Best Car Battery for Cold Weather? [Comparison and Editor’s Choice]

Best car Battery for cold weather

As the weather gets colder, your car will be put under a lot more stress and wear than usual.

One of the biggest challenges that your vehicle can face is the cold start, as freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your engine and your battery in particular.

Fortunately, with modern technology these days, there are many new battery models from which you can choose that will enable you to start your car in almost any condition, even if snow and ice are commonplace.

Today I’m going to look at some of the best options out there, as well as go over the most important details to consider when picking out a new battery.

The most important things to pay attention to are the cold cranking amps (CCA), the reserve capacity (RC), and the warranty. In each case, the higher the number, the better it is for your needs.

 Car Battery for Cold Weather Comparison Chart.

Picture
Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting Battery
Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM Automotive BCI Group 94R Battery
Exide Edge FP-AGM24F Flat Plate AGM Sealed Automotive Battery
NorthStar Ultra High Performance Group 31 AGM Battery
CCA
800
650
800
710
900
Reserve Capacity
100 minutes
98 minutes
140 minutes
120 minutes @ 25 amps
220
Our Rating
Prime Available?
-
Picture
Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting Battery
CCA
800
Reserve Capacity
100 minutes
Our Rating
Prime Available?
Latest Found Price
Top Pick
Picture
Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
CCA
650
Reserve Capacity
98 minutes
Our Rating
Prime Available?
Latest Found Price
Picture
ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM Automotive BCI Group 94R Battery
CCA
800
Reserve Capacity
140 minutes
Our Rating
Prime Available?
Latest Found Price
Picture
Exide Edge FP-AGM24F Flat Plate AGM Sealed Automotive Battery
CCA
710
Reserve Capacity
120 minutes @ 25 amps
Our Rating
Prime Available?
Latest Found Price
Picture
NorthStar Ultra High Performance Group 31 AGM Battery
CCA
900
Reserve Capacity
220
Our Rating
Prime Available?
-
Latest Found Price

Last update on 2018-01-20 at 03:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Car Battery for Cold Weather Reviews

1. Optima Batteries RedTop

Starting us off is this RedTop Battery from Optima.

This company is well-known for making high-performance models that can stand up to a lot of abuse, and the RedTop version is built for a wide variety of applications.

Mostly, if you love to go off-roading or you like to drive hard and fast, you will appreciate the ability of this battery.

Specifications:

  • CCA: 800
  • Reserve Capacity: 100 minutes
  • North?: No
  • Type: Starting
  • Warranty: 36 months

What makes this model ideal for cold climates is that it comes with 800 cold cranking amps.

This means that it will have much better starting power, even when the outside temperature is below freezing.

EDITOR'S RATING:

Optima Batteries RedTop review

The other thing that makes Optima batteries so reliable is that they use coils instead of flat plates. This enables the battery to work more efficiently and requires less maintenance.

The housing is also designed to significantly reduce vibrations, which is why it’s so ideal for off-roading vehicles.

Finally, with 100 minutes of reserve capacity, you shouldn’t have to worry about your car dying quickly if you leave the lights on or anything.

This can be helpful if you’re outside of the city and need light while the vehicle isn't running. Overall, this is a fantastic starting battery.

Pros

Cons

2. Optima Batteries YellowTop

When comparing different battery models from Optima, it’s imperative that you understand the company’s color-coding system.

As I showed you above, the RedTop is designed for quick starts and off-roading.

The Yellow Top is still built that way, but it’s also made to allow for more deep cycle usage.

Specifications:

  • CCA: 620
  • Reserve Capacity: 98 minutes
  • North?: No
  • Type: Dual-Purpose
  • Warranty: 36 months

So, if you want to run electrical systems in your car or truck, such as floodlights, a winch, or something else that needs a high-performance battery, the YellowTop has you covered.

Not only will it help your vehicle start in most weather conditions, but it will provide a ton of extra power when you need it most.

EDITOR'S RATING:

Optima Batteries YellowTop review

Beyond the deep cycle charging, this battery comes with the same high-quality construction and efficiency as the RedTop.

It uses coils instead of plates, which enables it to work much better than most other units. It also has advanced vibration insulation, meaning that you can take it off road without damaging the internal components.

As with all Optima batteries, you can expect to get a three-year limited warranty, and it is a low-maintenance design.

In fact, the YellowTop is rated to work for up to 300 recharge cycles without breaking down.

This has been consistently our top pick as the best car battery of the year for the last 2 consecutive years.

Pros

Cons

3. ACDelco Professional AGM

When looking at different car battery types, you’ll see that there are a few popular methods used to ensure that you get the power you need for all of your electrical components.

In the old days, the only way to build a battery was with lead plates.

However, while this design was relatively efficient, it was prone to corrosion and leaks, depending on how well it was constructed.

Specifications:

  • CCA: 800
  • Reserve Capacity: 140 minutes
  • North?: Yes
  • Type: Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
  • Warranty: 36 months

These days, many high-performance batteries use something called an absorbed glass mat (AGM) instead of lead plates.

This keeps all of the chemicals and acids used from getting out, and it vastly improves the output and efficiency of the battery itself.

