Most people don’t actually think about car batteries unless they’re about to run out. Still, there are various aspects that you need to consider if you desire to make the most out of them.
You may own the same car as your next-door neighbor, but even then, you might have a particular battery type because of how you use it.
The weight of your car battery affects various factors, from the cold drawing current to the expected life cycle. Electric vehicles (EVs), which have been gaining ground in recent years, are considered an essential parameter.
Throughout this piece, you’ll get to learn more about your car battery structure, what contributes to the weight, and the types of car batteries that vary with your vehicle and needs.
Components in a Car Battery
A car battery is a complex device that utilizes specific chemical reactions to supply electricity to the car’s systems.
Although, it depends on the type of car battery in use. But, considering that lead acid batteries are the most prominent, you’ll find a short description of their structure below.
The DC current that your vehicle utilizes for its various systems, including the ignition in petrol engines, is generated from a chemical reaction between the two electrodes.
If both terminals are connected, the lead from the negative electrode oxidizes to form positive ions. Those ions react with the sulphuric acid to form lead sulfate.
On the positive electrode, the lead oxide separates into lead and oxide ions. The lead gets deposited on the positive electrode after gaining electrons, whereas the oxide and the acid’s hydrogen ions react to form water.
Given that sulfuric acid is involved on both sides of the reaction, it is the electrolyte that contributes most to the weight of the lead acid battery. About 60% of the total weight of the battery is the electrolyte.
The rest comprises the electrodes (lead and lead oxide), cell dividers, protective casing, and terminals. That’s why, since the acid gets consumed, it makes your battery feel lighter once it’s discharged.
Of course, other types of batteries have different weight distributions. For example, a lithium-ion battery used in EVs has separators and a protective casing as the primary weight component.
How Much Does a Car Battery Weigh?
A regular 12V car battery weighs around 40 pounds (18.14 Kg). Still, those with different voltage and current capacities can vary in weight. In the case of lead acid batteries, they can range anywhere from 20 to 70 pounds (9 to 31.7 Kg).
AGM batteries usually weigh the most, and they can last you for the better part of a decade. On the other hand, compact batteries that weigh less than 30 pounds (13.6 Kg) often require replacement if you use your vehicle too often.
They are also not ideal if you have excessive electronics in your cars, like a high-end sound system or LED searchlights.
How to Check the Weight of a Car Battery
Thankfully, you need not bother yourself with checking the weight of the battery when it’s fully charged. Manufacturers take the liberty of mentioning it both on the battery and its packaging case.
However, weighing a used battery can help you determine its charging level, provided that you have precise equipment.
You can use a regular weighing scale, preferably a digital one, to know the exact weight of a car battery. It is probably depleted if it is lighter by around 14.1 ounces (400 grams). You can also use a hanging weighing scale that gives you more precision without involving electronics.
Types of Batteries According to Weight
Much like current capacities and maximum voltage, car batteries can also be categorized into various classes. These are meant to suit separate applications, as heavier batteries usually have increased output. There is no fixed rule, though, as some of them might not be available in certain regions around the world.
Lightweight car batteries are best suited for small cars such as hatchbacks and family saloons. They usually weigh 25 pounds (11.3 Kg) or thereabouts. Many manufacturers like Exide and Bosch offer batteries in this class, although most of them are often meant for mid to high-performance bikes instead of cars.
Car batteries that weigh between 30 to 60 pounds (13.6 to 27.2 Kg) are considered standard weight batteries. It is the most popular weight class of car batteries, as they can power a wide range of vehicles, even full-size SUVs and pickup trucks. They are highly reliable, especially when considering AGM batteries, and can work in multiple weather conditions.
Heavy batteries for vehicles weigh 70 pounds (31.7 Kg) or more. They are high-density batteries meant for large vehicles (like sprinter vans) and high-performance sports cars. Electric vehicles use them in place of a fuel reserve and can often cover hundreds of miles without needing a recharge.
Adventure vehicles like caravans and motorhomes also utilize heavy batteries as they have to power more power-intensive electrical systems such as HVACs and refrigerators.
Empty batteries are not really ’empty’ in the literal sense. These are usually 15 pounds (6.8 Kg) or lighter. Most empty batteries are Li-ion and are used to power electronics such as neon lights and sound systems in cars that don’t allow for the installation of a large battery.
And that’s all there is to know about how much does a car battery weigh. We hope this piece provided you with a more detailed study of the weight of car batteries and why it matters. The average of 40 pounds (18.1 Kg) varies heavily with each application and vehicle type. Do you still have any questions? Feel free to put your thoughts down in the comments section.