types of car batteries

Understanding car battery

Using the battery is necessary since car engines need electricity to turn their starter motor. It’s one of the main parts of a vehicle charging system in addition to starting the engine because it saves current for later use. Life is impossible without a heart. An automobile battery works the same way. A car’s battery is comparable to its heartbeat. Your car won’t run without it. Moreover, the battery stores electricity for use by other auto parts. Your life could be in jeopardy and pricey damages could result from a malfunctioning battery.

car battery

Even though a car battery typically lasts for a couple of years, there are various situations and factors, such as temperature, heat, vibration, discharge, weather conditions, and driving patterns, that could cause a battery to expire long before its expiration date. Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the answers to the following questions:

  • What is a car battery?
  • How do car batteries work?
  • What are the types of car batteries?
  • How to choose the right battery for your car
  • What are car battery components?
  • How to tell if a car battery is failing?
  • What’s the cost of a car battery?
  • How to charge a car battery?

Read more: Dead car battery: causes, signs and how to charge or fix it

Alright then, let’s dive in!


What is a car battery?

A car battery also referred to as an automotive battery, is a rechargeable battery used to start a vehicle. Its primary function is to supply an electric current to the electric starting motor, which in turn ignites the internal combustion engine that powers the vehicle’s propulsion system. The battery continues to power the car’s electrical systems even after the engine has started, and as demand rises and falls, the alternator charges the battery.

Earlier automobiles lacked batteries because their electrical systems were insufficient. The engine was started with a crank, and the headlights were gas-powered rather than electric. About 1920, as automobiles began to come with electric starter motors, vehicle batteries started to become commonly used. In 1971, a sealed battery that didn’t need to be recharged was developed. The initial charging and starting systems had a 6-volt positive-ground architecture, with the chassis of the vehicle being directly linked to the positive battery terminal. Nearly every road car today has a negative ground system. The chassis of the car is connected to the negative battery terminal.

With six cells, an automotive battery is an example of a wet-cell battery. In a lead storage battery, each cell is made up of alternating plates composed of a grid formed of lead alloy filled with cathode plates that are made of sponge lead or covered with lead dioxide (anode).   The electrolyte, which is a solution of sulfuric acid, is contained within each cell. At first, each cell included a filler cap that allowed water to be added and allowed the electrolyte level to be seen. A tiny vent hole in the filler cap allowed hydrogen gas produced during charging to exit the cell.

Read more: Understanding battery used in automobiles

How do car batteries work?

A car battery converts chemical energy into electricity using lead-acid technology. It does this by using cells, which hold and store the energy until it is needed. Within the plastic case of most basic car batteries are six cells arranged in a row. A lead plate and a lead dioxide plate are both present in each cell. Because they provide two volts for each cell when combined, the battery is frequently referred to as a 12-volt battery. The lead dioxide and lead plates react chemically to produce lead sulfate and ions when the rows of cells are submerged in sulfuric acid. Another chemical process takes place as the ions are allowed to migrate around the lead plates, producing hydrogen and lead sulfate.

Electricity is produced by the movement of ions and can go to the battery’s positive or negative end. The starting motor and other important electrical systems receive electricity from the two wires that connect to your car battery. While your automobile is driven, a component known as an alternator recharges the battery. It converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by generating an electrical current through an alternator belt connected to the engine. The alternator is turned by the belt, which generates electricity that powers the car’s electrical systems. It sends some of the energy it produces back to recharge the battery.

Read more:  Understanding the Types of Batteries

What are the types of car batteries?

types of car batteries

Here are the seven most common types of cars batteries:

  • Lead Acid Battery
  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • Deep Cycle Battery
  • SLI Battery
  • Silver Calcium Battery
  • Nickel Metal Hydride Battery
  • VRLA Battery

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Lead Acid Battery

These automobile batteries are made to last for a longer time. Lead-acid automobile batteries are used by individuals worldwide. The positive plate, negative plate, separator, and electrolyte are the four basic components of this battery. These parts are joined together by a plastic container. The battery must be charged in order for it to generate voltage. Also, in order to facilitate the flow of current into a cell, one must supply voltages greater than 2.1 volts.

