How To Check the Size of a Car Battery

Your car’s battery is the source of power for opening and locking doors, sliding your windows, turning on the lights, and running other car accessories (e.g., radio or CD player).  Without a battery, your car won’t run those electric gadgets.  For one reason or another, you may need to replace your car’s battery.  Before you go shopping for a new battery, you need to consider five factors: size, brand, reserve capacity, age, and cold-cranking amps.  This article will assist you in checking the size of your car’s battery.

Battery “size” literally refers to the physical dimensions of the battery; that is, its height, width, and length.  Battery sizes are categorized into groups (also known as OEM battery group number) based on the size of the battery case, locations of the terminals, as well as the type and polarity.  The specifications for the groupings are published and maintained by a standards-enforcing body.  The Battery Council International (BCI) maintains the standards and specifications for North American battery manufacturers.  In Asia, manufacturers conform to the Japanese JIS standard, while Europe adheres to the EN, IKC, Italian CEI, and German DIN specifications.

Each car has a battery tray.  This tray holds the battery and keeps it in place.  The battery trays of most cars can hold batteries from various battery group sizes, but not all group sizes may be accommodated.  It is possible to fit a larger battery into your car’s battery tray, but it has to match the layout of the terminals, as well.  Moreover, the cables must be long enough to reach the terminals and to attach to the terminals securely.  More importantly, the terminals must not come in contact with surfaces (e.g., the car hood).  For these reasons, you should know the right battery group size for your vehicle.

One very obvious way to check your car’s battery size is to take out the existing one and measure its dimensions using a ruler or measuring tape.  If you decide to do this, make sure that the ignition is off and that you wear protective gear, especially safety goggles and rubber gloves.  Car batteries contain sulfuric acid, which you don’t want to spill on your skin or splash on your eyes.  Also, when handling the battery, keep all metal objects away from the battery terminals.  A metal object touching two battery terminals at the same time can cause a short circuit and may cause the battery to explode.  All you really want to do is to get the physical dimensions of the battery, right?

A safer way to check your car’s battery size is to consult your car’s service manual to know the specific battery group size for your car.  The service manual often includes information about the range of battery group sizes that can fit into your car’s battery tray.  Some battery retailers also provide reference guides that you can consult.  In most cases, your service manual will identify the battery group size or group number.  Each battery also has its group size number printed on the top, along with other information such as its CCA (cold-cranking amps) and its warranty.
So, next time you go to the store to shop for a replacement battery, make sure you are ready with the information about the battery group size number appropriate for your car.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: