How Much Is a Car Battery?

How Much Is a Car Battery

The average lifespan of a car battery is 3-4 years. Over time, the battery’s capacity to recharge and hold energy decreases drastically. So, after several years, you risk walking outside to a dead vehicle that needs a jump start. When you’re dealing with a faulty battery, you’re probably wondering, ” How much is a car battery?”

The traditional car battery costs between $60-$300, but the total cost depends on the type of battery you buy.

Keep reading to learn about three main factors that determine the cost of a battery and how to find the best battery for your vehicle and budget.

How Much Is a Car Battery?

Depending on what you’re looking for, the cost of a traditional battery ranges from around $60 for a battery with a shorter life, or upwards of $300 for one that delivers high performance. Because of the power, size, quality, and life span, their costs can vary.

Compared to other vehicle maintenance, replacing a car battery is relatively inexpensive. Mechanics say that a typical car battery costs between $45 and $125, while premium car batteries range from $100 to $300.

The main factor that determines the price of a car battery is the type of battery required. The most common type of car battery is the 12-volt lead-acid battery, and these sell for around $60 to $120.

Another more expensive type of battery you may need is the 12-volt AGM battery, which will cost you around $300. These premium batteries cost more than regular lead-acid batteries because they are designed to power high-end technology in luxury vehicles.

Factors that Impact the Cost of a Car Battery

Batteries with special features such as cold-weather performance or extended warranties are considered premium options. The type of battery your vehicle requires can also affect the cost. For example, over 40 types of car batteries are available, including absorbent glass mat batteries and lead-acid batteries. Other factors that affect the cost of car batteries include:

Size

To understand how big or small a car’s battery is, you simply need to know the size of the engine. The size of your battery is directly correlated to its amp-hour rating, meaning that a larger truck/car-sized vehicle will generally have a higher amp-hour rating than a small car.

Standard battery group sizes are 24, 65, and 75. Batteries that are larger or uniquely sized will likely cost more.

Types of batteries

Let’s dive deeper into two common types of batteries: flooded lead-acid and absorbed glass-mat (AGM).

  • Lead-acid flooded batteries. A lead-acid battery consists of six cells housed inside the case. Each cell is essentially a 2.1-volt battery, so we have 12.6-volt car batteries. Each cell is immersed in an electrolyte liquid that is a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. Also known as wet cell batteries, these batteries tend to be the cheapest option as they have a shorter lifespan and don’t perform as well in harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures.
  • Absorbent glass mat batteries. Instead of lead plates and sulfuric acid, AGM batteries use fiberglass separators, and the acid is completely absorbed by the separator. Also known as dry cell batteries, these offer more power and tend to have longer battery life. AGM batteries are better able to hold a charge during periods of non-use. They are also more stable and cost more.
  • Gel batteries. These are similar to flooded and AGM batteries, but instead of a liquid, the acid is in the form of a gel or thick paste. They are maintenance-free, leak-proof, and allow excellent contact between the acid and the lead plates. They’re a popular choice for this reason, but you can expect to pay a higher price as a result.

Performance

There are also external factors that go into the cost of a battery. Batteries are rated, among other things, according to their cold cranking current (CCA). This is a measure of how well your battery performs in cold temperatures.

Specifically, this rating tells you how many amps the battery can deliver at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds while still maintaining a certain minimum voltage. If you live in a colder climate that places higher demands on the car battery, you can expect the price to reflect that higher CCA.

Warranty

There’s something to be said for the peace of mind that comes with a solid warranty, isn’t there? That goes for anything, but it’s especially true on a car battery, which can really ruin your day when it fails unexpectedly.

The average battery life is between 3-4 years, depending on the battery and what weather it is exposed to. Other factors such as driving habits and maintenance also play a role. If you want a battery that offers free replacement within two or three years if yours dies, you’ll want to buy one that has a middle price point or above.

The Cost of Car Battery Installation

Whether or not you plan to hire a mechanic to install your new battery plays a role in the cost of the battery. Car batteries are not always easily accessible, especially in small cars.

The cost of installing a car battery varies depending on the location of the battery and how long the installation takes. You’re likely going to pay a labor fee that can range from $20 up to $100, but most sites offer this service for free.

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