With the plethora of battery options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to determine the most suitable battery for your specific vehicle. However, making an informed decision in this regard is crucial to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your automobile.
Factors to consider when choosing a battery
1. Vehicle specs and requirements
It’s important to consider the exact specifications and requirements of your vehicle. Take into account factors such as the make, model, and year of production, as well as any additional accessories or modifications that may require specific battery capacity. Referencing your vehicle's owner's manual or consulting with a trusted mechanic can be immensely helpful in identifying these specifications.
2. Quality and brand reputation
Opting for a reliable and well-established brand will provide you with a certain level of confidence in the battery's performance and lifespan. Conducting thorough research and reading customer reviews can assist you in making an informed decision.
3. Cold-cranking amps
it is crucial to match the battery's cold-cranking amps (CCA) rating to your vehicle's requirements. CCA refers to the battery's ability to start the engine in cold weather conditions. Choosing a battery with a high enough CCA rating ensures seamless starting even in extreme cold temperatures.
High-quality batteries often come with longer warranties, indicating their durability and expected longevity. Choose a battery with a warranty period that aligns with your vehicle's intended usage and your personal requirements.
5. Environmental impact
Opting for batteries that are manufactured using eco-friendly processes or have effective recycling programs can help minimise negative effects on the environment.
While it is important not to compromise on quality, finding a battery that falls within your financial range is essential. Conducting price comparisons and looking out for any ongoing promotions can help you secure the best possible deal.
From a technical perspective, let’s look at the different types of batteries and their applications.
Battery Types & Applications
Starter batteries have proved themselves in millions of cars throughout the world. With continuous innovations and further developments, over the years classic wet batteries have increased in performance, reliability and versatility.
Often different formats of a lead-acid battery are confused as a separate chemistry altogether. However, the majority of batteries found in most modern day vehicles are lead-acid.
Just a few decades ago, the acid level in a car battery had to be regularly checked and topped up with distilled water if necessary. With modern, maintenance-free batteries, water loss is so low that topping up with distilled water is not necessary during the life of the battery.
The two subsets of batteries available today are:
- Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries, along with Flooded (or Wet Cell), Gel Cell, and Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) are subsets of lead-acid batteries.
AGM and EFB batteries are characterised by their high performance. In spite of their different technological approaches, the latest generation of battery types have further positive features in common: They need less maintenance and are more reliable than 10 years ago – thanks to advances in battery technology.
EFB and AGM batteries are new battery types, which cater for the increased demands of the present generation of vehicles.
- Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO), Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO), Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LNMC), and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) are all subsets of lithium-ion batteries.
7. Conventional Flooded Batteries
- Since its development over a century ago, the conventional flooded lead-acid battery has been continually further developed and is still in use. It continues to offer a very good compromise between reliability, usability, robustness, availability and price.
- Conventional flooded batteries are the most common and economical lead-acid chemistry and are suitable for conventional vehicles. They are however being slowly superseded by EFB s.
- Some conventional batteries may also be classified as SMF(Sealed Maintenance Free), where no maintenance of the electrolyte levels(Inspecting and topping up of electrolyte) is required. In many cases access to the individual battery cells is restricted by using a sealed top cover design. Tampering with the sealed top cover can void product warranty provisions.
- Conventional batteries experience a substantial reduction in life if they are frequently discharged to anything more than a moderate depth-of-discharge.
8. Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFBs)
Enhanced Flooded Batteries are referred to as EFBs and are designed for Start-Stop applications.
They are different to Conventional Batteries in that:
- They cycle better
- They accept charge better
- They have a wider operating range of temperatures
- They can do this because:
- They have special active material additives like carbon
- They have a higher fibre content
- They have a higher mechanical plate strength
- They have T4 crystal structure
- They use specialised lead alloys
- They have specialised grid designs
EFBs must only be used in vehicles whose electrical systems are designed for EFBs or Conventional Batteries.
EFBs are increasingly used as replacements for conventional batteries.
9. Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries (AGMs)
Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries are referred to as AGMs and are valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries.
Valve Regulated batteries are equipped with a pressure release valve for safety and oxygen recombination.
AGMs are different in construction to Flooded Batteries in that:
- The electrolyte is absorbed into a glass mat separator
- They are equipped with a pressure release valve
- The cases are made from thicker plastics
- Their plates operate under high compression
- AGMs perform better than Conventional Batteries due to:
- Special paste formulations
- Oxygen recombination cycles (eliminates water loss and balances active material ratio).
AGMs are less robust than Flooded Batteries due to extreme sensitivity to over-charging and high temperatures.
Even though it is often claimed that these batteries are orientation-free, this is not correct as the relief valve has to be at the highest point of the battery. Failure will lead to catastrophic explosions.
AGMs offer better performance than Conventional Batteries in that:
- They cycle better
- They accept charge better
- They have no water loss
AGMs must only be used in vehicles whose electrical system was designed for these batteries.
Supplied by: AutoX
Choosing the right battery for your vehicle requires careful consideration of the vehicle's specifications, brand reputation, CCA rating, battery lifespan, environmental impact, and your budgetary constraints. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure a well-informed decision and enjoy optimal performance from your chosen battery.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.