Car Battery Types (An Evaluation of the Options)
Not all car batteries are the same – this is one thing that you should keep in mind. If your mechanic told you that your car battery needs to be replaced, this does not mean that you can just get any battery. It is important to be informed about the specific requirements of your vehicle, which will make it easy to reach a decision. You should know about the different car battery types, which will make it a snap for you to make a well-informed choice.
Before you buy a battery, it is important to be armed with the right knowledge on how one battery can be different from the other. More than just their physical characteristics, such as their size, they can also be different based on their functionality and technical specifications. If you are clueless about which car battery type is the best for your needs, consult with the experts. Keep on reading and we will let you know some of the most common car battery types that are available in the market.
Types of Car Batteries
The following are your different choices when it comes to car battery types:
- Wet Cell Battery: This is the oldest type of battery that is used for cars. In recent years, new technologies have been introduced, which resulted into the lesser popularity of the wet cell battery. This is the original type of rechargeable battery and it contains sulfuric acid. The latter is a corrosive liquid and its presence in this type of car battery is one of the reasons why it is not chosen by many. It can be further classified into two:
- SLI Battery: Starting Lights Ignition, or SLI batteries, are made to produce high amps burst within a short period of time. From there, it will be quickly recharged from the charging system. One of the things that you should remember about this type of battery is that repeatedly having it discharged will significantly shorten its functional life.
- Deep Cycle Battery: This type of battery is known for its ability to deliver energy for the long-term, which is why it is favored by many when it comes to efficiency. However, it should be noted that the plates are thicker, which makes the energy bursts lesser than what you can expect from SLI battery.
- VRLA Battery: Valve-regulated lead acid batteries are known for being low maintenance. The best thing is perhaps the fact that its construction necessitates that there is no more need for the manual addition of water to keep the battery working. They are also popularly known as sealed lead acid batteries. Even if it is inverted, the electrolytes will not be spilled. Generally speaking, VRLA batteries can be categorized into two:
- AGM Battery: AGM stands for absorbed glass mat, which is an innovative technology basically responsible for having a fiberglass mat that will absorb sulfuric acid. This makes the battery spill-proof. The ability of this battery to resist impact is one of its major advantages above others. Aside from such, another benefit of using this kind of car battery is that fact that it charges quick, which is believed to be five times faster than a wet-cell battery.
- Gel Cell Battery: The sulfuric acid in this kind of battery is transformed into silicone gel. This gel is basically the one that gives it benefits against the wet-cell batteries. Among others, one of the good things about gel cell batteries is that acid will not spill, regardless if they will be turned upside down. Water is also recycled and they do not provide hydrogen fumes. Nonetheless, it does not come without drawbacks, with one of the most significant being the fact that they have relatively short functional life.
- Lithium Ion Battery: Developed only in the 1970s, this is considered to be a newcomer in the market for car batteries. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that the use of this battery is limited to electric vehicles. They are known for being lightweight, but they can also be expensive.
- Calcium-Calcium Battery: Some of the main benefits of this car battery include being free from maintenance in its entire functional life, as well as having low self-discharge, ability to resist vibration and impact, providing high performance, and increased lifetime, primarily because of being designed with high-density plates. When discharged, however, serious damage can be incurred by the battery.
Other Ways of Categorizing Car Batteries
Aside from those that have been mentioned above, car batteries can also be grouped based on the following factors:
- Car Battery Sizes: More often than not, batteries will also be grouped based on their physical size. The battery group size is an industry-standard measurement that can classify car batteries based on their height, width, and length. Generally speaking, the group sizes are 70, 74, 75, and 78. For European vehicles, on the other hand, the sizes are often 41, 42, 46, 47, and 48.
- Car Battery Specs: In order to differentiate one battery from the other, you can also refer to their specs. You can take a look at their cranking amps, which is a measurement of the capability of the car battery to start even in spite of freezing conditions. A high number of cranking amps can be a better choice. The reserve capacity, or also known as the standing power of the battery, will also show how one model is different from the other.
In sum, choosing a car battery is a decision that requires to be given careful thought. It is not as easy as picking the one with the cheapest price or the one that is available from the nearest dealer. You should look at various car battery types and see which one is going to be best for your needs. At the end of the day, knowledge is power. The more you know about a specific type of car battery, the higher is the likelihood that you will be able to make the right pick.