduct accurate testing to see how good a battery actually is, and there’s no real scale for determining what brand is the best without some extensive and odd-sounding tests. The tests completed involved charging and discharging batteries thousands of times, see if they will perform at freezing temperatures for cars the are driven in the north during the winter. The last test is something most of us are guilt of — it’s aimed to see how long the battery will last when headlights are left on.

The best options for a new car battery

As you might imagine, the best-performing batteries were relatively expensive. At the top of the list was the Super Start Platinum AGM 65PLT which sounds like a bunch of gibberish to the average consumer as well as to me. It does come with a 36-month warranty but it’s priced at around $190 which is more than the average Walmart car battery. Then again, you have to remember that your car’s ability to start is based on the battery, so I guess I can see why some people could justify the high price.

Car batteries electric versus regular
Bars Technology factory producing automotive batteries | Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images

Several options from the brand NAPA and Odyssey also made the list. The choices passed their tests with flying colors, and the price ranged from a reasonable $130 to upwards of $400 — yikes! To my surprise, Duracell also made the list, which is only surprising because even as a popular brand they aren’t the most common brand out there. ACDelco made the list as well, and it’s the only brand I’ve personally tested — and as a Florida resident, I typically replace mine every 2 to 3 years.

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Buying new batteries can be expensive, but if you’ve ever been stuck at night with a dead car you know that getting something reliable is important. Whether a battery is worth $400 or not is up to you, but some of these options are just as fairly priced as the generic brands.