Car Battery
Car Battery

Best Car Battery For Winter- 7 Batteries Reviewed

It happens each year summer fades away and winter rolls on in. To some it’s a great time of year; to others it shoveling, slipping on ice, and winterizing. As hard as winter is on you, it’s much harder on your car.

The salt and sand eat away underneath, the cold starts put a strain on the engine and windshield wipers freeze to the windshield. Your car battery though, feels the brunt of the pain because it is responsible for making the car start no matter what temperature it is outside.

As winter approaches we start to think about the things we need to do to our cars. Get the winter tires out, make sure our antifreeze is up to par. And maybe find the best car battery for winter, so you don’t find yourself broke down somewhere.

Car batteries come in a variety of sizes and types. I have broken down my recommendations based on car type. This list is by no means exhaustive and you will still need to conduct your own research depending on your car type.

Lastly I have pulled batteries from Amazon and Advanced Auto Parts.

Table Of Contents

Before You Buy

Before you purchase a battery, you must make sure that the battery you are going to buy fits your vehicle. Fortunately, there are several tools provided that will help you find the right fit battery.

Advanced Auto Parts and Amazon both have a virtual garage , if you will, these garages will help you find the correct battery for your car.

Buying from Advanced Auto Parts

Fill this in

After your car information is entered then you should see this when you find the right fit battery.

That should be a safe bet that the battery will fit your car. What I like about Advanced Auto Parts is there is a physical location you can visit to make sure that the battery fits.

Buying from Amazon

Amazon also has there own ‘garage’; you can store a number of vehicles in here. This is what Amazon looks like.

After you have your vehicle entered you will have a screen that looks like this.

So it’s worth taking the few extra minutes to fill this out. This is one way to make sure that the battery you purchase will fit your vehicle.

It will also notify you if there are any modifications that you will need to make in order to get the battery to fit tight. You see in the example above, that a ‘hold down modification’ may be needed.

Before you purchase, please make sure the battery fits.

Best Winter Car Battery For Mid-size Car

These batteries I found to be best for cars similar to a Honda Civic or Toyota Corrolla. You should enter your vehicle into the websites sizing chart to make sure that the battery will fit your vehicle.

DieHard Gold Battery, Group Size 51, 500CCA

Recommended for Honda Civic (please verify battery size before purchase)

Cold Cranking Amps

500 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
625 Cranking Amps

Not the most powerful, but enough for this size car.

Reserve Capacity

85 Minutes

If your alternator should fail, your battery will have over an hour of reserve power.

Warranty

DieHard Gold series batteries boast a 3 year warranty.

Stamped Grid Technology

Patented construction technology for long lasting battery life.

Depending on where you live and how cold your winters get, will determine which level of battery you need. The Gold series will endure the harshest of winters, which is why I had one in Maine.

I personally have used Die Hard batteries in the past and have not been disappointed by them. This powerful little unit is the perfect size for many mid-size sedans like a Honda Civic. While it boasts only 500 cold-cranking amps, that should be more than enough for a smaller car.

Another pro for this battery is the three-year warranty. If your battery happens to be defective, it’s a matter of taking your battery down to your local Advanced Auto Parts to get it replaced.

While the top mount terminals lack the flexibility of the Optima Red Top, that shouldn’t matter. These batteries are still designed to fit a variety of cars. Which brings us to one of the biggest perks of these batteries.

You can get an exact fit size at your local Advanced Auto Parts. And they can install it for free. Most people have had a positive experience using these batteries for various seasons.

In fact, the biggest complaint about these batteries was not the batteries themselves, but the customer service at various Advanced Auto Parts locations. So, not a knock on the battery itself, but what you may have to deal with if you have an issue.

DIEHARD SILVER, GROUP SIZE 26R, 575 CCA

Recommended for Toyota Corolla (Please verify battery size before purchase)

Cold Cranking Amps

575 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
725 Cranking Amps

Powerful little battery for a mid-size car

Reserve Capacity

81 Minutes

If your alternator should fail, your battery will have over an hour of reserve power.

Warranty

DieHard Silver series batteries boast a 2 year warranty.

Stamped Grid Technology

Patented construction technology for long lasting battery life.

Much of what was said for the Gold Battery can be applied to this battery. The silver series batteries are generally less expensive because the warranty is only 2 years.

Other than that, this battery is more powerful than the Gold Series mentioned above. There are sufficient cold-cranking amps to get you going on the coldest winter morning.

Also, if there is an alternator failure, there is over an hour of reserve power to get you to a safe spot before the battery is drained.

The one downside to this battery is that the warranty doesn’t last as long. And as was mentioned above, customer service at some Advanced Auto Parts Locations seemed to be lacking.

Overwhelming, though, people have had a positive experience with this battery. By the way, these will fit more than a Toyota Corolla, this was the most powerful battery that I could find for a Toyota Corolla.

Best Winter Car Battery For Full-Size Sedan

Theses batteries recommended for larger cars similar to a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry

DieHard Gold Battery, Group Size 51, 500CCA

Recommended for Honda Accord 4 Cylinder (please verify battery size before purchase)

Cold Cranking Amps

500 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
625 Cranking Amps

This is sufficient to start up a 4 cylinder engine

Reserve Capacity

85 Minutes

If your alternator should fail, your battery will have over an hour of reserve power.

