Battery Buyer’s Guide
- The battery of your car is the heart of the vehicle’s electrical system.
- A car battery is a device that stores energy in chemical form. It converts chemical energy to electrical energy in order to power the electrical circuits within your car.
- There are different types of car batteries, such as lead-acid batteries, AGM batteries, lithium-ion batteries, gel batteries, and SLI batteries.
- A car battery can last up to five years as long as its electrical system remains in great condition, is not subjected to extreme heat on a regular basis, and goes through full charging cycles regularly.
- It is best to buy the type of battery that is described in your owner’s manual.
- The price of a car battery replacement is around $70.
The battery of your car is the heart of its electrical system. The car battery has evolved into different types and forms to suit the continuous technological and mechanical advances of automobiles. The introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles, for instance, brought about lithium-ion batteries.
Aside from your car’s model, there are other factors to consider when buying a car battery. This includes your vehicle’s engine size, battery technology, and reserve cranking power. Learn more about car batteries in this helpful guide.
How does a car battery work?
A car battery is a device that stores energy in chemical form. It converts chemical energy to electrical energy in order to power the electrical circuits within your car. Furthermore, the battery does not only start your car, but also stabilizes voltage in order to keep your engine running.
For additional information, you may read our article, "A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Test a Car Battery".
What are the types of car batteries?
The lead-acid battery was the first rechargeable battery for commercial use. It was invented by Physician Gaston Planté in 1859. Lead-acid batteries remain to be widely used today thanks to their dependability and affordability.
Modern vehicles have a huge demand for absorbed glass mat (ACM) batteries because of higher cold cranking amps (CCA) and reserve charge (RC) increases. This kind of battery is like the lead-acid type, except it has electrolytes held in glass mats. AGM batteries are safe from spillage because they can operate in any orientation.
Lithium-ion batteries are mostly compatible with hybrid and electric automobiles. They can store more energy and are lighter compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. However, this kind of battery tends to have a shorter lifespan, which is usually up to three years regardless of use.
As its name implies, a gel battery contains acid that is gelled. Thanks to their consistency, gel batteries do not spill at all even when broken. However, one disadvantage of this battery is its slower charge rate, which is what keeps it from overheating. Excess heat can turn the gel into liquid, which can possibly damage the cells of the battery.
A starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) battery is a type of lead-acid, rechargeable battery. Though a good number of vehicles still use this kind of battery, it can become limited in supplying power to a vehicle. It can start your car and provide power to ignition, lights, radio, and other car components, but has a shallow charge cycle. Moreover, it can only deliver power in short amounts of time.
How long does a car battery last?
A car battery can last up to five years as long as its electrical system remains in great condition, is not subjected to extreme heat regularly, and goes through full charging cycles regularly. Just like any car component, a battery also needs replacing over time due to aging and wear and tear.
Read our article about the 5 Signs of a Bad Battery to know when you should consider replacement.
What is the best car battery?
There are many options in the market when it comes to car batteries, but there are also many factors to consider when buying a new one. Aside from the model of your car, it is essential to take note of the specifications of its battery before buying one. It is best to buy the type of battery that is described in your owner’s manual.
How much is a car battery?
The cost of a car battery may vary depending on its brand and specs. For example, you may be able to get a good car battery replacement for around $70.