The Best Car Batteries For Cold Weather In 2020
Best Car Batteries for cold weather:
Cold climates and low temperatures can be murder for your car battery. If you’ve ever been in a situation where a particularly cold morning has caused you to be unable to start your car due to the battery failing, or your car has stalled mid-drive, you’ll know how essential it is that your car battery can withstand chilly conditions.
If you live in an area that can suffer from routinely cold temperatures, having the best car battery for cold weather you can find is hugely important, especially in the depths of winter when you often can’t afford your car to fail you. There’s no reason why a low thermometer should be the end to your car battery – there are plenty of excellent options out there that will keep your car on the road whatever the weather.
And luckily, we’ve done all that research for you!
In this guide, we’ll check out why choosing a car battery suited to cold weather has huge benefits. We’ll also look at what types of car batteries there are for cold weather, our top picks of the best car battery for winter – and we have a guide to how to keep a car battery from dying in cold weather.Everything you need to know, right here. So let’s check it out!
Pro tip: Especially in winter, it can make sense to have the best jumper cables in your trunk. This way you’ll be able to help someone out if needed.
Why choose a better car battery for cold weather?
While it’s clear that having a car battery that works in the winter is desirable for your car, you may think that a regular car battery is fit for this purpose. While there are some excellent car batteries out there, not all of them are built to withstand freezing temperatures – and if you live in a cold area, there are a few reasons why picking a car battery designed for cold weather could save you huge amounts of trouble.
A good cold-weather battery’s purpose is to deliver the highest power possible, even in the coldest temperatures. With a battery designed for cold weather, you can trust that your car will start every time and that it won’t stall mid-journey. Also, the excellent capacity of cold-weather batteries means that even if your vehicle consumes energy heavily, the battery has you covered.
Car batteries for cold weather have high-reserve capacities and high CCA (cold cranking amps) ratings – while most car batteries come with around 250-600 CCA, batteries designed for cold weather usually have significantly more. Both the high-reserve capacities and cold cranking amp rating increase your battery’s efficiency in cold climates. By contrast, batteries designed for hotter temperatures handle their heat with an increased lead-to-electrolyte ratio.
Quicker Engine Starting
Your starting burst, delivered by, is what starts your engine when you turn the ignition. Cold-weather batteries can deliver a robust five-second burst of energy, meaning that even in frigid temperatures your car’s engine gets the energy it needs.
Optimum Charge/Discharge Rates
The cold can affect a battery’s reliability and ability to charge and discharge due to chemical reactions being slowed in colder temperatures. The best car battery for winter is designed to withstand this and can charge and discharge quicker than a regular battery in these conditions.
What type of car batteries are best for winter?
Two main types of car batteries are ideal for use in cold weather – lead-acid and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat).
The ubiquitous choice for car batteries at any temperature, lead-acid batteries run on an electrolyte solution (which we can show you how to replace easily and quickly using a car battery reconditioning process in our other guide, allowing your car battery to last much longer). Lead-acid batteries tend to be more reasonably priced than others (particularly AGM batteries), and have good longevity, particularly when maintained properly or reconditioned. They can leak on occasion though, due to the electrolytes in the battery – so watch out for this.
Unlike their lead-acid brothers, AGM batteries don’t need an electrolyte solution to create power, meaning that they don’t suffer from the same leaking or spilling concerns that these batteries can have. AGM batteries have a good capacity for draining and recharging cycles, meaning they’re durable – and they can take less time to maintain.
Top 7 Car Batteries for Cold Weather
So, we can see the benefits of buying a battery designed for cold weather. But with so much choice out there on the market, how do you go about buying the best one for you?
Well, we’ve selected what we think are the best options out there, so you can make an informed choice on the best car battery for cold weather.
1. Optima Batteries 8002-002 34 Red Top
Our first pick (as well as our second) is from Optima Batteries, an industry leader in car batteries for over 40 years. The company specializes in making high-quality, high-performance lead-acid and AGM batteries – and their Optima 8002-002 34 Red Top model is no exception.
This twelve-volt battery is built with a unique Spiral Cell technology, with lead-oxide-coated cells constructed in a spiral structure, allowing for cleaner power transition. It comes with a whopping 800 CCA for starting your engine in colder weather, and also has a reserve capacity of 50 amp hours and 100 minutes – demonstrating a massive amount of power and reliability, and suitability for heavy use in chilly climates.
Also, this battery is built with the durability that you need from it in freezing temperatures in mind. It comes with a strong, leak-proof casing, and is highly resistant to shocks and vibration, meaning driving your car over challenging terrain won’t stop it.
