Should I Buy a Cheap Car Battery? - Australian Mechanical (2023)

Along with a flat tyre, a dead battery is one of the most common reasons for roadside breakdowns. Your car depends on the battery to run just about all of its key electrical systems. Without a battery, you aren’t going anywhere! If you find yourself with a flat battery, you may need to buy a new one as batteries need to be replaced every few years. While it may be tempting to purchase a cheap battery, is it worth it?

How to tell if your battery is dying

A dying battery has some pretty telltale signs. These include:

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  • A slow engine crank
    If your car is starting more slowly than usual, this may be a first sign of a dying battery.
  • Your battery won’t charge
    A battery that continuously requires recharging usually means it needs to be replaced.
  • A bloated battery
    If you’re car’s battery is swelling, it usually means it has overheated. This can cause the battery case to rupture, causing a leak.
  • A rotten egg smell
    This smell usually means a leaking battery.

If you notice any of these common issues, then it is most likely time for a new battery. Some other issues such as dim lights while driving and your car turning off at idle, could also be caused by a dead battery, but it may also be a sign of a larger issue. Logbook servicing usually involves an inspection of the battery and replacement if necessary.

Difference In Quality

Buying a cheaper battery is a very tempting option to get you back on the road with minimum expense. However, cheaper batteries are often made using lower grade components such as cheap cables, wires, metals and electrolytes. These components wear out much quicker than higher quality batteries. Some cheap batteries even user lower-grade casings, making them much more susceptible to leaking.

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Most high quality batteries should live for 2-5 years depending on climate and use. A cheaper, & lower quality battery is likely to have a much shorter lifespan.

Other Issues

The thought that your cheap battery might not last long should be enough reason not to buy one, but it’s not the only possible issue. A more expensive issue commonly caused by a cheap battery is a broken alternator. By converting the engines rotational output into electrical energy, the alternator recharges the battery while you drive.

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A cheaper battery with lower quality components may require more energy to be charged, over stressing the alternator. This causes it to wear out much quicker when compared to normal use. Once the alternator dies, replacing the battery won’t be able to fix your car’s issues and will require a replacement. The cost of replacing an alternator can easily rise past the $1000 mark, and usually requires purchasing a new battery.

As the main power supply for your vehicle, a high quality battery should be used.. You don’t want to end up on the side of the road due to a cheap battery. If you need to purchase a new car battery, or have any questions, call us today on 07 3356 1538 or get a quote online.

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Are cheap car batteries worth it? ›

Buying a cheaper battery is a very tempting option to get you back on the road with minimum expense. However, cheaper batteries are often made using lower grade components such as cheap cables, wires, metals and electrolytes. These components wear out much quicker than higher quality batteries.

Do expensive car batteries make a difference? ›

A more expensive battery is supposed to last longer, and might come with a longer warranty. I usually buy the cheapest battery available because they last longer than the warranty period for the more expensive batteries. They're both very good batteries. For a daily driver car I would get the Duralast.

Is there a quality difference in car batteries? ›

Are all car batteries the same? In brief, they are not. There are some similarities between them, but there are enough differences that you often cannot use the same battery across multiple vehicle platforms. Indeed, battery tray sizes vary, and so do the types of 12-volt batteries that go into different vehicles.

What is the best car battery to buy in Australia? ›

Top 11 Best Car Battery Brands In Australia
  • Yuasa Century Car Battery. Century batteries are one of Australia's most dependable and long-lasting battery brands. ...
  • Supercharge Batteries. The batteries of Supercharge car battery is noted for their long life. ...
  • Marshall Batteries. ...
  • Optima. ...
  • ACDelco. ...
  • Odyssey. ...
  • Duracell. ...
  • Bosch.
Nov 28, 2022

Is it OK to buy cheap batteries? ›

But experts say that the batteries you can buy at dollar stores are lower quality, Kiplinger reports. The carbon-zinc batteries that dollar stores typically sell don't last as long as the alkaline name brands.

Does it matter what car battery you buy? ›

There is no “one-size-fits-all” battery suitable for every car. The battery type, physical size, terminal configuration, and cold cranking amps (CCA) or amp-hour (Ah) rating are all important factors that ensure the proper fit and function of a battery.

How much should I spend on a car battery? ›

Depending on power, size, and quality, prices for a replacement car battery range from about $45 to $250. Your local dealership, auto parts store or automotive service center can check your current battery or hook you up with a new car battery.

Are OEM car batteries better than aftermarket? ›

Because they are made in the same way as genuine parts, OEM parts tend to be more reliable than aftermarket parts and last for longer. Warranty. OEM parts should come with a warranty to protect you if the part is defective or doesn't work properly.

