Batteries for Ford F150 – Buyer’s Guide!

It doesn’t matter what vehicle you have, without a good battery your vehicle is a sitting duck, a dead quack and a stone-cold turkey. Now that I have put aside the aviation weekly let’s look at the issues of a Ford F150 and its battery requirements.

Ford F150

Before I talk batteries, let’s have a look at the Ford F150 range. This is Ford’s series of light-duty pickup trucks. There are plenty of variants, and the different models cater to different load requirements.

The F150 powertrain has evolved, and now comes in a 3.3L V6, there is 3.5L V6 for boosting 6-speed transmission, and now there is an Ecoboost V6 engine with the 10-speed automatic raptor. The most recent additions are the Power Stroke and twin-turbocharged diesel engine.

The F150 requires a strong battery to power its heavy-duty engines, and there are many options to choose from. However, you are not looking for a heavy-duty battery for all kinds of applications; the F150 is not a Duramax 6.6. Every engine has a “perfect” ratio for their battery, and as such, choosing and fitting the right battery is crucial for successful and continuous performance.

Battery selection is based on a number of factors, and these are based on the characteristics and mechanism of the engine. So, let’s take a look at these characteristics and determine which is the best battery for this motor.

Battery Group Size (BCI)

Every vehicle comes with specific battery dimensions, and the F150 has those too. You will need to check the owner’s manual for the exact dimensions for your specific model. Take note, that the F150 is a versatile vehicle, and the engineers opted for versatile adaptability, so you can match different group sizes to an F150.

Amperage Ratings (Ah)

Amperage hour is how you measure the flow of energy in amperes over one hour. The Ah (amperes per hour) rating is crucial for the successful and efficient use of the battery. The F150 range has a rating requirement set between 60-70 Ah.

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

Cold Cranking Amps are a crucial cold-weather metric; the CCA stands for the number of amperes a battery at 0oF can discharge 1.2V per cell for 30 seconds. Always make sure that your CCA rating is high, the higher, the better since this means that you will be able to get a good kick start in even the coldest of weather conditions.

Reserve Capacity (RC)

Reserve capacity is the indicator for battery performance, and the higher this RC, the better. The rate is a measurement of time, where you measure the minutes a fully charged battery discharges at 25 amps before the voltage is reduced to 10.5.

Warranty

Warranties are important and for the known brands a critical factor. For lesser-known brands or anonymous suppliers, a warranty is a honey-trap and should be avoided as such.
Now that you understand the basics of batteries and trucks let’s look at the five best F150 battery models on the market today.

List of Top-Rated Batteries for Ford F150 Comparison Table:

PhotoModelAhCCADescription
1. ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM Automotive BCI Group 94R BatteryACDelco 94RAGM80850View on Amazon
2. NORTHSTAR Pure Lead Automotive Group 35 Battery NSB-AGM35NorthStar NSB-AGM-3560880View on Amazon
3. Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting BatteryOptima 8004-00350800View on Amazon
4. Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose BatteryOptima 8014-04555750View on Amazon
5. Odyssey 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV BatteryOdyssey 65-PC1750T74950View on Amazon

The Batteries for Ford F150 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide:

1. ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM Automotive BCI Group 94R Battery

Specs

  • Amp Hour 80
  • Reserve Capacity 140
  • Voltage 12 2H
  • BCI Group Size 94R
  • Length 12.4 IN
  • Cold Cranking Amperage 850
  • Positive Terminal Location Top Right Front
  • Width 6.9 IN
  • Terminal Type Top Post
  • Height 7.5 in

Performance

This is an Absorbed Glass Mat design which comes with a tested 100% leak and spill proof construction. As such, the battery electrolyte is permanently held in the glass mat separator rather than free-flowing in each cell. This model integrates oxygen recombination that reduces water loss and delivers a maintenance-free performance. The design also gives plates with the maintained pressure that significantly reduces active mass lost from the grid.

