Main photo credit: Nor Gal / Shutterstock.com
A proper battery provides the power to crank start your truck. But you won’t know how important it is to get the best possible battery for your truck until you have left it out in the cold for too long and then tried starting it! Only a good battery can resist the damage done by extreme weather, ensuring your truck is always ready to start up and drive as and when you want it to. Besides, you should at least be able to trust your battery not to die unexpectedly. No one likes being stranded curbside, and towing a truck doesn’t come cheap.
However, finding the right battery for your vehicle is easier said than done. The wrong kind can damage the electrical system and compromise the efficiency and longevity of your vehicle. So, make sure that you review manufacturer guidelines before you put your hard-earned money down on a new battery. Read on to find out more about the best truck batteries.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor’s Pick: Optima Batteries RedTop Starting Battery
- 2. Best for High Performance: Odyssey Automotive and LTV Battery
- 3. Best For Powering The Accessories: Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
- 4. ACDelco Professional AGM Battery
- 5. Delphi MaxStart AGM Battery
- What to Consider When Buying a Truck Battery:
- Why Does My Truck Battery Keep Dying?
- What is the Average Life of a Truck Battery?
- What are Some Signs That You Need to Replace Your Truck’s Battery?
- How Much Should I Drive to Keep the Battery Charged?
1. Editor’s Pick: Optima Batteries RedTop Starting Battery
If your truck does a lot of heavy lifting, and you often drive through rocky areas and on uneven roads, Optima Batteries’ RedTop Starting Battery is made for you. In fact, it can also be used in SUVs and traditional vehicles, in addition to trucks. Additionally, it’s race-proven and will endure hard launches and extreme corners like a champ. The secret to the success of this battery is the the company’s Spiral Cell Technology that uses individual spiral-wound cells made from two 99.9% pure lead plates that are coated carefully in lead oxide.
This also creates a clean energy source that is good for your truck as well as the environment. The casing can resist up to 15 times more vibrations than an average battery. At the same time, the built-in systems regularly monitor humidity and temperatures to ensure optimal performance. In summary, this powerful 12-volt battery provides 800 cold cranking amps, has dual SAE and GM ports, and 100 minutes of reserve capacity. The chances are that you’ll forget all about traditional flat plate AGM batteries, once you have this masterpiece.
2. Best for High Performance: Odyssey Automotive and LTV Battery
This particular Odyssey battery is one of the best truck batteries on the market; it has exceptional deep cycling capabilities, astounding starting power, and is highly regarded for its rapid recovery rates. Although it works in any type of vehicle, it is best suited for larger 4x4s or vehicles used in off-roading. Whether you use it every day or on a need-to-need basis, this battery will never fail to impress with its 950 CCA and a generous 145 minutes reserve capacity. Additionally, this battery has more lead plates, which in turn provides more power than other batteries with similar configurations.
In addition, this recommendation has an AGM design, so there’s a guarantee that there won’t ever be any acid spills. Also, the brass terminals are resistant to corrosion and have a secure seal, making the battery highly conductive. The internal connections and flame cell containers are quite strong, making the battery superbly resistant to vibrations and shocks.
The manufacturer claims that this battery has a three to 10-year service life, and if it doesn’t deliver as promised, it also with a four-year full replacement warranty.
3. Best For Powering The Accessories: Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
Suppose you own a high performance, heavy-duty vehicle with several high-end accessories such as an infotainment system, speakers, amplifiers, HIDs, hydraulics, and so on. You need a powerful battery to get that most from all that and also keep your truck in perfect driving condition. The Optima YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery can deliver on all those needs. Rest assured, that you are making a good investment because Optima is an industry favorite with a 40-year experience in manufacturing batteries that are known and loved for providing exceptional power.
This 12-volt battery delivers 750 CCA, has 120 minutes of reserve capacity, and unmatched cycling capabilities. The battery has a spiral cell construction, so you get plenty of clean, raw power that is safe for you as well as the environment. Plus, the YellowTop battery is best for seasonal use courtesy of its low self-discharge rate. So even if the truck is used occasionally and is left idle for several days, it will crank up instantly.
Above all, this option is impact resistant, so it won’t be damaged by vibrations and shocks caused by rough driving. It comes with a polypropylene case that is spill and leakage resistant so you can rest assured that this is one of the safest options out there.
