It can be challenging to choose a car battery brand for your vehicle.
I want to alleviate that stressful experience once and for all and help you make a wise decision when it comes to buying a new car battery.
let’s dive right into it:
Do car battery brands matter?
Car battery brand does not matter as long as one buys a battery with specifications declared by the factory of a vehicle. Car manufacturers choose any well-known battery brand which gives them the best price.
Are all car battery brands the same?
Although you can find batteries from different brands with the exact specifications or similar, they are not made 100% equally the same.
Let’s look at an example of a lead-acid battery.
Regardless of the brand, the working principle of a lead-acid battery is the same and also all lead-acid batteries are heavy.
They are all using plastic casings with lead plates submerged into sulfuric acid, separating negative and positive plates with some kind of separator material.
Most brands make expensive premium ones and also the cheaper ones for masses of people.
Regular or cheaper are mostly the same, with a slight difference in quality. The price fluctuates mostly because of the raw material prices and manufacturing process.
There are more factors, but we will keep it simple.
On the other hand, premium batteries are where the biggest difference is.
These are not just copy-pasted from one brand to another. Every brand has its own best technology that implements into its best batteries.
Lead plates, for example, are shaped differently and in a different configuration. And also, different components are added to improve capacity and electrical conductivity.
Is there a difference between car battery brands?
The main difference is in the quality of materials, manufacturing process and warranty length.
Even though batteries work in a similar way, different brands make them in a slightly different way.
When buying a new battery you should look at the warranty length. This is often the main thing that should tell you about the quality of a car battery.
If a regular battery is on the pricey side that means that the manufacturer usually uses better quality components to produce batteries.
Premium batteries are a different story. Every brand tends to have its own best technology when it comes to the premium ones.
Let’s look at some examples:
Exide Carbon Boost Technology
This is Exide’s latest technology they implement into their best batteries.
With this technology batteries accept and recharge up to 1.5 times faster than standard ones. Fast recharging helps the battery to retain a healthy state of charge for longer.
Lead plates are reinforced with 3D diamond mesh which resulting better electrical performance and longer lifespan.
They have 30% more power than regular lead-acid batteries.
These batteries are designed for vehicles with higher power consumption in mind. Vehicles which are factory equipped with lots of electrical devices.
They can withstand the extreme climate, both extreme cold and hot conditions. These batteries have higher starting power compared with standard ones.
Varta EFB Technology
Varta designed EFB technology for high-performance commercial vehicles.
It is particularly resistant to vibrations and has acid stratification properties.
EFB technology ensures reliable performance in vehicles with demanding applications.
It has unique elements mixed inside batteries that use inertial vehicle forces to aid the mixing of acid inside mechanically.
It is a spill-protected system with a new Labyrinth Lid design.
Another benefit is scrim. This is an additional polyester element between plates and separators. This holds active elements in place avoiding wear of mass.
Optima Spiralcell Technology
This technology is like something you’ve never seen before.
Instead of using squared lead plates Optima uses a continuously cast strip spiral-wound into a cylindrical shape, which is coated in a coating of lead oxide. They use 99.99% pure lead.
The separator between positive and negative plates is made out of a micro-fiberglass blend that feels like fine cotton. It keeps the plates from touching and serves as a great electrolyte holder.
The cylindrical shape holds plates tight together, and it actually holds a larger surface of plates than standard lead-acid batteries making them a higher capacity.
The technology also allows better power performance.
What is the best car battery brand?
The best car battery brand is the one with the longest warranty and in case of a failure who will replace your battery with no question asked.
This statement is not so helpful, but you get the idea.
Here is the warranty comparison table of popular brands:
|Car Battery Brand||Warranty Length in months|
|Exide||up to 40|
|Varta||12 – 42|
|Optima batteries||12 – 36|
|Bosch||up to 36|
|Duracell||24 – 60|
|ACDelco||18 – 42|
|Auto Craft||up to 36|
|DieHard||12 – 36|
|Duralast||up to 24|
|EverStart (Walmart)||36 – 60|
|Interstate||12 – 48|
|NAPA||24 – 60|
|Super Start (O’reilly)||up to 36|
|XS Power||24 – 36|
As you can see from the table above the warranty is quite different for different brands and their models.
