Cars can be insanely expensive. Between all the things that go wrong, and usually going wrong when you have just spent your last dollar on rent, your ride going down is sometimes the last piece of terrible news that can make you go from sane to crazy in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, not everything on a car is staggeringly expensive. Car batteries, for instance, are relatively affordable in comparison to many of the other things that may break or need replacing. Most times when they go down, it is as easy as jumping it and going along on your way. There are, however, those times when jumping a car battery will do no good. The dreaded time when you look at that dead battery sitting inside your car and seriously contemplate if its worth the acid burns you would most assuredly would receive to just beat the holy heck out of it right there in the parking lot. All that’s left in your brain after the last satisfying smash is a simple question… how much does a car battery cost?
So, you flip out your phone and call the local shop, right? Just dial them up and ask them how much does a car battery cost? Not likely. For one you will have to explain what happened to the old one and why they now have to come tow a car that has broken shards of battery everywhere. Plus, you’re not sure it wouldn’t be best to just hit some big box store and have them do it, because if cut-rate prices are what they specialize in it might mitigate the cost of that very expensive towing charge coming. Thus it is on to the search, and hopefully an answer that won’t break your wallet.
How much a car battery costs is sometimes directly correlated to how cheap you want to be. Cheaper batteries (with lower life expectancies and lower power) can be the fix-it-now solution, but in the end you may just be setting yourself up for another identical charge soon after. More expensive batteries can last an impressive amount of time, but if your still driving around that ’86 Deathbox it might be way more of an investment than is either necessary or smart.
Generally speaking, the lower grade your battery, the quicker it is going to die on you. While these batteries are fairly cheap averaging between $40 and $60, there is also the risk that comes along with them. Mid grade batteries tend to be the solution for most everyday sort of car use. Ranging in between $40 and $60, these batteries are able to power a car for much longer than lower end batteries and come with a little more power. High end batteries tend to be the exclusive choice for car fanatics and larger vehicles that need more power than your normal mid-sized car. These batteries can come in at around a $100 pretty regularly.
Something to be on the lookout for is ‘cold crank ampage.’ The higher rating you see on cold crank amp will give you an idea of how much power it has to operate the starter. This also correlates to how much you can run electronics off the battery without the engine on like headlights, radio and the all important cell phone charger. Higher end batteries tend to have large cold crank amp ratings and the cheaper batteries have lower ratings. Like with the life expectancy issue, ampage can drive the price up or down depending on its value.
There are actually a few extra things that can drive the price of a car battery up. Some high end batteries have gelled acid, are completely sealed and some are less susceptible to vibration. All these of course can drive the price up even further. Most high end sports cars will feature these types of batteries, but for most vehicles they are add-ons that are optional depending on your budget.
So What Now?
So, you’ve been towed to the shop of your choice, you’ve withstood the sales pitch of the guy behind the counter and you’ve answered the question of how much does a car battery cost, at least in general terms. Depending on your car and your budget, the choice should be fairly simple with regards to the type of battery you’re looking for, and as we all know, many times the name brand only means a higher tag. So go on, buy that battery and get your car moving again. Also, next time, try to turn in your old battery for recycling, its much better for you and the environment that pounding it on the sidewalk.