4. ACDelco Professional AGM Battery
The ACDelco brand is General Motors’ Original Equipment (OE) parts brand, so you know you can’t go wrong with this battery. The American automaker is well known for its trucks, and ACDelco’s line of Professional Automotive AGM Batteries offer high cycling capabilities, are remarkably charge-receptive, and designed for vehicles with start/stop applications. This particular recommendation offers 760 CCA and 70 AH capacity, with high density negative paste to improve performance and increase battery life.
It’s manufactured with an enhanced life alloy/silver calcium stamped alloy to increase life cycle and performance, while the calcium lead positive grid maximizes conductivity, allowing for low resistance. A vent cap design resists acid leakage. To ensure the AGM design is 100-percent leak and spill-proof, the electrolyte is permanently held in the glass mat separator, instead of free flowing within each cell.
The company provides a 36-month free replacement period so you can rest assured your money is being well spent.
5. Delphi MaxStart AGM Battery
This recommendation is another AGM battery designed to provide better cycle life and faster recharging than traditional flooded batteries. The Delphi MaxStart offering boasts 800 CCA and 140 RC to power accessories in your pickup truck, such as heated seats or DVD players. This is a great option for truck owners since it’s 20 times more resistant to vibration than a traditional flooded battery.
Featuring a durable design, Delphi says the MaxStart meets OEM AGM requirements for an exact fit replacement. The company backs its battery with a 36-month free replacement warranty.
What to Consider When Buying a Truck Battery:
Most truck batteries have a limited lifespan. While some manufacturers promise up to 10 years or more of service, the longevity of a cell usually depends on the nature of road trips, their frequency, and the climate conditions for driving.
But make sure you also consider the following factors when buying the battery:
The Battery Type
There are many options on the market, so it would be best to know what meets your requirement:
Full Maintenance Batteries
These batteries have capped vented holes on the top that have to be filled with distilled water to run efficiently. Twist the cap to remove it, and inspect inside, if there is little to no liquid, refill it.
These batteries are designed with a dual venting system and do not require water or frequent maintenance, and they are fully spill-proof.
Absorbed Glass Mat Battery (AGM Battery)
They quickly charge up, are maintenance-free, and larger than conventional batteries. AGM batteries have many restoring cycles and offer some convenient features such as smart fuel functions and electronic safety measures.
The Size Of The Battery
The selected battery should fit comfortably inside the battery tray of your truck—it shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
The truck manufacturer provides information on what type of battery the vehicle requires for efficient operations. This rating is based on the power needed to crank up the vehicle and run all accessories, and also on the engine size.
Make it a point to buy a battery that surpasses the given rating. If you buy a battery with a lower score then required, the performance won’t be up to the mark.
Cold Cranking Amps
Cold-cranking Amps or CCAs refer to the amount of current supplied by the battery at zero degrees Fahrenheit. So go for a battery with a good CCA rating; the higher it is, the better for your truck’s drivability.
You may have to twist the key a few times when using a battery with a lower CCA; there is a slight chance that it won’t even start. However, if you choose a battery with a high CCA, it will start the vehicle instantly.
Every battery manufacturer points out the right temperatures for performance. So keep in mind the local weather conditions and temperature fluctuations in your area, to choose the right unit.
This indicates how long it may take a wholly charged battery to fully discharge—choose a battery that has decent reserve capacity.
Why Does My Truck Battery Keep Dying?
Here are some of the many reasons:
- You might have left the lights on overnight
- The charging system may be compromised
- The alternator may need repair or replacement as it drains the battery
- The connectors have corroded or loosened
- The battery is being used past its recommended service life
What is the Average Life of a Truck Battery?
If properly cared for, the battery can give you at least five years or more, but it would be best to replace it every four to five years.
What are Some Signs That You Need to Replace Your Truck’s Battery?
Here are some indications that your battery is on borrowed time:
- The engine doesn’t start on the first try or two
- Electrical issues cause the accessories to malfunction
- Lights are no longer at their brightest
- The check engine light comes on and stays on
- You notice a foul smell
- The terminals and connectors have corroded
- The battery case is damaged
How Much Should I Drive to Keep the Battery Charged?
It would be best to drive the truck at least once a week to keep its battery in good running condition.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.