EDITOR'S RATING:

ACDelco Professional AGM review

This model from ACDelco is a perfect example of AGM technology.

As far as cold starting goes, this particular unit is rated for lower temperatures and delivers 800 cold cranking amps. It also has a remarkable reserve capacity (thanks to the glass mat) and can keep going for up to 140 minutes after the engine shuts off.

Overall, I like this battery because it is built much more solidly than other models. It is both leak and corrosion resistant, and the AGM ensures that it will last longer and perform better than any standard lead plate design.

Also, it comes with a three-year replacement warranty.

Pros

Cons

4. Exide Edge FP-AGM

Because your car battery goes through so much wear and tear, you want something that is built to last as long as possible.

Specifications:

  • CCA: 710
  • Reserve Capacity: 120 minutes @ 25 amps
  • North?: No
  • Type: Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
  • Warranty: 48 months

You don’t want to have to replace your battery on a yearly basis, particularly because they can be somewhat expensive, particularly for a high-performance model.

EDITOR'S RATING:

Exide Edge FP-AGM review

Fortunately, this unit from Exide Edge provides the power you need at a price you can afford.

Best of all, it has a more extended warranty than most other companies, so you get the trifecta of amazing deals.

When talking about performance, this battery also uses absorbed glass mat technology. This means that it’s better at starting, stopping, and recharging. It can also provide deep cycle power when you need it most.

Although the cold cranking amps on this model are not as high as I’ve seen, it’s more than enough for most low temperatures.

Also, because it uses AGM, you shouldn’t have to worry about it much anyway. It’s a low maintenance design, and it will provide years of high-quality use.

As for the warranty, Exide will replace the battery within a four-year window, which is much better than most other brands.

Not only that, but this unit is cheaper than other AGM batteries, so you are spending less and getting more out of it.

Overall, if you want performance and you’re on a budget, this is the best option for you.

Pros

Cons

5. NorthStar Ultra High-Performance AGM

So far, I’ve been looking at car batteries, but if you own a boat, then you have to worry about the cold weather as well.

Marine batteries are built to withstand a lot more wear and tear because they are exposed to more elements out on the high seas than your car.

Specifications:

  • CCA: 900
  • Reserve Capacity: 220 minutes
  • North?: Yes
  • Type: Dual Purpose AGM
  • Warranty: 36 months

As such, you want something built to handle it all, like this Ultra High-Performance model from Northstar.

EDITOR'S RATING:

NorthStar Ultra High-Performance AGM review

When comparing the stats, you can see that this battery has a lot more to offer than standard vehicle options.

It has more cold cranking amps, reserve power, and it can be used for deep cycling much more often. In fact, this particular unit is rated to last up to 400 recharge cycles at a depth of 80%. You won’t find that with many other batteries.

The other thing about this model is that it also uses absorbed glass mat technology. This is what makes it “ultra high performance,” because it can handle starts, deep cycling, and cold weather much better than standard units.

It’s even insulated to keep vibrations to a minimum, further extending its lifespan.The only issue with this battery is the fact that it weighs over seventy pounds and it’s more expensive than most other models.

However, given the performance and reliability that you get with it, I think that it could very well be worth the extra price. As for the weight, you may need to get some help when installing it into your boat.

Pros

Cons

Winter Battery Care Tips:

While getting a battery that is rated for cold weather will go a long way to ensure that your vehicle makes it through the winter without any problems, there are some extra steps that you want to take as well.

Considering that you don’t want to have to replace your battery after each harsh season, it’s imperative that you take any precautions that you can to extend the lifespan.

Overall, following these tips will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Buy a Charger if the Battery Isn’t Used.

One of the main issues with a car battery is that it will start to self-discharge over time.

This means that if you leave it in the garage all winter, you could wind up with a damaged or broken system.

What happens is that the discharged liquid freezes, cracking the internal components of your battery.

To avoid this issue, you can either use your car regularly throughout the season (even just for quick drives) or you can buy a charger to go with it.

A charger is much less expensive than buying a new battery, so it’s worth it if you don’t plan on driving your car for weeks or months on end.

This will ensure that the battery gets regular use and won’t discharge on its own.

Clean Your Battery More Often

Corrosion and leaks are going to be an even bigger problem during the winter months as the cold temperatures can result in complications, such as cracks.

As such, you want to inspect the battery more often, particularly if it’s already a few years old.

Keep it clean and remove any rust or corrosion as soon as you see it.

cleaning car battery

Remove the Battery Altogether:

If you are planning on storing your vehicle through the whole season, then you might as well take the battery out so that it won’t be an issue.

This way, you can keep it in better conditions (i.e., not the garage) and you can hook it up to the charger much more easily.I only recommend this if you are sure that you’re going to store your car for a month or more.

If not, then it may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Final Verdict.

After looking through all of these batteries, I have to say that our top pick is the Optima YellowTop.

I like the fact that it’s built to handle rough and tumble driving, and that it’s designed for quick starts in cold weather.

It has more than enough reserve capacity and cold charging amps to last through the winter, and the coil design is much more efficient than any standard plates.

Overall, you can’t do much better than the YellowTop.

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