How To Read Car Battery Date Codes? A Simple And Detail Instruction

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Batteries are a very important component of automobiles. If it runs down, you will encounter tremendous problems and inconveniences.

Therefore you will want to keep your battery durable and efficient for a long time by reading the date codes. It helps you know the lifespan of your car battery and the manufacturing date.

If the vehicle charging cell manufacturing codes sound new to you, read this post to learn how to read car battery date codes.

Understanding the car battery date codes has never been easier with the information provided.

What Is The Car Battery Date Code?

There are various types of car battery date codes, and the code contains information about the lifespan of the items and how old the car batteries had been used. Most car manufacturers print a code on the top of the battery.

The popular automobile batteries use a standard coding system for interstate battery date code, which starts with a first number or first letter (B7CM or 7BCM, for instance). Some codes are designed in the form of a sticker that contains letters and numbers.

The codes also indicate the exact month and year the batteries were manufactured to help you figure out their lifespans.

How To Read A Car Battery Date Code?

Each type of date code has a design and number system, but they all contain the same information: the manufacture date of the batteries. First, you must identify which categories the code belongs to and choose the right method.

Follow these detailed instructions carefully, and you can read the manufacturing code with ease. If the methods don’t apply to your car, read the owner’s manual for more details.

You should note that the Duralast battery date code only shows when the batteries are manufactured, not the date you used them for the first time.

For example, a car has a 3-09 code, which means the charging cell was produced in March 2009.

If you purchased it in 2011, you can still exceed the expiration date and use the battery for the year 2015 or 2016 without any problems.

Date Sticker

The sticker is commonly located on the cover. If you cannot find it, try inspecting the top and corners of the battery. The sticker usually contains four characters and starts with a number or a letter.

You can read the date information in the first two characters. The first letter stands for months (from A – M), and the first number stands for years, from 2002 to 2011 (1 – 10).

For example, you may see a code like B7CM, which means the battery was produced in February 2007. It may start with the number first (7BCM), but the meaning stays the same.

Now read this interstate battery date code chart to understand the date on car batteries.

Month Letter Year Number
January A 2002 2
February B 2003 3
March C 2004 4
April D 2005 5
May E 2006 6
June F 2007 7
July G 2008 8
August H 2009 9
September I 2010 0
October J 2011 1
November K    
December L or M    

If you want more in-depth instructions, consider watching the video below.

Round Sticker

The brand may put the letters and numbers in a circle or round sticker. Some stickers show B-7 on one half and 2-7 on the other half, which has the same meaning as the four characters B7CM in date stickers (February 2007).

You can look at the table provided to see if the round sticker contains a letter. Another example is the round stickers showing 2-07. It is much simpler as the first number is the month, and the following two are the year.

So 2-07 means that the item was manufactured in the second month of the year (February) 2007.

Charge the battery

Charge the battery

Hot-stamped Cryptic Letters

The hot-stamped cryptic letters are usually located on the side of the cover.

There are various standards for this type of code, but the first two letters always stand for the month and year of the manufacturing date.

Follow the table, and you will understand the code, but remember that the year may appear first and follow by the month.

Some detailed codes also contain the manufacturing factory, time, and exact day the batteries were produced.


It is the most obvious and easy-to-read type with the exact date shown in the mm/dd/yy standard (06/05/2003 or 11/12/2009, for example). You don’t need any charts or instructions to read this code.


Why Do You Need To Read Car Battery Codes?

Batteries have a finite lifespan, usually around three to four years. When it has exceeded the lifespan, the item cannot function properly and may cause many technical errors.

It is very important to regularly maintain and replace the battery on your car when it is about to expire. You have to read the codes to know when the batteries were manufactured and used.

It is also good customer service to provide customers with the age of their vehicle batteries; that’s why the manufacturers designed these numbers. It is also handy when you want to purchase a second-hand vehicle.

Are Car Battery Codes Important?

However, a code does not always reflect the right state of batteries. You should note that these codes only indicate the time batteries were manufactured, not how frequently they are used.

Suppose you just store the vehicle in a cool and dry garage without driving.

In that case, the vehicle batteries will not deteriorate, which means that after 3 or 4 years, the items still function like newly purchased items.

Similarly, if you frequently turn on all the electronic devices in the car and drive many hours a day, the batteries will age faster. In this situation, you should have the item checked and replaced after only two to three years for safety.

Once you fully charge the batteries and start using their power, the items will lose 5% of their storage capacity every month.

Remove expired batteries

It is important to remove expired batteries

Popular Battery Brands And Battery Date Codes

Depending on the countries, regions, and brand that manufactures the batteries, they will show the battery date codes in different types and orders. Some popular brands are:

  • ACDelco: Use two types of codes (4-character and 3-4 stamped date codes) located in the corner of the product.
  • Interstate: Three codes ranging from three to six characters are located on the top of the item, sometimes in the top left corner.
  • Napa: Usually a code sticker that shows the month and year on the top or the side of the item.
  • Deka: A sticker or stamped code on the side.

You can understand the basic information like month and year based on the instructions provided. Some codes have more specific details like time, day, factory, and country, which you can read by using the owner’s manual.

Battery cover

Battery cover

Final Thoughts

We hope that the detailed instructions provided in this post can satisfy you. If your car battery is about to expire, have it inspected and replaced for your safety on the road. Thank you for reading!

Frank Galvin

Hi everybody! My name is Galvin, an automotive engineer and team leader of Autopartguide. I have a passion and a special love for cars and all auto parts related to them. You can see I'm excited all day with my cars.