A lead acid battery can be charged and used for a significant amount of time after being charged. Because of their usefulness and affordable price, these batteries are well-known around the world. Lead-acid batteries, in the opinion of many experts, are the finest choice for conventional internal combustion vehicles. These batteries power every significant operation in modern autos, including turning on and charging gadgets.

Read more: How to test a car battery with a multimeter

Lithium-ion Battery

This battery can be recharged and utilized in a variety of portable electronics and electric cars. Because of their great energy density, these batteries enable battery packs to be smaller overall. A lithium-ion battery contains lithium in both the cathode and the anode. Through a separator, the electrolyte solution moves positively charged lithium ions from the anode to the cathode. In the opposite direction, the passage of lithium ions causes the anode to produce free electrons.

As a result, the positively charged current collector becomes charged. These kinds of automobile batteries are becoming more and more popular every day. The battery’s popularity has been aided by its low weight, rapid recharge time, and high energy density. This battery can be used to charge computers, mobile phones, and hybrid and electric vehicles.

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Deep Cycle Battery

This particular lead acid battery type comes in sealed and flooded varieties. They can last for a long time because of their distinctive design. These batteries have large separators, dense active paste, and thick active plates. The alloys used to create deep-cycle batteries include antimony.

Its battery’s thicker active plates help it withstand prolonged charge and discharge cycles and corrosion as a result. For marine, golf, and leisure vehicles, deep-cycle batteries are the best choice. With the aid of a longer-lasting lower current supply, its technology maintains power.

Read more: How to charge a car battery with a charger in 6 simple steps

SLI Battery

Starting, lighting, and ignition is referred to as SLI. It is a lead-acid, rechargeable battery that is common in cars. In actuality, this battery was created especially for cars. It is a component of automobile charging systems. There is a constant cycle of charge and discharge when driving a car with an SLI battery.

The alternator, which generates alternating electricity, is still attached to the SLI battery (AC). With a set of diodes referred to known as a rectifier, AC is progressively changed into Direct Current (DC). Following that, DC voltage is regulated in order to charge the battery, which starts the car. A vehicle’s starter motor, lighting, and ignition system are all powered by this battery.

Read more: How long does it take to charge a car battery? What you need to know

Silver Calcium Battery

These batteries’ unique quality is really their resistance to corrosion. They also withstand any damaging effects of extreme temperatures. The technology of the silver calcium battery enables longer battery life and progressively maintains a strong starting power. Certain battery types can’t operate at their best in vehicles that don’t offer the necessary range of voltage since they need additional charging voltage. In automobiles that cannot accommodate their design and installation, silver calcium batteries must not be installed. There is more power in these batteries. They are also more dependable and long-lasting. Batteries made of silver calcium are also resistant to rust and high temperatures.

Read more: Battery terminal corrosion: causes, signs & how to clean it

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery

These batteries are becoming more and more popular as a result of their excellent performance and lack of oxidative characteristics. They are primarily utilized in electric and hybrid automobiles. Here, nickel hydroxide is present on the positive electrode whereas potassium hydroxide is present on the negative electrode. It also boasts a power density of more than 200 w/kg and an energy density of more than 70 Wh/kg. Hybrid vehicles are the main use for nickel metal hydride batteries. These batteries typically have a longer lifespan than lead acid and lithium-ion automobile batteries.

Read more: How to recondition a car battery

VRLA Battery

The valve-regulated lead acid battery is referred to as a VRLA battery. It makes storage simple because of its small size. They are among the least maintenance-intensive and safest kinds of automotive batteries. To achieve oxygen recombination, this battery uses a one-way pressure relief valve system. The formation of hydrogen at the negative plate is suppressed because the negative plate absorbs the oxygen produced by the positive plate. This causes water to be produced, which aids in the battery’s ability to retain moisture.

