How to Select the Right Car Battery for a Subaru

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Choosing the perfect battery for your Subaru can help make your car the reliable, high-powered machine it was designed to be. Having a solid understanding of the models, voltage and warranties available for car batteries can make you an informed consumer and help prevent you from falling prey to a deal or sales pitch that may not suit your needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Subaru owner's manual
  • Review your Subaru's owner's manual. Different makes and models will recommend different battery dimensions for proper fit in particular vehicles. Familiarize yourself with the recommendations to find the best battery for your Subaru. Look for batteries with higher cranking amps at 32 degrees (considered normal starting conditions): 800 and above is a good number, though it can go much lower. A good warranty is another important consideration to keep in mind, as they can range from six months to five years.

  • Consider the environment in which you operate your Subaru. If you require operation in particularly cold temperatures, make sure that you purchase a battery with a high Cold Cranking Amperes (CCA) specification. Be aware that 1050 Amps is a good number, though some batteries can be as low as 640 Amps, which will not perform as well in the cold.

  • Speak with the auto parts retailers in your area. Ask about the prices of the various batteries that fall within the recommended specifications for your Subaru. Watch out for sales, discounts and rewards club membership benefits, which can vary from store to store.

  • Purchase your battery from a chain auto parts retailer, as many will install your new battery for no additional charge, and will be able to dispose of your old battery legally.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase a battery which is less than six months old. Many manufactures stamp the date on their batteries using letters for the month ("A" for January, "B" for February) and single digits for the year ("9" for 2009, "0" for 2010).
  • Avoid purchasing your battery at the Subaru dealer. While they have excellent experience pairing vehicles with the perfect battery, they will severely overcharge for this knowledge. You can, however, ask them what they recommend, and then purchase it somewhere else.
  • Be careful when purchasing discount batteries from superstores such as Costco and Walmart if they do not have an automotive department, as they will not install the battery for you, and are considered to have have poor reliability.

References

  • Photo Credit automobile engine image by palms from Fotolia.com
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