What's the best battery for a diesel?

OPTIMA Batteries
Milwaukee, WI

What's the best battery for a diesel truck? It depends on your truck and how you use it. We hear a lot of people default to the "get the most cold cranking amps you can find" advice, but that's not necessarily good advice. What if the battery with the most cold cranking amps doesn't fit in your diesel truck? Do you live in a climate where it never really gets cold enough (0°F/-18°C) for cold cranking amps to become a factor? What if you deep-cycle your battery quite a bit, but your 2.8-liter diesel doesn't really need that much cranking power? You could end up spending too much money on a battery designed for starting, that won't hold up to deep-cycle use.

Our digital battery finder at the top of page on this site will help you locate the best battery for your truck, but many trucks have more than one battery to choose from. So which one is the best? If your diesel truck is stock and sees regular use, an appropriately-sized battery like the OPTIMA REDTOP will offer more than enough cranking amps to turn over your diesel engine on even the coldest of days. However, we don't make REDTOPs to fit every application. In fact, our H6 battery only comes in a YELLOWTOP version and that is a direct fit for many late-model diesel trucks.

The OPTIMA H6 (also known as a group 48 battery) is rated at 928 cranking amps, which should be more than enough to turn over your high-compression diesel engine, especially if your truck runs two batteries, as is the case in most diesel applications. If your truck runs significant electrical accessories, like a snow plow, winch, car alarm, dash cam or auxiliary lighting, then an appropriately-sized YELLOWTOP is the best choice, as those batteries are designed for both starting and deep-cycle use.

Regardless of the battery you choose, know that keeping your battery (or batteries) fully-charged will maximize both battery performance and lifespan. The OPTIMA Digital 1200 battery charger and maintainer is a great battery charger for any 12-volt lead-acid battery, including AGM batteries, like OPTIMAs. Connect it to the batteries in your diesel truck every few weeks and it will do a great job of keeping them topped off and ready to deliver current whenever you need it.