|The battery terminals are normally closer to one of the long edges of the battery. This diagram shows negative on the right. The negative terminal (-) in our battery pictures are normally Black or Blue. In the car it connects via a black lead normally to the metal of the bodywork or to a starter motor.||This diagram shows negative on the Left, and so the battery often has an "L" in the model description, e.g. N70ZZL or NS40LS. The positive terminal (+) in our battery pictures are normally Red (or are covered over with a plastic removable lid). In the car it has a red lead or a red plastic cover on the lead to the battery normally.|
- Also check the size of the battery compared to the existing one. If the one we recommend is a bit larger then check to see if it will fit, often there is extra room in the battery tray. If in doubt please call us on 1300 123 228.
- Some batteries (NS40 & NS60 sizes) come with either small (14mm diameter) terminal posts or else with the normal (20mm diameter) terminals. The size given is for the (+) post in each case. Take a close look at the pictures or measure (with a plastic rule) and choose the right one.
- The battery we recommend might be physicallysmaller, which is normally fine. What matters most is the ability of the battery to start your engine and run your accessories when the engine is off. The starting power is measured in CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) and this is listed for each battery.
- Check how the battery is held down (clamped) and compare it with the picture of the one you are purchasing. The bracket often is either across the top or clamps the bottom ledge of the battery.
We have a huge range of high quality automotive batteries to choose from, including:
- Century - Australia's best known brand, very popular and well trusted.
- Alco - High Quality Maintenance Free Calcium batteries, Made in South Korea
- Neuton Power - Exceptional value Maintenance Free batteries from China.
- Optima - The USA's high preformance spiral wound AGM battery.
- Odyssey - Metal cased AGM speciality battery for air and race uses.
- Varta - Germany's top brand, often the original battery in new BMW and Mercedes
- Federal and others - e.g. to fit Mazda MX5 and other odd sizes.
- We keep Batteries are in stock for all Cars, Vans, Trucks, and 4x4.
You can save even more money by ordering (online or by phone) and collecting and fitting the battery yourself. Alternatively choose to have us deliver and if required fit your new battery and we can test your vehicles charging system and take away the old battery for proper recycling.
Should I just choose the cheapest that will fit?
Many cars now have heavy electrical loads so choosing a "cheap" battery can be a false economy.
The introduction of smart-charge regulators into many vehicles in previous years, along with heavier vehicle electrical loads (powered seats, GPS, In-Car computers etc.) have all made life for the car battery much more difficult than in previous decades.
Also the more common adaption of stop-start technology (where the engine is switched off in traffic and at red lights) places a huge strain on car batteries, forcing them to start the vehicles engine many times in a single trip instead of just once. All of this makes it more important than ever to choose the right battery for your vehicle.
Flat Battery or Dead Battery?
We have the latest electronic testers which can tell you if you really need a new battery or just need to give your current one a good charge. We can also give your charging system a full test and give you a printed report for your peace of mind. For borderline cases we have carbon pile load testers which can help detect intermittent faults or dropped cells.
What different Car Batteries types are there?
Aside from the high-performance dry fit Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries from Optima, Odyssey & some of the Varta ranges, most auto batteries tend to come in two main types as follows;
1. Calcium "Maintenance Free" (or Calcium Sealed) batteries.
Calcium batteries can be a good choice for cars which may be left to stand for long periods (e.g. at airports, or which are only occasionally used) as they tend to have a lower self-discharge than traditional batteries. They also claim good cranking power for their size and will never need "topping up" at services. As you can't get to the cells to top them up they have a chemical added which is designed to scavenge most of the water created by charging and re-cycle it back into the cell.
The downside to Calcium MF batteries tends to be that they are very hard to recover if they ever do go flat (e.g. lights left on in the car). You need a good battery charger with a Calcium (High Voltage) setting to properly charge them - something many battery chargers don't have. Also Maintenance Free batteries can struggle to deal with the underbonnet heat found in Far North Queensland, NT, WA etc. and so customers in those areas often choose an accessible (top-up) battery for this reason (see below).