Gel cell batteries and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are the two different types of VRLA batteries. AGM batteries perform better than their gel cell and flooded counterparts. Other benefits include 3X more cycle life and 5X better charging. For cars with applications for autonomous start and stop and brake energy recovery, AGM batteries are perfect. Gel cell batteries have a long cycle life and can withstand shock and vibration.

Read more: AGM vs. GEL battery & AGM vs. lead acid (What you need to know)

How to choose the right battery for your car?

Here’s how to choose the right battery for your car

  • For information on the required battery size, CA, CCA, and Ampere hour ratings, carefully read the Owner’s Manual of your car. You can look up the specifications of the current battery if you can’t find the Owner’s Manual. It’s crucial to verify the battery’s dimensions. Although battery boxes and mounts are generic, it will be beneficial in the long run to determine which size fits your automobile.
  • If you intend to perform your own auto maintenance, invest in a battery with handles and loops. Never pick a battery with a lower Ah rating than the one already installed in your automobile. It has a significant impact on battery life, and issues with starting your automobile may arise.
  • If you reside in a place where the temperature drops very low, pick a battery with a high CCA. Keep in mind that a battery with an excessively high Ah rating may result in slow charging and load the alternator slowly.
  • Choose a battery that has a sufficient reserve capacity. If the alternator fails, this will keep the automobile and its lamps on for a considerable amount of time. A new battery must be obtained within six months after the battery’s manufacturing. Keep the warranty card in a secure location. If the battery in your automobile malfunctions while it is still under warranty, you can get a replacement. Never overlook verifying a battery’s date of manufacture. Check its code if there isn’t a date.

Read more: Battery light on in car: meaning, causes, & what to do when the light appears on the dashboard

What are car battery components?

Car battery components include:

Battery Case

Parts of the batteries in both gasoline and electric vehicles are contained in a box. The car battery’s components and contents are safeguarded by the casing. Polypropylene resins are frequently used in the design of cast-on straps for fuel batteries. The battery enclosure box in EVs is typically made of aluminum alloys. The battery case protects its contents and lessens the impact on the battery, extending the battery’s life.

Battery Acid

A sulfuric acid and water solution makes up the acid (36 to 40 percent). As a result, a mixture has created that acts as the electrolyte for the chemical process that generates the electric current that powers the vehicle. It frequently has a high purity level since contaminants could reduce its efficiency in producing car power. When the car is ignited, the acid and water react, creating the proper voltage required to kick-start the vehicle. If the battery is weak, the voltage it produces won’t be sufficient to power the car’s engine.

Battery Terminal

It goes by the name battery bushing as well. The battery terminal serves as the point of attachment between the battery and the electrical systems of the vehicle. It has two terminals, which are the positive and negative straps of the battery end cells, just like any other electrical equipment.

Battery Separator

The separator, as its name implies, separates the positive and negative plates. It is frequently constructed from polyethylene and other plastic polymers.

Battery Plates

Negative and positive plates make up the majority of automobile batteries. Each plate is made of a metal grid, with lead dioxide substance on the positive end and spongy lead on the negative. A cast-on strap at the top of each plate connects each component to the battery cells.

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How to tell if a car battery is failing?

How to tell if a car battery is failing

  • Trouble Starting Car
  • Dim Headlights
  • Electrical Problems
  • Corrosion
  • Odd Smell
  • The battery case appears warped

Read more: Lists of best car battery

Trouble Starting Car

The battery’s primary function is to supply the energy required to start the engine. Any problems with the key could be caused by battery problems. Having said that, a car having problems starting could also point to a problem with the starter, alternator, or ignition system. You should have the battery checked if all you hear when you turn the key is clicking or if it takes the engine longer to start.

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Dim Headlights

The automobile battery is in charge of powering the car’s lights. The headlights may start to lose some of their brightness if the battery is getting low. At first, it could be difficult to detect the brightness. But occasionally, it’s also possible for the headlights to flicker, which is easy to notice.