Features

  • High density negative paste
  • Enhanced life alloy/Silver Calcium stamped alloy
  • Calcium Lead positive grid
  • Robust Envelope Separator with puncture-resistant back
  • Improved acid circulation
  • Vent cap resists acid leakage
  • Precision manufactured ribbed case
  • 100% Electrical short tested to minimize early failures

Recommendations

This is a classic 94R sized battery with great performance features for your F150. It’s also an ACDelco, which means you are getting a top named brand at a very reasonable price, in fact, the price is extremely budget friendly.

2. NORTHSTAR Pure Lead Automotive Group 35 Battery NSB-AGM35

Specs

Terminal configurationSAE
Pulse cranking amps1260 A
CCA rating at -18°C (0°F)740 A
CA/MCA rating at 0°C (32°F)880 A
Reserve capacity115 min
Capacity – 20 hour rate (1.75 vpc)60 Ah
Internal resistance3.8 mΩ @ 25°C (77°F)
Short circuit current3100 A
Warranty4 years full
Quantity per layer25
Quantity per pallet50

Performance

The NorthStar Pure Lead AGM Technology provides you with a quick starting every time you ignite, and it cycles over 400 times to 80% depth of discharge. This means that there is a faster recharge than conventional batteries.

The construction includes an advanced plastic housing, with extreme heat resistance and corrosion performance, as well as no need to check water levels.

The terminal configuration type is SAE.

Features

  • Quick starting every time
  • Cycles over 400 times at 80% depth of discharge
  • Faster recharge than conventional batteries
  • The OEM fit is ensured
  • Approved as non-hazardous cargo for ground sea and air transport DOT 49CFR173.159(d), (i) and (ii)

Recommendations

This is the best 35 size group rated battery for the F150, and it is priced steeply, which partially due to the brand name more than for the performance. However, it is a NorthStar battery and is designed for extra cold weather, which is what you get in the northern part of the USA.

3. Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting Battery

Specs

  • Model: 34/78
  • Weight: 38.8 lb
  • C20 Capacity: 50 Ah
  • Post Type: Dual SAE/GM
  • CCA: 800 Amp
  • Reserve Capacity @25 Amps: 100 Minutes
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Case Material: Polypropylene
  • Case Color: Dark Gray
  • Cover Color: “OPTIMA” Red
  • Group Size: BCI: 34/78
  • Internal Resistance: 0.003
  • CA: 1000 Amp

Performance

The Optima Redtop has a unique design and comes in a polypropylene case. This unusual top end battery is one of the best on the market and considered to be a top-level brand.

What is unique is that the lead in the Optima is not set in plates, it is wound into a spiral tube, as such you get the better surface to acid contact in a more secure structure. The bottom line is that the red top is designed to provide power while under attack, which it does.

The only issue is never let it run down, because recharging it is a bitch, and she bites!

Features

  • Extremely powerful starting burst
  • Up to 3X longer life than conventional batteries
  • 15 times more vibration-resistant
  • Virtually spill proof
  • Mountable in nearly any position
  • Faster recharging

Recommendations

This is the Optima Redtop, its name speaks for itself, if you haven’t heard of it, then you are not a professional driver, car mechanic, or enthusiast. As such, just know that this product is on the high end, you pay for the design, but you also get great performance.

4. Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery

Specs

  • Model: D34/78
  • Weight: 43.5 lb
  • C20 Capacity: 55 Ah
  • Post Type: Dual SAE/GM
  • CCA: 750 Amp
  • Reserve Capacity @25 Amps: 120 Minutes
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Case Material: Polypropylene
  • Case Color: Light Gray
  • Cover Color: “OPTIMA” Yellow
  • Group Size: BCI: 34
  • Internal Resistance: 0.0028
  • CA: 870 Amp

The Optima YELLOWTOP high-performance AGM battery is another of the Optima brand name readily recognized because of great PR and even better performance. This is a D34/78 sized battery with a 55 Ah, a 750 CCA and a 120 RC.