Warranty

DieHard Gold series batteries boast a 3 year warranty.

Stamped Grid Technology

Patented construction technology for long lasting battery life.

Honda is nothing if not consistent; this is the same battery that fits in the Honda Civic. Four-cylinder engines require less power to get going on a cold winter morning. If your car is not overloaded with electronics then this will be all that you need.

Optima Yellow Top / Dual Purpse Battery

Recommended for Multiple Full Size Cars (please verify battery size before purchase)

Cold Cranking Amps

750 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
870 Cranking Amps

Powerful battery for electronic heavy cars.

Reserve Capacity

120 Minutes

If your alternator should fail, your battery will have two hours of reserve power.

Warranty

The Optima Yellow Top Battery comes with a 3 year warranty

Spiral Cell Technology

Unique cell construction leads to longer life and more efficient design

The Optima Yellow Top Battery is a powerful and versatile deep cycle battery that is designed for vehicles with a heavy electrical load. With 750 CCA’s you will have no trouble starting your car up on the coldest of winter mornings.

Optima’s 120 minutes of reserve power is also very impressive. What this means is, if something happens to your charging system (i.e. alternator); the battery will have around 2 hours of juice left before it is completely drained. That is impressive.

Probably the most awesome feature of this battery is the dual SAE/ GM post type. This feature gives this battery a lot of versatility to fit many different cars. It should be noted that if you are going to use the side post terminals, it does not include the male connectors there are only the female ports.

Also, you can use the top post and side post simultaneously. For instance,you could power a snow plow with one set of terminals and the vehicles electrical system connected to another set of posts. Very nice feature.

There is a lot to like about this battery, however, there are some downsides. This is a very heavy battery coming in at 43.5 pounds. Without a lot of handhold area, it is a bit clumsy to handle.

Then there is the price, this battery is more expensive then it’s DieHard counterparts. You will have to make a hefty upfront investment for one of these batteries.

For many people that needed it the warranty seemed to be a not so pleasant experience. People tried dealing with Amazon, but Amazon claims it is not an authorized dealer so they will not honor the three year warranty. You would have to deal with Optima for any warranty issues.

The verdict on the Optima Yellow Top Battery was more people loved it than hated it. Many more people have had good success using these batteries, but when things went south it was bad. Also, the price is so much more than many other batteries, this may be a deal-breaker right away.

Best Winter Car Battery For A Pick-Up Truck

Theses batteries recommended for pickup trucks
In general pickup trucks have bigger engines than a car, therefore a larger battery is required to get things going on a cold winter morning.

DieHard Gold Battery, Group Size 24F, 750CCA

Recommended for Toyota Tacoma V-6(please verify battery size before purchase)

Cold Cranking Amps

750 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
935 Cranking Amps

Impressive power for cold winter mornings.

Reserve Capacity

130 Minutes

If your alternator should fail, your battery will have over two hours of reserve power.

Warranty

DieHard Gold series batteries boast a 3 year warranty.

Stamped Grid Technology

Patented construction technology for long lasting battery life.

With 130 minutes of reserve power, you should be able to get someplace safe before the battery completely dies on you. This is a solid battery for a pickup truck.

As it is noted this particular battery fits a Toyota Tacoma, so please check your size before purchasing a battery.

Delphi BU9034R MaxStart AGM Premium Automotive Battery

Recommended for Toyota Tacoma V-6(please verify battery size before purchase)

Cold Cranking Amps

775 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

Impressive power for cold winter mornings.

Reserve Capacity

120 Minutes

If your alternator should fail, your battery will have two hours of reserve power.

Warranty

MaxStart AGM Batteries have up to a 3 year warranty.

AGM Lead Acid Battery Cell

Absorbed Glass Mat technology for electronic heavy cars.

The Delphi MaxStart AGM battery is produced is manufactured by Delphi technologies whom specialize in aftermarket car parts. They carry a wide range of batteries for various car sizes and due to their expertise in the automotive industry their car batteries are a solid option.

The BU9034R MaxStart is a powerhouse battery that fits larger vehicles like the Toyota Tacoma. It weighs in at 41.5 lbs. and is roughly about 11″Lx10″Wx7″H, so there needs to be some room in the battery compartment.

Again, the bigger the battery the more power it produces; this one has a whooping 775 cold cranking amps for those cold mornings. This also comes with a handsome two hours of reserve capacity.

Durability is a huge pro for this battery, as it boasts a 20x vibration resistant shell. That is more than any other battery mentioned here.

Like other batteries bought online some people have said that the battery arrived dead and they had trouble getting a refund.

For a pickup truck battery in the winter this meets all of the qualifications for a decent battery that will last and get you through a rough winter.

Best Winter Car Battery Honorable Mention

Optima Red Top Battery

Optima Red Top Battery

Recommended for Various Cars(please verify battery size before purchase)

Cold Cranking Amps

Up to 800 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
Up to 1000 Cranking Amps

Versatile battery with wide variety of cranking amp ranges.

