Join Date: Feb 2012
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Physical size is a must to fit the space you have, but chemically get a battery that is big. Big as in CCA, serve power, lots of space at its bottom for spent lead sep;omits, big terminals so it can handle the current coming and going and don't forget the over all build of that battery to withstand the many bumps, the temperature changes and the hold downs.
Batteries of lead acid (wet) are killed early by neglect, over use, under sized cables, dirty connection, lack of electrolyte.
Maintenance free is an impossibility with battery and battery life. If you have a so called sealed maintenance free battery take a razor or sharp knife and cut the top to allow you access to the cells, then maintain the cell levels with distilled water.
Buying a new battery for a used car? Read what the the original battery specifications were and then with the physical sizes go bigger in the capacity of the battery.
Both heat and cold are the nemeses of batteries, they are like us, they like moderate temperatures around 65-70F, but they live under a hood where its hot or cold.
A battery looked after in today's cars will last shorter than say 20 years ago, but a lifespan of 8 years is regularly achieved with proper looking after.