While this battery is a fantastic choice for use in cold weather, its high quality comes at a price: it comes in at a little more expensive than other market competitors. It can also suffer from a slow drain if left connected to the car when not in use, so unhooking it after using it can be a good idea.
In general, though, this battery is a terrific option for anyone looking for a winter car battery.
2. Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 Yellow Top
The second of our Optima Batteries choices, the Optima Batteries 8014-045 DR34/78 Yellow Top is also built with power and durability in mind. As with the Red Top model, this 12-volt battery comes with a massive reserve capacity – which, at 120 minutes, is twenty minutes more than its counterpart. It’s also equipped with 750 CCA and works at 55 amperes per hour – meaning that this battery performs under any circumstances.
The 8014-045 Yellow Top is also built with Spiral Cell technology, ensuring consistent power transmission – and also has a sturdiness to it, built to be vibration-, shock- and leak-proof. The robust polypropylene housing means that this battery will withstand whatever you throw at it, from cold weather to high heat – and weighing in at 43.5 pounds, it’s quite a monster!
This model won’t be compatible with every vehicle, though, so it’s important to check before you buy. And like the other Optima Batteries choice on the list, this option comes with a high price tag – but you get what you pay for, and both the Red Top and the Yellow Top are tremendous batteries that are built to last.
3. Odyssey 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV Battery
If you’re in the know about car batteries, Odyssey might be a name you know – but even if it’s not, it’s a name you should trust. These guys have been making quality batteries for some time now, and the Odyssey 65-PC1750T is no exception.
This model comes with an astonishing amount of power: with an enormous 950 CCA rating, this battery will deliver the power that you need in even the harshest of climates. It also has a reserve capacity of 145 minutes, and its recharge speed is highly impressive, being able to come back up to full charge in roughly four hours.
Another selling point of the 65-PC1750T is its deep-cycle capacities. Deep-cycle batteries like this one can deliver a consistent deep discharge of current over a longer period, as opposed to standard car batteries which supply a short burst of energy. This is due to the thicker battery plates that the Odyssey is built with.
Everything in this battery is built with durability and sturdiness in mind. It sports a military-grade design that helps it withstand hardcore vibrations and shocks, meaning rough terrain is no problem.
With the Odyssey 65-1750T, all of these things come at a high cost, and this battery is notably more expensive than other choices out there – but if you’re looking for a quality cold-weather battery, it’s more than worth it.
4. ACDelco ACDB24R Advantage
Turning away from the high-CCA models on our list briefly, the ACDelco ACDB24R Advantage delivers fantastic power and quality. This AGM battery is equipped with a 380 CCA rating – which, while smaller than the previous batteries looked at in our list, is still well within the realms of most car batteries, and can still deliver your car with the power it needs on cold mornings.
Thanks to its AGM design, the ACDB24R is much less likely to leak, and can be mounted in any position – this is also thanks to its Valve Regulated technology, meaning that the electrolytes on the inside of the battery are sealed securely, diminishing any risk of them escaping prematurely and increasing its safety.
This battery is notable for its lightness (coming in at 31.4 pounds), and with its long battery life would be well-suited to hybrid cars. It also comes with an 18-month warranty, giving you peace of mind on purchase – and it won’t set you back as much as some of the other options out there. While its CCA rating is significantly lower than its competitors, don’t let that stop you from giving this battery a go – it’s still a fine choice.
5. Odyssey PC1200MJT Automotive and LTV Battery
Returning to the Odyssey range, this model from the renowned brand is a fantastic option for those of you who like the look of an Odyssey battery but want to keep the price down. The Odyssey PC1200MJT is a lot cheaper than the 65-PC1750T – although, as a result, it’s also simpler.
Simpler doesn’t necessarily mean worse, though. If you don’t find yourself in climates that plunge into arctic temperatures, this battery could be a great choice for milder winter climates. It still comes with a 540 CCA rating which is more than enough to start your car on cold mornings, and a respectable reserve capacity of 78 minutes.
It also, importantly, comes with the four-hour recharge that our other Odyssey model comes with – a very attractive feature. It also has a four-year warranty, meaning that you get peace of mind when you buy.
So, if you’re looking to spend less on a good battery, and don’t feel that the temperatures you’re going to face will be too extreme, then the PC1200MJT is a fine choice for your vehicle.
6. NorthStar Pure Lead Automotive Group Battery
Coming back to the high-powered options on our list – and boy is this one powerful! NorthStar Pure Lead is renowned in the industry for its sturdy batteries, and while their main focus is on batteries for boats and other marine vehicles, this battery is an excellent choice for larger cars and road models.
