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4 Common Types of Lead-Acid Batteries for Cars

  • Batteries-Tips/Guides

New innovations and developments in battery technology have seen an increase in performance and reliability in the classic wet batteries. However, new battery technologies have entered the market to cater for the needs of the present generation of vehicles.

Car batteries

The majority of batteries found in fuel-driven vehicles these days are a form of lead-acid batteries. The four types are described below:

1. Lead-acid/wet-cell/flooded

The most commonly used batteries used in vehicles are lead-acid batteries. They are also known as wet-cell or flooded batteries because the electrolyte[1] is in a liquid state. For this reason, car batteries should always be installed upright.

Wet-cell batteries are the entry-level choice for most cars with normal power requirements and the least expensive compared to the other options.

They have a shorter lifespan and don’t handle harsh conditions like extreme temperatures and vibration as well as their counterparts.

These batteries may require more maintenance with a regular top up of distilled water

2. Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB)

EFB batteries are wet-filled and are an enhanced version of standard lead-acid flooded batteries due to better charge acceptance, performance, and durability.

Modern motor vehicles are often fitted with start-stop systems that are designed to improve fuel economy by limiting the engine’s idle time. To do this, it must shut down (stop) and restart the engine’s internal process. Since EFBs provide up to +-50,000 more engine starts, they are a logical choice for start-stop systems over standard flooded batteries.

Due to their superior performance, batteries with EFB technology are increasingly used as replacements for conventional lead-acid batteries.

EFB batteries have been introduced as a lower tier option to AGM batteries in terms of performance and durability. For vehicles with simple automatic start-stop systems – although AGM batteries are often the preferred choice – EFB batteries are nevertheless highly suitable and are a more affordable option.

3. Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM)

These dry-cell batteries are versatile, have a longer lifespan and are more stable in high vibration and extreme temperature conditions.

Its sealed, airtight construction means there is little or no free flowing battery acid to worry about, making them maintenance-free and leak-proof. Even if the battery case is fractured, no battery acid can escape.

Since the acid has better contact with the lead plates, they are designed to steadily provide power for even the most energy-demanding vehicles. The individual battery cells in AGMs are also equipped with a safety valve.

AGM batteries are designed in a such a way that there is minimal active material shedding giving it a longer lifespan. They meet original equipment manufacturing  demands, are compatible with sensitive electronic equipment, and are fitted to most luxury cars and cars with automatic stop-start systems.

4. Gel batteries

AGM batteries and gel batteries have some similarities but the main difference between the two is in the electrolyte. While both types of batteries have their electrolyte suspended, technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell.

Electrolytes in gel batteries have a gel consistency, while the electrolytes in AGM batteries are absorbed in special glass mat separators.

Gel batteries are:

  • Maintenance-free
  • Spill-proof
  • Robust and rugged
  • Versatile
  • Vibration-resistant
  • Less corrosive
  • Low fumes
  • Safe

The initial cost of a gel battery is higher than other types, but they can save money in the long run.

Conclusion

Supa Quick are a premium car battery fitment centre. Visit one of our conveniently located stores for advice on our battery brands and the most suitable option for your needs:

  • Supa Power – Leading technology, world-class manufacturing, robust quality, and affordable prices.
  • Willard – Quality that far surpasses the latest industry standards.
  • SABAT – Affordability and reliability.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of the content.

[1]  Electrolytes are chemicals that conduct electricity when dissolved in water.

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