The RACV reckon the average lifetime of a car battery in Australia is 3.5 Years, which seems a little low to us but is probably driven by lots of cheaper batteries being sold. The original batteries in many Japanese cars (made by FB, Century-Yuasa etc.) seem to last much longer than this. Note that these are generally the Accessible (top up) models (see below).
2. Traditional "Lead-Acid" Accessible (or top-up) batteries.
With the traditional Lead Acid batteries (e.g. most Century Models other than their DIN range for European cars), you can open up the tops of the cells to monitor and top up the cell if required with distilled water (never with battery acid!).
Some come with a water-loss indicator (also called a "magic eye") which acts like a hydrometer on one cell and changes colour based on the state of charge and the water level of the cell. Note that its only monitoring one cell, the other 5 in a 12Volt battery are hopefully (but not always!) in a similar condition.
The "acid-test" with lead acid batteries is quite literally to "test the acid", as towards its end of life the battery may struggle to charge and "gassing-off" may rise considerably, so the cells will need monitoring a bit more often. Of course with an Accessible battery this test can be quite simply carried out, and the hydrometer reading will give an accurate view of each cell's state of charge.
Traditional Lead Acid Access batteries in our view have given extremely good service for many years in Australian conditions, with the added benefit of being easier to assess in terms of their state of health (e.g. at service time, or before a big trip). We continue to recommend the Century Range for many applications, and don't think you can get a better example of this type of battery for similar money.
We do also have other quality brands (Optima/Federal/Varta etc.) which are more expensive but are also very suitable in some applications. Please call us if you need more information on these. The Varta range for example has a good reputation and was the original equipment on many new German models (e.g. BMW / Mercedes).
Are Century Car Batteries better than the others?
Lots of different car battery makes and models are available. If you do a search for "car batteries Melbourne .au" or similar you will see plenty of different brands of course, on the outside they all look pretty much the same if you ignore differences in the colouring and labels. Inside of course the quality of the materials (amount of metal in the plates, purity of the lead) and the quality of the design and manufacturing processes used to make the various models varies enormously.
We know from experience (having sold and tested thousands of car batteries) that there is a big difference in quality between the different brands, and so we tend to stick with manufacturers we have come to trust. These include Century-Yuasa (who still make the majority of their car batteries for the Australian market up in Queensland), Alco (from South Korea) and Varta (from Germany).
The Century range is tried and tested in Australian conditions, where batteries have to cope with very cold mornings at one extreme and the heat of under-bonnet conditions in 40C+ summers at the other. They typically have a 2 year warranty and last very well. We reckon for the money they are very hard to beat.
What we are not so sure about is Century's "Smartdrive" marketing claims - i.e. that their new squat style of battery can reduce fuel consumption & vehicle emissions by up to 2%. To be fair they do point out that only vehicles fitted with Regulated Charge Control (which tends to mean the newer European imports) are likely to see these reductions, but we'd like to see more evidence in real-world driving conditions in Australia. The general idea is that the battery does more of the work (a bit like a deep cycle battery in a campervan or RV) and then is smart-charged quickly from time to time instead of presenting a constant load on the engine as with normal vehicle alternators - hence saving fuel.
Which car battery is best for me?
It depends on what the vehicle is (car, 4x4, taxi etc) and your normal use of the vehicle (Short trips? Off-road? Left standing a lot?). Does it have a "Start-Stop" system fitted, or perhaps one of the Regulated Charge Control Alternators?
It also depends on the age of the car, the load put onto the battery by standard (or aftermarket) accessories, and many other factors.
And of course price is a factor for most people and some are looking for the lowest price on a car battery because they intend to sell the car shortly. The important thing is to get the best value car battery for your needs. This is the model of battery that is the right balance between price, performance and longevity.