The last thing a car owner needs after experiencing the frustration of a dead car battery is to find that they have purchased a battery off the shelf that does not perform as it should. A car battery can sometimes sit on the shelf for much longer than the three months that Interstate recommends before it is sold. It is therefore important to make sure that you know how to read the date code on the battery so that you can pick out the freshest battery. Interstate Inc. has its own coding that indicates the date of manufacture.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Locate the four- or five-digit shipping date code by looking down at the top of the battery. It will be engraved into the cover, usually near one of the corners. Note that the code will not be on the label on the battery, nor on the rim around the cover.
Read the first character of the code. It will be one of the letters of the alphabet, A - L. The letter corresponds to the month of the year in which the battery was shipped from the manufacturing plant. For example, "A" stands for January, "B" stands for February, and "L" stands for December.
Read the second character of the code. It will be a single digit number 0 - 9. This number corresponds to the year in which the battery was shipped from the manufacturing plant. For example, the number "9" stands for the year 2009, and the number "0" stands for 2010.
Put these two pieces of information together to read the battery code. For example, a code that begins with "E7" would have been shipped in May of 2007.
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