Which brand of car battery is best? ›

Top 10 car battery manufacturers in India
  1. SF Sonic. It's possible that many people have never heard of this name, but they can be using it without even realizing it. ...
  2. ACDELCO. ...
  3. Exide. ...
  4. AMARON. ...
  5. Tata. ...
  6. Liveguard. ...
  7. Southern Batteries. ...
  8. Okaya.
Dec 30, 2022

How long does a cheap car battery last? ›

In general, car batteries should last 3-4 years; it's typical for car maintenance to have to replace this part. Some batteries, however, could last as long as 6 years while others need to be replaced after a year or two.

Are generic batteries just as good? ›

Is a brand name battery any different from a generic or a store brand? "If you're talking about alkaline batteries, the chemistry is always the same," Illinois Institute of Technology physics professor Carlo Segre says. He says the quality of manufacturing can vary, making the name brands a safer bet.

What car batteries are made in Australia? ›

Century Batteries is Australia's oldest and most recognised battery manufacturer with a proud history of designing and manufacturing batteries in Australia since 1928. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

How much is the average car battery Australia? ›

How much does it cost to replace a regular car battery? The average cost of a regular car battery in Australia is around $120 to $180.

What are the different types of car batteries Australia? ›

  • Alkaline.
  • Carbon Zinc.
  • Lithium Ion.
  • Lithium Ion Phosphate.
  • Nickel Cadmium - NiCd.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride - NiMH.
  • AGM & SLA.
  • Gel Batteries.
Jan 28, 2021

Do brands matter in batteries? ›

When replacing the batteries, it is best to use new and unused alkaline batteries. We recommend name brand batteries, Duracell or Energizer brands are always good choices. Store brands do not operate at the same level of reliability.

Are more expensive batteries worth it? ›

If you buy the cheaper batteries, you're paying a little bit now and then you'll pay a little bit later. It's thinking more short-term. If you buy the more expensive batteries, you pay more up front but they last longer. In the end, there's not that big a difference – it's the same amount of energy per price.

Do expensive batteries last longer than cheap ones? ›

More expensive batteries will last you longer, but the GP Ultras are a good choice if you like to buy in bulk.

Can I damage my car using the wrong battery? ›

If you use the wrong size battery, this could cause changes in the flow of electrical currents, resulting in power surges that can damage the onboard computers or other components.

What is the life expectancy of a car battery? ›

In general, your car will usually need a new battery after three to four years. Replacing your car battery is another part of routine maintenance. Getting your battery checked and inspected is standard for your service visits after three years, even if you haven't needed it replaced yet.

Are all car batteries made by the same company? ›

Most aftermarket car batteries sold in the U.S. are made by three companies that build them for retailers: Johnson Controls, which supplies more than half of the market; Stryten; and East Penn. They are sold under various names and built to the specifications of retailers, so performance can vary.

Where is the cheapest place to buy a car battery? ›

Walmart is hands down the cheapest place to buy a car battery. They carry EverStart batteries, their in-store brand manufactured by Clarios, which also makes Optima batteries. In addition to EverStart, some Walmart stores carry other brands such as Bosch and Optima.

What determines the price of a car battery? ›

A car battery price can range between 100-200 dollars. But it all depends on which one you're getting. Generally, the amount you pay is determined by three major factors: the warranty, performance, and battery type.

How often should I buy a car battery? ›

Service experts estimate that you should replace your car battery every four to five years.

Why do car batteries only last 5 years? ›

Batteries gradually deteriorate until they can no longer provide enough power to start an engine. This wear time could take three to five years and a vehicle's usage pattern is one factor contributing to the rate at which a battery will age.

Do some battery brands last longer? ›

In general, batteries made by reputable companies with strong brand names do indeed perform better than the cheap stuff. Energizer, and Duracell (probably the most expensive battery brands) are among the best performers.

Are Walmart car batteries good? ›

Are Walmart Brand Vehicle Batteries Good Quality? Additionally, EverStart batteries are priced well against the competition. With convenient locations, battery fitting, and an excellent return and warranty policy, Walmart batteries may be a perfect choice for many different types of car owners.

Are refurbished batteries as good as new? ›

A reconditioned car battery can be equally as reliable as a brand new car battery, especially if it is maintained regularly. If you are on a budget or have an older car that may not have a battery readily available, a reconditioned one might be just the right option for you.

What is the most reliable type of battery? ›

Lithium, an exceptionally light metal, gives lithium batteries the highest energy density of any battery cell. Thus, they can store more energy than alkaline batteries or any single-use battery of a comparable size.

