Most people don’t put much thought to the battery they put into their cars…but they should. Us car guys depend on the simple chemical reactions in car batteries to get us started on the coldest mornings and the hottest days. It is an integral, absolutely necessary part of your car’s engine. Without it, we’d be going nowhere fast.

There is only one name you need to know when it comes to batteries, and that is Optima. Known for their brightly colored battery tops, we have often found ourselves wondering what is the difference between those different-colored batteries? Optima put together a handy video narrated by Optima’s own Cam Douglass.

The Red Top battery is the base Optima battery, ideal for normal engine starting with a shallow discharge cycle. This is typical for a well-running car where the alternator takes over pretty quickly. Ideal for cars without aftermarket modifications.

The Yellow Top battery is built for both normal starting procedures, as well as prolonged support for energy-consuming accessories. This should be used in cars where the electrical demand may exceed what the alternator can handle, and should be used in modified vehicles with powerful engines or serious stereo equipment.

Then there’s the big boys, the Blue Top batteries that come in both starting and deep cycle duties. These batteries are relegated to marine and RV applications. Most car guys will be using a red or yellow top battery, and with the reputation Optima has built over the years, you know you’re getting exactly what you’re expecting.