Performance

The Optima Yellowtop also has a unique design and comes in a polypropylene case. This is another unusual top end battery, and is also one of the best on the market and considered to be a top-level brand.

As with the Redtop, what is unique is that the lead in the Optima is not set in plates, it is wound into a spiral tube, as such you get the better surface to acid contact in a more secure structure. The bottom line is that the Yellowtop is designed to provide power while under attack, which it does.

The difference between a Yellowtop and a Redtop is that the Yellowtop has a deep cycle performance, and as such, is more powerful, reliable and rechargeable than the redtop, its also more expensive, but worth it.

Features

  • Deep-cycle and cranking power
  • Up to 3X longer life
  • 15 times more vibration-resistant
  • Virtually spill proof
  • Mountable in nearly any position
  • Faster recharging
  • Optimal starting power
  • 300+ discharge/recharge cycles

Recommendations

Consider this, a battery that will give you enough juice to power your F150, a large entertainment center with laser lights, an inverter connected to a toaster oven, fridge and griller, and you have basically got a Yellowtop, your friendly outdoor energy companion. Don’t leave home without one.

5. Odyssey 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV Battery

Description

This is the ODYSSEY Auto LTV Battery Model 65-PC1750T, group 65 size with 130 RC, 850 CCA and 74 Ah.

Performance

The numbers speak for themselves; this is the Odyssey, it is what you always wanted and never dared to get. Well, its time to man up to your fears and take on the ultimate F150 battery of all time. This is the Thanos glove of F150 car batteries.

When it comes to the 65-size group, you will not get better than this with tin-plated brass SAE automotive posted battery. This model is designed for massive starting power, rapid recovery, and exceptional deep cycling capability. It costs the most because it delivers the most, and delivers it continuously.

This beast is made using pure lead, not a lead alloy. There are more plates per area than in other models, and the absorbed glass mat design prevents spills and leakage.

The key factors for this battery are:
Reserve Capacity: 145
Ah: 74
Voltage: 12V
BCI Group Size: 65
CCA: 950
Cranking Amperage: 1750

Features

  • Massive starting power
  • Rapid recovery
  • Deep cycling
  • More plate surface area
  • Up to 400 cycles at 80 percentage depth of discharge.
  • AGM (absorbed glass mat) design
  • No acid spills, high conductivity
  • Corrosion-resistant tin-plated brass terminals,
  • High integrity terminal seal,

Recommendations

If you can afford it and want it, then get it. The Odyssey is a name revered by its fans and feared by its competitors. This is the heart of the beast, and you want it in your F150.

Ford Battery 101

What is the best battery for Ford F150?

So many opinions, thoughts, and preferences! Consider choosing from the following options:

What is the best battery for a pickup truck?

You can as well add a few less costly brands like Costco, Motorcraft, and Northstar to the above-mentioned models and find their best models. Consider the correct dimensions of the battery, make sure the terminals of the battery have a proper configuration for your truck, the required amount of power, amount of the battery’s independent operation time, buy the one that your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends.

How many cold cranking amps do I need?

At least one CCA for every cubic inch of engine displacement (2 for diesel). However, more amps are needed if you live where it’s cold. Your vehicle manufacturer should know the exact number.

How much is a battery for Ford F150?

Usually, the prices range from $194 (Duralast) to $300 (Odyssey).

What is the best truck battery brand?

That’s a very tough question. Each brand has its own advantages. F150 owners often prefer Costco. DieHard, and Odyssey.

Which brand batteries last the longest?

Supposed to be DieHard (according to the name), isn’t it? That’s a 50/50 joke, in fact. Some drivers claim that Costco, Motorcraft, and Duralast brands are the most reliable when it comes to warranty.

How long do pickup truck batteries last?

Typically, the term is around 5 years. But it all depends on the vehicle usage. Some batteries are known to last more than 10 years.

Do all diesel trucks have two batteries?

Yes. As it takes a great amount of current to crank that diesel engine. Plus, glow plugs eat some amps too. Simply put, put the reason is that a pickup truck is a big bad fella.

