Car batteries don’t fail too often, but when they do, it’s the worst time it could happen. It’s just how things are; misfortunes don’t pick the right moment to happen. All we can do is to be prepared for the worst. You probably never had a car battery malfunction in your backyard. It usually happens when we’re going to work on an interstate. The worst thing that can happen is that it fails during a blizzard. We hope you’ll avoid this misfortune, but it could happen to anyone.
If your car is having issues getting up and running in the morning, one of the problems might be the battery. If this occurs during the summer, the situation is a bit lighter. But if it occurs during the cold months, you could be facing some real issues. The one way you could avoid some of the problems that come with this situation is to be prepared. But how can you know which car batteries are the best for cold weather? This is where we come into play. Many people, all over the world, mostly there where the climate is not lovely and warm, face the issue of an empty car battery. As we said, it can happen to the best of us.
Top Picks for 2023
In this article, we are going to stroll through some of the best options on the market in this department. You should check our list and see if you agree with our assessment on this subject. Beware that we followed a certain protocol in selecting these, so we didn’t go for brand names and expensive ones that guarantee the result, but we were more aiming at them being balanced in all departments. The parameters we used are reserve capacity, the history of the manufacturer, cost, and cold-cranking amps. Anyway, enough with the introduction, let’s see what are the best car batteries for cold weather in 2023. Be sure to leave us a comment if you think there’s a need for the inclusion of a model we might have missed.
1. Optima REDTOP
We’re going to start with this one, as it is, in our opinion, one of the best, if not the best, option for car battery on the market at the moment of writing of this article. The company which manufactures them has a long history in the industry, and they pay a particular focus on the products that need to function in the wintertime. When we say that they hold their own against the heavy competition for more than forty years, you know why we rely on them. They’re reliable, and people all over the globe trust them for a reason. The department of this company, which focuses on operations involving heavy weather, designed REDTOP, and its power comes from Spiral Cell Technology. This piece of tech is focused on providing more energy to the battery upon ignition in a shorter period of time compared to regular batteries.
The Spiral Cell Technology we mentioned is a state of the art technology which consists of spiral-wound cells, all of which are standing individually. They’re composed out of lead plates that are submerged into lead oxide. When your battery life is near the end, these plates and led oxide will look like jelly. But, before this happens, you don’t need to worry about it spilling as it comes with protection and has no need for regular maintenance. When it comes to charging, it has faster recharging and is relatively resistant to vibrations. Optima knows its product is high-quality; thus, they offer three years of warranty on top of their AMG design.
- This battery lasts twice the longer compared to competitors
- It starts well regardless of weather conditions
- Resistant to vibrations
- No spilling
- Fits all positions inside of a vehicle
- Fast charging and maintenance-free
- Some customers lauded its short lifespan
- Only three years of warranty
2. DieHard Platinum
DieHard should be a name that rings a bell if you ever were in a situation that you need a car battery. This manufacturer is reliable and a well-known name among the car goers. They have a deal in place with Sears Auto Center, so if you ever bought a car there, it probably came with one of their batteries. The popularity and celeb status of these batteries probably comes from the early 70s when Richard Petty and Bobby Allison rode in cars powered on these batteries. This is how you leave a mark in the car industry. Add a bit of quality to the mix, and you have yourself a household name. DieHard is not currently on the top of the car battery mountain, but this is the goal this company set for itself.
All of us in need of a reliable battery for snow and old conditions know DieHard Platinum for its Absorbed Glass Mat technology. This piece of tech is essential for today’s cars, which heavily rely on start-stop systems. In addition, these batteries are also very durable, maintenance-free, and heavily resistant to vibrations and corrosion. It is all thanks to the combination of Absorbed Glass Mat technology and Stamped Grid technology these batteries use. When you combine everything we wrote above, you understand why this manufacturer and its car battery are the right choices if you often meet with heavy weather. It also comes with a three-year warranty, which is quite a plus.
- Three-year free replacement warranty
- Adequate protection against vibrations
- Reserve capacity that holds up to 120 minutes
- Some car models find it hard to fit correctly
- Some customers find it too heavy
3. Optima YELLOWTOP
Of course, we have another Optima product on our list. They take pride in what they do, and with a reason – they deliver each time. This battery is the best choice for everyone who owns a vehicle that comes with additional equipment that needs electric powering. We’re talking about road lights and winches that are common on heavy-duty trucks or vans. Most 4×4 vehicles are rich in added equipment, and they need a good battery to power it all. It’s where Optima YELLOWTOP comes into play. If you own a car like this, you’ll need more power than what a regular battery can offer.
This battery comes with extreme reserve capacity and has a deep cycle use uncharacteristic for standard batteries. If you don’t understand what deep cycle capability is. Let us explain. It all comes down to the level of energy that a battery is able to sustain and for how much time. Optima YELLOWTOP can hold it for more extended periods of time. This is what makes it so great. You won’t be surprised when you hear that this battery can be used on various other vehicles such as tractors, forklifts, and multiple other heavy machines. Another aspect that makes it ideal for use in all conditions, and almost all vehicles is the absorbed glass mat design, which sets it apart in this department. Similarly, as with other entries on this list, it comes with a three-year warranty.