Their expertise in building batteries for boats means that they know how to construct a battery that withstands cold temperatures – and the Pure Lead certainly withstands. This model comes with a frankly astonishing 158 minutes of reserve capacity, and a huge 840 CCA rating, meaning that whatever the weather, this battery will deliver. Add to that an enormous 1,650 pulse cranking amps rating, and you know you’re in safe hands.
One important thing to note about this battery, though, is that it’s hefty: it’s larger than most and weighs in at over 50 pounds. As such, it won’t be suitable for every vehicle, so make sure that you check its compatibility before you buy. If you’re driving a larger car, though, the Pure Lead will see you through the harshest of climates.
7. Xs Power D3400
The final battery on our list, this model comes from Xs Power – and the rockstar packaging of the Xs Power D3400 matches the rockstar power it can bring to your vehicle!
This 12-volt battery comes with the biggest CCA rating on our list: at 1000 CCA, this model is equipped for literally anything. If your daily vehicle is larger and needs more power – a pickup truck or SUV, for example – the D3400 can match what you need, and then some.
As with others on this list, this battery benefits from deep cycle discharging capacities and its AGM design meaning it’s less likely to leak or malfunction, as well as being able to be mounted in different positions. Also, its super-sturdy design means it’s resistant to vibrations, so it’s perfect for any terrain.
However, it’s the insanely high CCA rating – as well as its 3-year warranty – that puts this final battery in competition with the others on this list. If you’re looking for an option with a heck of a lot of power, the Xs Power D3400 has you covered!
How do I stop my car battery from dying in cold weather?
Of course, having the best car battery for cold weather is fantastic – but all batteries take maintenance and care, and without keeping on top of it, your car battery can very easily lose its function in the coldest conditions.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where your battery has died in the cold, leaving you waiting on help, you’ll know it’s no fun, and that battery maintenance is a skill worth learning. And that’s why we’ve put together these top tips on how to keep a car battery from dying in cold weather.
Keep It Clean
Keeping on top of your battery’s cleanliness is an excellent way to make sure it maintains through the cold winter months. The constant chemical reactions that take place in your battery can over time affect its capacity for charge – as well as its exterior quality, causing corrosion on the terminals.
To keep on top of this, before each winter give your battery terminals a good clean. Create a paste-like solution of baking soda and distilled water and apply it to a toothbrush, and then use it to clean off the corrosion. If the corrosion is thicker or harder to get off, you can use steel wool or sandpaper.
Another way to clean your battery and bring it back to full health is through a battery reconditioning process, which helps cleanse the inside of the battery and replace the electrolyte solution. Check out our Battery Reconditioning Guide for more info!
Switch It All Off
While saying that switching off your headlights and ignition as you leave your car to preserve your battery life may seem obvious, you’d be amazed at how many people forget to do it. In colder weather, forgetting to do this can put a huge amount of stress on your battery – so make sure you double-check that everything is switched off when you leave your car.
Get To Know Your Battery
Your battery’s CCA will indicate its capacity for holding charge – the higher the CCA, the more it can hold. The CCA tells you how many amps your battery can give to your car at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds while keeping the battery above 7.2 volts. The better your battery’s CCA, therefore, and the better it’ll be at operating in low temperatures.
However, over time (as with all things) your battery can deteriorate and your battery’s capacity can reduce. Investing in a car battery tester, and learning how to test a car battery with a multimeter, is a smart move that can help you keep track of your battery’s charge regularly. Alternatively, make time to get your battery checked at a mechanic every six months or so.
Keep Your Car Warm
Keeping your car in a warm place overnight – or whenever you’re not using it – can help to maintain the battery. If you have a garage, using it in the winter to store your car when not in use will help protect it from the elements and keep your battery from dying, as well as your engine oil being affected. If you want to take it a step further, covering it with a heavy or thermal sheet or keeping some heating on in your garage can make sure your car stays in good working condition year-round.
So there you have it! Hopefully, you’ll have seen in this guide how accessible and easy-to-find a wide range of car batteries for cold weather is, and have been able to identify the best car battery for your needs. Keeping on top of your battery’s maintenance will help you maintain your car battery in the winter, making sure it’s money well spent – and that you’ll never be caught out in the cold again!
Choosing the best car battery for winter is just the first step, though – to learn more about how to maintain batteries by reconditioning them back to their former health, EZ Battery Reconditioning is your go-to guide. This incredible program can teach you how to recondition all of your batteries, from car batteries to laptop batteries and everything in between, quickly and easily. Check it out today!