How much does a Motorcraft battery cost?

From $120 up to 140.

How much does a Costco battery cost?

From $110 up to $160.

How do I replace my car battery?

First thing is to put on protective gloves and safety glasses. Remove the cables (use an opening wrench). Remove the negative cable first, then the positive one. Use a socket wrench with an extension to remove the bolt holding the rubber block that, in turn, holds the battery in place. Lift the battery out of the engine bay. The next thing to do is to take your old battery to your local recycling facility.

Does Walmart sell car batteries?

Yes. Quite affordable ones (EverStart, Champion, etc).

How do you change the battery in a Ford f150 key fob?

Push the button and release the key. Use a small flathead screwdriver to find the notch on the back panel inside the key fob. Once you find it, use the screwdriver to help pry it off. You can see the battery now. Again you want to use the screwdriver to help pop the battery out. Snap a new battery back into place.

Who makes Motorcraft batteries?

Johnson Controls (Cork, Ireland). The manufacturer produces batteries under the TenaX Hoppecke brand and supplies them to European vehicle conveyors under the Motorcraft brand. The batteries equipped with a duplex system and lead plates are produced with potassium added.

Are more cold-cranking amps better?

Typically, yes. Especially for cold weather conditions.

What is the highest cold cranking amp battery?

Odyssey Extreme 65-PC1750.

Are 300 amps enough to start a car?

Yes. For compact, economical city cars, etc. But hardly for a pickup truck. We’d stick to around 760A-800A. Check your battery rate – if it’s rated for 1000 CCA, you better find the same amount of cold cranking amps.

What is a good CCA for a battery?

For cars – from 350A to 600A and 800A or higher for trucks. The higher the CCA rating, the better the batterie’s starting power.

Is a bigger car battery better?

Basically, yes. But your alternator may suffer.

How do I know what battery to buy for my car?

There are plenty of websites where you can type in your vehicle’s basic info to find out the right battery for your truck.

What are the signs of a bad battery?

Dim headlights and electrical issues (e.g. “check engine” light is on, no interior lights), clicking sounds when turning the key, sluggish crank, bad smell, corroded connectors, backfiring, jumpstarting. However, the reason for various problems can also be a failing alternator.

Is the revving engine bad?

Yes. That’s not a bad practice, especially for a turbo diesel engine. So don’t hit that red line and make your neighbors mad.

How do you jumpstart a diesel with two batteries?

First, you need to open your car’s hood and locate the batteries. Use the battery on the driver’s side of the car to make the connection. The donor vehicle must be positioned so that the jumper cables reach from its battery (must be 12 volts, negative ground) to the mentioned battery in the diesel. The has to be a distance between the vehicles so they did not touch each other. Besides, all electrical equipment on them has to be shut off. The engine of the donor vehicle must be turned off. Parking brakes set, the wheels blocked on both vehicles. Also, both cars should be in NEUTRAL (manual) or PARK (automatic transmission models). Use the jumper cables to connect the positive (+) terminal of the donor vehicle battery to the positive terminal of one (not two) of the diesel batteries. Use the second jumper cable to connect the negative (-) terminal of the donor battery to a stationary, metallic point on the diesel (alternator bracket, engine block, etc.). Be extremely careful and keep the jumper cables away from moving parts (cooling fan, alternator belt, etc.) on both vehicles. Start the engine of the donor vehicle, run at moderate speed. Start the engine of the diesel.
When the latter starts, disconnect the cables in the reverse order.

Do I need to replace both batteries in my Diesel?

Yes. However, make sure you’re getting maximum life from them to save your money. But do not risk unless you want to be towed.

Can you start a diesel with one battery?

You can try, of course. Make sure the cables are in good condition, though, and hooked up in the proper order. Besides they have to be in good shape. The same goes for your starter and glow plugs.

How do you check a diesel truck battery?