Learn more about the difference between Optima Yellowtop, Redtop and Bluetop batteries by watching the following video:
- It has a deep cycle, and it is long-lasting
- Excellent battery ratings
- It is an improvement compared to wet cell batteries
- It behaves differently when it reaches the end of life
- Some deem it expensive
4. ACDelco Professional AGM Battery
ACDelco Professional AGM battery is a product of General Motors, which is already a testimony to its quality. It is interesting to see that one massive company is making strides in this department. The best part is that it gets along with all vehicles, not only with those manufactured by GM. Almost all other manufacturers have good experience with this long-lasting battery, which has a positive track record in the industry. ACDelco separates its products into two classes: Professional and Advantage. The chances that you won’t find a suitable battery out of these two lines are close to zero. The company takes pride in creating goods that are usable by almost all vehicles currently on the market. They have all rights to do so as they’re covering the market rather well.
This battery is similar to others in this list in terms of usage and quality that it brings to the table. It is an AMG designed one like the others, but it has a couple of features that set it apart from the rest of the pack. The brand did its job of being recognizable on the market. For one, they are unique by adapting a leak-proof pressurized valve system. Thanks to this system, the battery has a longer life, and it is nearly impossible to have its terminals damaged by acid. The one thing which is the same as with all other batteries we talked about is the three-year warranty.
- Close to no maintenance
- No chances of a leak
- Resistant to vibrations
- Little use in lighter vehicles
5. DieHard Gold Battery
As you can see, this is another product from DieHard, just a scaled-down version. It is one level below the platinum one, which is manifested in its features and the price. But don’t be fooled. It is less expensive than the Platinum one, which doesn’t make it cheap in any way. The quality also doesn’t come in question as this battery is also based on the Stamped Grid Technology. This is what makes it one of the most reliable options when it comes to starting power on cold winter days. In addition to this rather important part of winter batteries, this company also made strides in making the battery design so sophisticated that it now offers 60% more electrical flow. This is how you make waves in this market.
While still an excellent choice, it doesn’t come near the Platinum version. If you are having a vehicle that comes with a lot of accessories, thus demanding more power, you’re better off with Platinum than Gold. Connectivity features drain a lot of energy, so you must have them in mind when choosing the right battery. If you have modest needs in your car, you’re good to go with the Gold version as it is reasonably good considering the manufacturer and the price. The one thing that makes it identical to the pack above is the three-year warranty.
- Long lifespan
- It is bulletproof in terms of leaks and spills
- Excellent at absorbing extra electrolytes
- It can be challenging to install
6. Odyssey PC680 Battery
Odyssey has a unique approach to the market of car batteries for cold weather. Its price is way below anything we mentioned on this list, but they still can parry them with quality, toughness, and ability not to leak and have any malfunctions. Its top performance comes to form the pure lead plates, which give it durability and resistance to vibrations regardless of the terrain. Being an AGM battery, Odyssey PC680 takes pride in being a battery with a long life span. Other deep-cycle batteries can stand toe to toe with this one in terms of the life cycle. This is what makes it ideal for harsh weather conditions, in addition to the depth discharge it possesses.
The one thing it can be taken against it is the low cold-cranking amps. Because of this, it is not the one battery to brag about its starting power. The cells are not high in tolerance and have a flaw of overcharging. When combined with its unorthodox size, it can be less than an ideal choice for some.
- Offers stable voltage
- Good warranty
- It has a long lifespan
- Hard to fit into some vehicles
- Slow starter
How Cold is too Cold for a Car Battery?
While batteries tend not o work properly when it’s too cold, they won’t freeze unless we’re talking about historic minuses. The issue with batteries is that they’ll lose their potency when the temperature goes 0°F or below. It can even be left without more than 50% of its standard power when it gets too cold. If you live in a cold climate area, it is essential to think about the right batteries for your vehicles. Any of those we listed above is the right choice for you. It all comes down to your preferences.
What is Battery Reserve Capacity?
This is vital to know. It refers to the amount of time you have at your disposal with headlights on, under a 25 amp draw before you’re left entirely without the power. You’ll always want to have a battery with a high amount of reserve capacity. This is essential if you have one of the modern cars with a start/stop system and many accessories.
When Is It Time to Replace My Battery?
It all comes down to the engine crank. If it is a bit sluggish, the time is right to start looking for a replacement. If there are no results when cranking, the reserve is long overdone. Another sign that it is time for a new one is the strange smell you can feel from your battery when you pop the hood.
Why Does My Battery Case Look Bloated?
This happens when the battery is being exposed to heat for prolonged periods of time. Because of the exposure to heat, it can get bloated. When you notice this, it is essential to test it and see it is the right time for a replacement.
What Is a Fresh Battery?
It means that we’re talking about a new battery. To be precise, every batter which is produced in the last six months is considered fresh. If it is older than six months, it can be regarded as neither new nor fresh. This is something you need to have in mind if you’re buying an already used battery.
How Many Cold Cranking Amps Should a Battery Have?
Everything close to or over the 650 CCA mark should be able to handle the cold climate. If you get a battery with over 800 CCA, you’re good to go even in Antarctica. It all depends on how cold it gets where you live. The more CAA, the more expensive the battery contacts, so you should not overpay if there’s no need.
Is It Okay To Buy A Battery With A Higher CCA?
As we said, it all comes down to the place where you live. People often get confused and mix the CCA and CA. CA goes for the Cranking Amps. The rating is all good and well, but what’s the battery made of matters more. Sometimes when a battery has a higher CCA rating, it starts better, but the capacity and battery life could be lower.
Are Optima Batteries Good In Cold Weather?
Yes, they are! As you can already tell by the number of Optima products entries on our list, they’re quite reliable. When it comes to cold weather batteries, their products are always in demand. They offer great starting prowess and are able to power all the accessories in modern vehicles.
Take a look at this infographic for more info on how to maintain your car battery during winter:
You can also take a look at these models available on the market:
Don’t miss our review of the best all-season tires for snow and ice or the article about top car accessories that every owner should have.