Reserve Capacity

100 Minutes

If your alternator should fail, your battery will have nearly two hours of reserve power.

Warranty

Optima Redtop series batteries have a 3 year warranty for non-commercial use vehicles

Spiral Cell Technology

Patented construction technology for 3x times battery life and 15x Vibration resistance

I would be remiss if I did not include an Optima Red Top Battery in this list. Like the Yellow Top Battery, the Optima Red Top Battery comes in a variety of sizes to support numerous different car types.

The biggest difference between the Red Top battery and the Yellow Top battery is what they were designed for. The Red Top has maximum starting power, as you can see, up to 800 cold-cranking amps. While the Yellow Top batteries are designed for more electronic heavy cars.

The Optima Red Top battery specializes in that first start in the morning. It has a designed ignition burst to your car going in the most extreme conditions. These are definitely the most powerful battery that I was able to find for normal vehicles.

The shell of the battery is designed to be spill proof, which is good, you don’t want to get battery acid all over yourself. Also, the casing is designed to be 15 times more vibration resistant than a standard battery casing. This is second only to the Delphi. Overall a very good battery.

There are two things that I do not like about this battery. The first thing is the price, it is considerably more expensive than all other batteries on here. This may be a deal killer for most.

Second, is people have had a hard time getting the warranty to be honored. Amazon doesn’t handle the warranty for this product, so if something goes wrong you have to deal with the manufacturer.

The Optima Red Top Battery certainly meets all of the qualifications to be an excellent winter time battery, but the price and warranty issues are something for the buyer to beware of.

How Cold Is Too Cold For A Battery?

A battery starts to lose life once the temperature gets down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, it will lose a third of its power. If the temperature falls to zero degrees, a car battery will lose 60% of its power, making it die. The best temperature for batteries is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Is Cold Bad For Batteries?

Yes, it is. The colder a battery is, the quicker it will lose its charge. Batteries are not able to operate at their full potential when they are too cold, which is why most people have a hard time starting their cars during cold weather. 

Do Car Batteries Die When It’s Cold?

Car batteries have a hard time dealing with cold weather. It slows the chemical reaction inside them, which can lead to them not having the juice that they do during the summer. If a battery is already damaged or not at it’s best before cold weather hits, the cold weather can kill it. 

At What Temperature Will A Battery Freeze?

A new battery that is all the way charged should not freeze unless it is -76 degrees. A subpar battery, on the other hand, can freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Can Cold Weather Kill A Car Battery?

Yes, cold weather can kill a car battery. At temperatures of zero degrees, a car battery loses over half of its power. This gives it less cranking power. Over time, the battery will continue to get worse until it needs to be replaced. This is typically seen in older batteries or ones that are already damaged. 

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Kill A Car Battery?

It has to be below 70 degrees to officially kill a batter, but it will start losing power at 32 degrees. The colder it gets, the more power it will lose. Damaged or old batteries might die at 32 degrees and need to be replaced. Newer batters are usually fine until the temperature reaches zero. 

Can Cold Weather Drain Your Battery?

Cold weather can drain your battery. The colder it gets, the more the temperature affects the battery. You’ll notice that you have less crank power. Simultaneously, it takes more power to start a car in cold weather. This leads to the battery not having enough power to start the car. This is a common problem in colder climates. 

How Do I Keep My Battery From Dying In Cold Weather?

There are several things you can do to keep your battery from dying. These tips can help you make sure your car starts: 

  • Start your car daily
  • Park in a garage if possible
  • Make sure that your battery is fully charged and in good condition before cold weather hits
  • Don’t turn on accessories, like the radio, when you start your car. If the battery is low on juice, this can make it even lower. Instead, let your car warm up before enjoying the radio. 
  • Use a battery blanket to keep it warm

How Do You Warm Up A Car Battery In Cold Weather?

You can pour boiling water over a battery in cold weather to get it warm faster. After that, don’t let your car warm up. Instead, start driving it within a minute of starting it. A car heats up faster when it’s being driven. 

Charging A Car Battery In Cold Weather

Charging a battery is possible in cold weather, but it might take longer if you’re doing it jumper cable style as batteries have less power in the winter. They also want to accept less charge, which means that you’ll need to drive them longer after they are charged. 

Is It Bad To Warm Up Your Car When It’s Cold?

It’s not bad, as in it won’t damage your car. However, it’s better to let the car warm up while it’s being driven. Cars get warm faster when they are on the go versus when they are sitting still. 

What Happens If You Don’t Let Your Car Warm Up In The Winter?

Nothing bad. Letting your car warm up in the winter is actually bad for the car, and can cause later problems in the catalytic converter. You should be driving your car at a nice, easy pace shortly after starting it. 

What Temperatures Do Car Batteries Stop Working?

Some car batteries that are not newer or fully charged will stop working at 32 degrees. Others will take a nosedive in power once the temperatures reach zero. 

How Do I Keep My Car Battery From Dying In Cold Weather?

Do what you can to keep the car battery warm and charged. This means park it away from snow and wind if possible. If not, pick up a car blanket for added wind protection, and a blanket for the battery 

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