Whether you drive an electric vehicle or something that runs on fossil fuels, it requires a battery to run various electrical systems. Yet, selecting the correct battery for your car may have several hurdles. Unless you’re susceptible to commercial advertising, it helps to understand that not all battery types fit every vehicle. They are available in varying shapes and sizes, each fitting a particular vehicle class.
That’s what this guide will strive to clarify. It will help you answer the question, “Which battery for my car?” in the most analytical way possible, so you can remain confident in choosing the best battery without any undesired consequences.
Which Battery for My Car?
While replacing the factory-fitted battery with its new version is always a safe bet, you might miss out on several advantages, such as requiring less maintenance. Those other variants also allow for increased security with a more robust design resistant to external elements.
Therefore, it helps to know which options are open to your vehicle can be vast or limited depending on its class. For instance, a small hatchback requires a 12V battery with low CCA, opening it up to a vast collection of batteries. On the other hand, a Ford F-350 might require a 12V battery with 1000 CCA due to the truck’s unique electrical system.
What Is A Battery Group Size?
A battery group size lets you determine the right fit for a vehicle in terms of size. You don’t want a battery that is too big for the engine bay or slides around the compartment around sharp turns. As a result, there is a set of numbers and alphabets that determine the size of the battery for each vehicle class. Some of the most prominent ones are described below.
- 24/24F (Top Terminal): The smallest battery group size includes batteries for small hatchbacks and coupes. You can find them in cars like the Honda Civic or the Ford Focus.
- 34/78 (Dual Terminal): A family saloon or sedan might require a larger battery, which is what this group belongs to. 34/78 type batteries are standard in cars like the Lexus LS300 and the Hyundai Sonata.
- 35 (Top Terminal): Luxury sedans and sports cars might have higher energy requirements than a daily driver. Those cars are better off with a 35-type battery with a substantial CCA rating. You can find those in vehicles like the Ford Mustang GT or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
- 65 (Top Terminal): This is the group size best suited for crossover and mid-size SUVs. It’s a high-density battery with more current allowances while also being more resistant to physical vibrations and impacts. Such batteries are often found in cars like the Kia Forte and the BMW X5.
- 75 (Side Terminal): Built for full-size SUVs and pickup trucks, this battery type has the maximum CCA rating and energy density for vehicles you can drive on the road with a regular license. You can spot these in vehicles like the GMC Tahoe and the Chevrolet Silverado.
Types of Car Battery Designs
Car batteries are available in several designs. However, four of them dominate the majority of the automobile market. Those include the following.
1. Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) Battery
The most fundamental type of car battery, FLA batteries, works just like a wet voltage cell first discovered more than 200 years ago. It has a common acid-based electrolyte shared among all the cells, each having a positive and negative electrode. They react with the electrolyte to dissolve sulfate ions and release the electric charge within the circuit. The process is reversed during charging. Due to its simplicity, the FLA battery is the least expensive type of car battery.
2. Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) Battery
AGM batteries are built to last without much maintenance. Unlike FLA batteries, AGM batteries have a sturdy design that isolates the electrolyte within various cells. That makes the batteries last longer, as the cells can’t react with each other. Moreover, they are safer to operate, as damage to one compartment still leaves the other fully functional.
3. Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) AGM Battery
For those who want performance and longevity over everything else, TPPL AGM batteries are a perfect choice. They utilize 99.9% purified lead, producing the highest CCAs available. Moreover, they can last well over a decade without much maintenance. Still, it helps to know that the electrode purity means that they are pretty expensive as well.
4. Lithium-Ion Battery
A solid-state energy system available commercially, Li-ion batteries are suited for various applications, from cells to electric vehicles. Thanks to their highly flexible design and expanded lifespan, they are usually worth the price tag. In addition, they have high thermal stability, making them safer to operate in non-ideal conditions.
What Happens if I Put the Wrong Battery in My Car?
The wrong battery in your car can result in several issues, either immediately or over time. Those may include, but might not be limited to, the ones mentioned below.
- Damage to the electrical system of the car
- Constant disconnection from the terminals, making the car’s systems turn off for no reason
- Car not starting or stopping in the middle of a trip
- Dimming of headlights, tail lights, and indicators
- Short-circuiting the alternator
- Acid spillage or electrical fire in the case of an accident
What Is the Most Common Car Battery Type?
AGM batteries dominate the current market due to their increased safety and life cycle. In coming years, Li-ion and other solid-state batteries might take their place, provided they can offer similar or higher value for the purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does It Matter What Size Battery I Put in My Car?
Yes. You have to check the precise size of the battery before putting it in your car. You don’t need to measure specific dimensions, as most companies provide the size rating with the packaging.
Is It OK To Put a Bigger Battery in Your Car?
It depends upon the battery’s specifications. While a more extensive battery may have a higher energy density, you must ensure the current is within acceptable limits. Otherwise, you might have to pay for heavy electrical equipment repairs or even an electrical fire.
Do I Need the Exact Same Battery in My Car?
Not necessarily. If other battery variants are more durable or offer higher energy density, it’s best to invest in them, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance.
Are All Car Batteries the Same?
No. Car batteries differ on various criteria. Those can include size, state of electrolyte, thermal stability, durability, and CCA rating, alongside numerous others.
What Are the 4 Main Types of Batteries Used in Cars?
The four main types of car batteries include FLA, AGM, TPPL AGM, and Li-ion.
Why Are There Different Types of Car Batteries?
Different types of car batteries suit different vehicles. Some might require a higher CCA rating, whereas others need more voltage. Moreover, the durability and thermal stability of the battery make it viable for specific applications. You can’t use lead-acid batteries for electric vehicles.
And that concludes our guide to answering the ‘which battery for my car?’ question. We hope you learned plenty of information and shall make the right decision in choosing the best battery for your car. Remember, it’s not about what you get during the purchase but how it will affect your vehicle in the coming years.