A Detailed Guide to Buying Car Batteries on eBay

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A Detailed Guide to Buying Car Batteries on eBay

A car battery is an essential component in a car. Without the battery, the car cannot operate. This is because the car battery provides the electricity needed to power the car's engine. It is a known fact that like all batteries, a car battery ages, and as it ages the car battery loses its ability to hold charge. Therefore, a car owner may have to replace her car's battery several times during the lifespan of the car. When shopping for a replacement car battery, it is important for the buyer to consider factors such as the type and make of vehicle, the size of the battery, and the battery's reserve capacity, as well as features like cold cranking amps.

eBay has hundreds of current listings for both new and used car batteries. To find the right car battery for their car and for their needs, buyers need to know how to navigate the eBay site.

Searching for a Car Battery on eBay

To start a search for a car battery on eBay, the user simply needs to type keywords into the search bar at the top of eBay's home page. For instance, the user can type in a generic search phrase like 'car battery'. However, using a generic search phrase results in the local search engine returning hundreds of thousands of listings for car batteries and related accessories. To hone the search, it becomes necessary to use the search filters on the results page to sort the listings and narrow down the results. To do this efficiently, the user needs to know what features they require in a car battery.

Features to Consider in a Car Battery

Before beginning the search for a new battery, the buyer should collect vital information about his car and his driving habits. These details are all important when assessing the features of a car battery listed for sale on eBay. For instance, the buyer needs to know their vehicle's make, model, and year. While eBay's local search engine allows the user to sort listings based on the make and model of car, it is wise for the buyer to know the battery group size for their vehicle, just in case the buyer's make and model of car is not listed as an option on eBay.

There are also the buyer's driving habit and environment to consider. Northern climates require that car batteries come with cold-cranking amps. If the buyer only drives in city traffic, she should look for a long-life battery. A long-life battery is important for a car driven for short, stop-and-go trips.


On the results page, the user can sort the results based on the condition of the battery, allowing the user to search for a new or used battery. While a used battery is cheaper than a new battery, it may not be the most cost-effective choice if the buyer has to then replace the battery again in a few months.

New Car Batteries

New car batteries still have active manufacturers warranties. Should something go wrong with the new car battery, within the bounds of the manufacturer's warranty, the buyer is assured that any replacement expenses accrued are covered by the warranty.

Used Car Batteries

Most used batteries listed for sale on eBay work just as well as a new car batteries. This is because these batteries are not very old and are best described as either 'gently used' or 'refurbished'. Used batteries can be quite a bit cheaper. However, the buyer should be careful here. It is important that the buyer determine the age of the battery by looking up the date stamp. Ideally, a car owner should always opt for the best new battery that they can afford.

Group Size

The wrong size battery may not fit in the space designated for the battery. If the battery terminals are in the wrong place, then the connector cables may not be able to reach the terminals. The battery's power rating may also be incompatible with the car. eBay makes it easy for the user to find the correct size for a particular make and model of car. However, if the user finds that their car is not listed as an option on the results page, it is a good idea for the buyer to know what group size fits his car. The group sizes are listed below with descriptions for the types of vehicles these group sizes fit into.

Group Size

Terminal Location

Compatible Vehicles

Size 65

Top terminal

Large cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles

Size 75

Side terminal

General Motors (GM) midsized and compact cars


Size 24/24F

Top terminal

Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan, and Toyota cars

Size 34/78

Dual terminal

Large Chrysler vehicles, some 1996-2000 GM pickup trucks, SUVs, and midsized to large sedans

Size 35

Top terminal

Fits Japanese cars, including recent Hondas, most Subarus, Nissan, and Toyota cars

Car batteries are available in a variety of group sizes, and each car has a specific size battery that works best with particular makes and models of cars. To determine the group size, the buyer should consult their car's manual. The buyer could also research online or consult a car dealership.

The Date Stamp

It important to buy a battery that is no older than six months. As a battery gets older, it loses its ability to hold charge. To determine the age of the battery, the buyer should look for information related to the battery's date stamp. The date stamp code provides information about the battery's 'freshness'. This stamp is expressed in letters and numbers. For instance, 'A' is for January, and a number, such as '8' represent the year 2008. This code can be found on the battery cover. All sellers include photos with the their listings. The buyer should look at the photo of the battery and note the date stamp. If the photo is not a close-up or is not clear enough to be able to read the date stamp, the buyer should request additional photos by contacting the seller through the seller's membership profile page.

Cold Cranking Amps and Cranking Amps

The buyer should ask the seller about cold cranking amps (CCA) if the battery is for a car that needs to start in below freezing conditions. If the climate is milder, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark, the buyer should enquire about cranking amps (CA). The seller should include this information in the item description, but if it is not present, it is wise to contact seller before going ahead with the purchase.

Reserve Capacity

Reserve capacity is the measure of how many minutes a battery runs on its own power. This is an important number to know in case the car's alternator fails. As with other features, if the item description does not specifically the reserve capacity, the buyer should ask the seller about this vital specification before buying the battery.

Sealed or Low Maintenance Batteries

Sealed (no maintenance) batteries do not need water added to them. Low maintenance batteries on the other hand are unsealed and have caps that can be removed to add water. The low maintenance batteries are best for cars driven in hot climates. The seller should specify whether a battery is a sealed battery or a low maintenance battery.

Price of the Battery

Although price is always an important consideration, it should not be the primary consideration. Like a cheap insurance policy that fails to provide sufficient coverage when it is needed most, a cheap battery can let a driver down at the worst possible time, like a rainy night out on the motorway. Although a new battery costs more than a used battery, one is almost assured of good performance from a new battery. If the buyer has a particular budget in mind, then they can sort the listings by specifying a maximum or a minimum price. By doing so, the site's search engine only displays those listings that fall within the user's budget.

Assessing the Seller

eBay allows any user to sort the listings based on the status of the seller. Those sellers who have long, positive histories on eBay have attained the status of 'Top-rated Seller'. These sellers have the highest feedback scores, with their scores related to the quality of the customer service they deliver and the quality of the merchandise they sell. If the buyer wishes to read up about the seller, the buyer should go onto the seller's profile page and read the feedback left by previous customers. The buyer can also sort the listings such that the search engine only shows listings posted by local sellers. This is especially important when buying items that are heavy, to avoid expensive shipping fees.


Car batteries invariably have to be replaced. It is important to buy the correct replacement battery to ensure that a car continues to perform properly. The buyer needs to consider their driving habits and their local climate. If the winters are very cold, cold cranking amps are essential feature. For summer road trips to Southern Europe, a low maintenance battery with removable caps for adding water is important.

eBay's local search engine is very easy to use. The buyer is able to sort the thousands of listings based on the make and model of car. If her make and model of car is not listed, the buyer should research what group size fits her car and then use a keyword search to find a compatible car battery. While price is an important consideration, the car owner should try and buy the best new car battery he can afford, as cheaper, used batteries are risky propositions.

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