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Electrical issues

Many electrical issues might also be brought on by bad batteries. You can have issues with the electrical system or dashboard notifications if the battery is fading. For instance, you can observe that the music is glitching or that the heated seats aren’t functioning properly. Moreover, the dashboard lights may flicker, and your power windows may not operate. Also, you might find it challenging to open the sunroof or be unable to charge your phone. Of course, just one of these problems does not indicate that the battery is failing, especially if the fault is with the system in question.

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Corrosion of the terminals and connectors could be seen as the battery begins to fail. Corrosion might manifest as a white, crystal-like substance or as a blue-green powder. It can be removed using a straightforward baking soda and water solution. If the battery acid leak does not stop, you must replace the battery.

Read more: How to properly recycle or dispose a battery

Odd Smells

There won’t be an odd smell if the automobile battery is functioning properly. The foul sulfur odor that resembles rotting eggs is brought on by battery acid leaking. The corrosion we talked about earlier is also brought on by the seeping battery acid. It’s time to change the battery if it’s leaking.

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The battery Case appears to be warped

The size of the automotive battery housing should not change over the course of its lifespan. Something isn’t right if there is swelling or if the casing starts to protrude. The battery case swelling or cracking is one of the first indicators that something is wrong. You might also see that some of the sides are beginning to sag, giving the object a whole distinct shape.

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What’s the cost of a car battery?

The cost of a car battery might range from $100 to $200. But it all depends on which one you choose. The warranty, performance, and battery type are often the three primary factors of price. While it is obvious that a decent warranty raises the cost significantly, the last two are more difficult to comprehend at first.

The performance of batteries is measured by their cold cranking amps (CCA). That is a gauge of how well they will function in the cold. This indication shows how many amps they can produce while keeping a certain minimum voltage for 30 seconds at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, the price of the battery increases as CCA increases.

There are only two types of batteries available: flooded lead-acid and AGM batteries. The first one has been around for a long, whereas the second one is more recent and represents a design advancement overall. The two are priced differently, therefore you should always seek advice before selecting an appropriate substitute.

Read more: Car battery replacement cost (parts and labor prices)


How much should a car battery cost?

Depending on the battery type, environment, and vehicle, car batteries normally last between two and five years. You can anticipate paying between $50 and $120 for a normal car battery and between $90 and $200 for a premium version, depending on the make and model of your automobile.

Which battery is best for a car?

Best car batteries include:

  • Odyssey Extreme Series car battery. Best car battery overall.
  • DieHard Gold car battery. Best car battery for pickup trucks.
  • EverStart Maxx car battery. Best affordable car battery.
  • Deka Intimidator AGM Deep Cycle Series.
  • Braille Lightweight AGM car battery. Best car battery for your track car.

How long should a car battery last?

Some automobiles’ batteries can last up to five or six years, while others must be replaced after just two. Generally speaking, your car’s battery needs to be replaced every three to four years. Another aspect of routine maintenance is changing your car battery.

What type of battery does a car use?

lead-acid battery

Most (almost all) automobile batteries are lead-acid batteries of some sort.

How do I know when my car battery needs replacing?

  • Have trouble turning the engine on or starting the ignition.
  • Electrical problems.
  • Problems with the dashboard lights and lighting.
  • Ineffective Performance in the Cold.
  • Unusual odor.

How often do you replace a car batteries?

Have you ever wondered how frequently a car battery has to be changed? A lot of auto experts concur that you should replace your battery every 4-5 years, while the exact interval is dependent on a number of variables that affect battery longevity.

How much is a brand-new car battery?

Your car’s battery will eventually need to be changed. What are the prices of automobile batteries? Typically, you can anticipate spending $75 to $120 to replace a car battery.

How long do cheap car batteries last?

The lifespan of a car battery is typically three years, however, this might vary depending on your battery’s manufacturer, the type of vehicle, the environment where you live, how you drive, and other factors.

That is all for this article, where the answers to the following questions have been discussed:

  • What is a car battery?
  • How do car batteries work?
  • What are the types of car batteries?
  • How to choose the right battery for your car
  • What are car battery components?
  • How to tell if a car battery is failing?
  • What’s the cost of a car battery?
  • How to charge a car battery?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading see; you around!