It is usually on a cold morning that you’re running out to work, or a chilly evening that you’re finally heading home. You go to your car, put the key in the ignition, turn it, and… nothing. Most of the time, in such a scenario, the culprit is your car battery.

Most car batteries last about 3-5 years. Because we have long enough to take it for granted, we may forget all about it until one day it just doesn’t start. Often in cold weather, because the cold affects the chemical reaction that powers the battery, we find that we’re out jumping the battery in the worst sort of weather.

If your battery is out, you could jump it. But, don’t expect it to last long after that. Replacement is always the best bet, unless you want to keep jumping it and cursing every time it won’t start. When replacing your battery, there are some things you should know.

Start by following the CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) of the replacement battery. This is how powerful the battery is and can range from 300 CCA to 800 CCA. If you are unsure, check your manual. The CCA requirement is determined based on the size of the engine, compression ratio, and other factors unique to your car.

You should stick to the CCA recommendations for your vehicle. Next, make sure that the battery fits properly in the tray holder inside your vehicle. Also, watch for height. Some vehicles don’t leave a lot of room for a large or tall battery. Don’t stretch the cables to fit the replacement battery. Make sure that the positive and negative terminals are in the precise location as the old battery and you should be good to go!