To find out the reason for the battery acting weird, you can either drive to your local checker (some do it for free) or buy/rent a battery load test tool from your local auto store. To check your battery with the tool, you have to locate and first remove the battery cover on your vehicle. Disconnect batteries using a socket wrench (take off all the + cables and the – terminals, no matter the order). Connect the load tester to the first battery (+ cable to + terminal). Observe where the needle on the gauge stops to find out the charge of your battery. Flip the toggle switch on the bottom of the tester. Observe where the needle stops (red – low charge, green – good charge, bad – well you know what it means). Or you can simply skip it all and buy a new battery and save half of your time and maybe even money. A bad battery can drain a good battery or kill your alternator (or vise versa).

Is it easy to replace a car battery?

Yes.

How long do Ford truck batteries last?

As always, it depends on usage. About 5-6 years on average. However, most manufacturers recommend changing it every 4 years.

How much does a Ford F150 battery replacement cost?

The replacement will cost you around $190 and $220. Labor costs are between $40 and $50, and parts are priced at $180.

What brand battery does Ford use?

Motorcraft batteries are quite popular among Ford owners due to their price/quality ratio. Among others, there are the above-mentioned brands like Optima, DieHard, Costco, Odyssey, etc.

How old is my Motorcraft battery?

Take a look at the sticker on your battery case which has a combination of numbers and letters. The first character is a letter from “A” to “L.” “A” corresponds to January, “B” – to February, and so on. Thus, December is indicated by “L.” The second character in the combination is a number (0-9) that indicates the year the battery was produced (e.g., a “9” would indicate the year 2019). Typically, a battery is sold in the first 3 months after the manufacturing.

Which car battery is better?

Costco (Interstate), DieHard, and Odyssey are among the most popular ones. Some drivers state there are only three trusted manufacturers in the US – Johnson Controls (though some say their batteries (Optima) are made in Mexico now, and the quality is not as good as it was. Then we also have Deka, East Penn, and NAPA (The Legend) manufacturers.

Is Motorcraft owned by Ford?

Yes. Since 1972.

Are NAPA batteries good?

Many owners would answer “Yes. Totally”. NAPA batteries have great user ratings and are perfect for the price.

Does O’Reilly sell Motorcraft batteries?

Yes.

How much does a Costco battery cost?

Around $100, depending on the size and type of the battery.

What is the warranty on a Motorcraft battery?

BXT Tested Tough MAX batteries have 36 months/100 months prorated warranty; BXL Tested Tough PLUS batteries have 18 months/84 months prorated warranty.

How much does a battery for a Ford Focus cost?

Depending on the year, you can find a battery that costs around $90-$100. The average prices are around $160-$250.

Are Costco batteries good?

Yes.

Will Costco change your battery?

No. But you can easily do it yourself.

What brand of car batteries does Costco carry?

Interstate batteries.

Will AAA replace my battery?

Yes. They can come to your location spot and change the battery on the spot for free. Provided you are a Premium Member.

Is there an advantage to buying tires at Costco?

Yes. There are several. Though, you might have to wait in line to get them. The advantages include inflation pressure checks, nitrogen inflation (instead of compressed air), tire balancing, tire rotations, and flat repairs.

Do you hook up the positive or negative first?

When connecting the cables, the positive terminal comes first.

What happens if you disconnect the positive terminal first?

You can cause a short in the system.

Is it dangerous to change a car battery?

Not really. But you better have your safety glasses and protective rubber gloves on. Watch out for chemicals (acid).

Conclusions

While all the above fantastic batteries will fit all F150 applications, you should consider your location and type of application. In other words, don’t by a great CCA if you live in Florida, you don’t need it. However, you would want a great RC anywhere, and a powerful Ah range for instances where you demand more from your beast than just driving.

The bottom line is about carefully selecting the right configuration, and then balancing that with a price.

About the author

Jim Malkovich

If you have any ideas or seek cooperation in any way, contact me today and let’s see where this leads us to. You can reach me at jimmalkov@gmail.com

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