This should tell you how certain brand is confident in their products.
In my opinion some of the better brands are Exide, Varta, Optima batteries, Bosch, Duracell and so on.
I found this very interesting video in which battery brands are tested and compared, watch the video and and judge for yourself:
How long does a car batteries last in general?
A good rule of thumb is that warranty length should tell you how long will a certain battery last.
If you’re lucky, and if you were taking good care of it, the battery might last much longer than how much warranty length is.
And of course, if the car battery fails before the warranty expires, then they should replace the battery for sure.
It is recommended to replace it somewhere around the warranty expire date. It’s because in general lead-acid batteries are not safe after that date.
From the table above you can get a good idea of what to expect how long the battery might last. Like everything in life there are always exceptions to the rule.
Better brands tend to produce batteries with quality materials and in better production environments. So, it’s always a good idea to consider buying from a better quality brand. But, like in most cases your wallet will dictate the purchase.
Which car battery brand lasts the longest?
As I already stated above in the table, you can clearly see the top five or so and couple more brands there.
In my opinion from Exide, Varta, Optima batteries, Bosch, and Duracell, you can expect to last the longest, even after the warranty expires.
Of course, if you don’t take good care of your battery, even if you use the best brand battery in the world the battery won’t last long.
But, if all brand’s batteries are using equally, look at those first five brands from the table.
Car battery brands to avoid?
If you never heard of a brand, avoid them, especially if their batteries are cheap.
They are probably some kind of company trying to make quick money and close the business soon.
You can imagine they use the cheapest materials they can find, and probably the manufacturing process is poor.
All of these brands from the table are legit. So, no worries there. You can buy from any of them and expect very good results.
You can certainly stick to the known brands and make no mistakes.
Look at your area what brand is popular the most, and you can guess why it is. It’s because they are reliable and people love them.
How many car battery manufacturers are there?
There are a lot of manufacturers of lead-acid batteries in the world.
Some of them are well known and some of them are not.
When it comes to the global market place of lead-acid batteries some of the key players are:
- Johnson Controls,
- Exide Technologies,
- CSB Battery,
- GS Yuasa Corporate,
- EAST PENN Manufacturing,
- Chaowei Power,
- Tianneng Power,
- Narada Power,
- Exide Industries Limited, etc.
For example, one of the manufacturers can produce several brand names lead-acid batteries.
Johnson Controls is a manufacturer for these brands:
- Optima, and others.
It’s impossible to tell for sure how many exactly car battery manufacturers are out there, but from the list above you can see some of the major ones.
Car battery brand comparison
Let’s compare the main three brands from the beginning of this article: Exide, Varta, and Optima.
Exide is in the business for over 130 years now. They are very innovative and they like to re-imagine their products and improving processes to make better batteries now and in the future.
Exide is one of the largest recyclers in the world. Unlike others, they can provide total battery management for customers, also known as closed-loop recycling.
Varta is another brand that lasts for over 130 years too. They are very reliable and well known in the car battery industry. Varta is a popular choice for many car manufacturers for a reason.
They provide long-lasting batteries and with less corrosion. Innovation is key to success and it can be seen throughout history.
Varta claims that 7 of 10 newly manufactured vehicles with start-stop technology are equipped with an AGM are fitted with VARTA batteries. This is because their quality is one of the best in the industry.
Optima batteries are in the business for more than 40 years now. If you are looking for an ultimate power source for a performance look no further. They are very innovative, and you can see that with their spiral technology. Which is really one of the best you can get today.
Optima is a proud member of Clarios family of brands. Clarios is a world leader in advanced energy storage.
Although Optima is a young brand, they are making one of the best batteries in the world.