Are non OEM batteries good? ›

Sometimes they are indistinguishable from the original manufacturers batteries, while at other times they can be severely lacking. In many cases, they will be made using lower quality materials and, as such, can degrade a lot quicker than OEM batteries. The result being that they need to be replaced more regularly.

Which battery is most cost effective? ›

Lead batteries are the lowest cost option compared with other battery technologies, in terms of both upfront cost and over the lifetime of the system.

How do I choose a good car battery? ›

Never purchase a battery that has fewer cold cranking amps than what is recommended by your owner's manual. You might find yourself stranded in the cold with a dead battery. For both the cranking amps and cold cranking amps, the higher the number typically results in a better performing battery.

Who makes Walmart batteries? ›

Walmart has worked with East Penn Manufacturing for a long time, and the manufacturer may be the most well-known company that makes Walmart batteries. Lastly, Exide manufactures Walmart EverStart batteries. Exide is an Indian company that is one of the world's largest lead-acid battery manufacturers.

How long do car batteries last in Canada? ›

The typical battery life is not an exact value and makes around 3-5 years range. This means that, in one instance, you can get away with 5 years of problem-free driving, while your next battery can fail on you before it hits a 3-year mark. You can choose to preventively replace your battery every 2-3 years or so.

What shortens car battery life? ›

Factors that can shorten its life include an extended period of partial or full discharge, vibration from not being properly secured, under- or overcharging, extreme temperatures, water loss, electrolyte contamination and corrosion on terminals.

Can a car battery sit for 2 years? ›

The good news is that the new battery can sit unused for two to four years and still work—as long as it's properly stored and maintained. Your unused car battery can be safely shelved for years if you: Store the battery upright. Keep it in a dry, well-ventilated area.

Is it bad to mismatch battery brands? ›

Q: Can you mix different brands of batteries? A: As chemistries and voltage vary across both battery types and brands, we recommend that you do not mix batteries. Mixing of cells can result in battery leakage and sub-optimal device performance.

Are generic batteries safe? ›

This is a tough question because there is not one set answer. The truth is, generic batteries are far cheaper that most genuine batteries, and more often than not they are safe and work just as expected.

Can you buy a bad battery from the store? ›

If you have a bad battery, you can purchase a new one from almost any auto parts store. Many stores will replace the battery as part of the purchase cost.

Are Yuasa batteries made in Australia? ›

Yuasa Batteries are proudly made in Australia, and are proud to partner with the Australian Made Campaign.

Are Exide batteries still made in Australia? ›

Exide Batteries are manufactured in South Australia and is one of the largest suppliers of batteries to vehicle manufacturers based in Australia. Exide Batteries' technology exchange enables this quality manufacturer to remain at the forefront of meeting the needs of new vehicles.

Is Yuasa a good battery? ›

Quality & reliability.

Genuine Yuasa replacement batteries are exactly the same as the ones fitted at the factory which means that you can be sure of getting a battery with the correct specification as well as the same high level of reliability and service life.

How long should a car battery last Australia? ›

On average, a well-maintained and properly-installed car battery will last between three and five years. Once your battery reaches three years of life, it's recommended to have it assessed and tested.

How often should you change your car battery Australia? ›

The general rule of thumb is that your battery will need replacing every three years, however your battery may need replacing earlier than that depending on your driving habits.

Can I replace my car battery myself? ›

When the car doesn't start because the battery fails, your commute or travel plans are put on hold. You'll have no option but to call for assistance if your battery goes dead if you are on the road. But if you are at home and can get a lift to the auto parts store, you can replace a car battery yourself.

Are all car batteries the same quality? ›

No. Car batteries differ in multiple ways to work with different vehicle's specifications, and they are generally year, make, model-specific. Many car batteries do have one important similarity in how they work.

Are aftermarket batteries worth it? ›

Industrial aftermarket batteries are normally prequalified and many perform well, but the quality can be less consistent than the brand-name product, and some packs are said to be underperforming.

How long should a car battery last in Canada? ›

The typical battery life is not an exact value and makes around 3-5 years range. This means that, in one instance, you can get away with 5 years of problem-free driving, while your next battery can fail on you before it hits a 3-year mark. You can choose to preventively replace your battery every 2-3 years or so.

Which brand of battery lasts the longest and why? ›

In general, batteries made by reputable companies with strong brand names do indeed perform better than the cheap stuff. Energizer, and Duracell (probably the most expensive battery brands) are among the best performers.

Are OEM batteries better? ›

Stand for Quality

It provides more in terms of quality when compared to non-OEM batteries which do come with a lower price tag, but can't match up to OEMs. OEM batteries need to meet the manufacturer's specs and quality controls. As a result, consumers have peace of mind knowing they're getting their money's worth.


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