Car Battery
Automobile Maintenance

These Are the Different Types of Car Batteries

Are you curious about what the different types of car batteries are? 

We’re seeing more people use and become aware of ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber. Today, 36% of American adults say they’ve used ride-hailing services. While it looks like a small number, it’s a much bigger percentage than in 2015.

While we’re seeing more people learn about ride-hailing services, more people still dream to have a car that’s theirs. However, having and maintaining a car can be expensive. Rather than spend money on services, one of the best ways to save is to DIY simple tasks.

That includes picking the right battery for your vehicle. Keep reading to learn more about car batteries and their differences.

1. What Is a Car Battery and How Does It Work?

Car batteries aren’t like the ones you’d find powering your game controller or remote. Vehicle batteries or automotive batteries need to be more powerful than AA batteries. They’re rechargeable batteries that aim to feed the starter.

The moment you insert the key into the ignition and turn it, you’re sending a signal to the battery. From chemical energy, this signal gets converted into electrical energy. That electrical power then gets delivered to the starter, which cranks the car engine. 

Battery prices will often depend on factors like the battery type and voltage.

2. Wet Cell Batteries 

With that said, let’s get into the various types of car batteries. There are two main types of categories for car batteries. Those are the wet cell and the VRLA batteries.

For now, we’ll focus on the first type of car battery. This is the wet cell or flooded batteries. Under the wet cell battery category, there are two types and a hybrid style.

SLI Batteries

The first type is the SLI, which stands for starting, lighting, and ignition. This type of battery is the typical automotive battery in cars.

SLI batteries deliver short, quick bursts of power. It’s a battery type that doesn’t only start the car. It also powers the electronics like the lights, interior lighting, and infotainment system. 

This type of battery has a short charge cycle. It’s typical for SLI batteries to contain 6 galvanic cells in a series format. At full charge, you can have 12.6 volts of total output. 

Deep Cycle Batteries 

The second type of wet cell battery is the deep cycle battery. It sends sustained power for longer periods. Unlike SLI batteries, you can keep running it down and recharging it without damaging it.

It can power electrical and electronic devices even when the engine isn’t running.

That makes it the best type of batteries for marine vehicles and small recreational vehicles. Some examples include ATVs, RVs, and golf carts. Note that deep cycle batteries aren’t very good at delivering enough power to start a large engine.

Dual-Purpose Batteries

The hybrid is the dual-purpose battery, a mix of SLI and deep cycle batteries. Its starting power is like an SLI’s, and it has enough power to allow for gadgets and electronics. However, dual-performance batteries aren’t very good at doing two things at the same time.

They’re best used for power-hungry vehicles at rest, like show cars or RVs. That means they’re the perfect type of batteries for day-use camping. They’re perfect for those days when you need power for a long time without turning the engine on.

3. VRLA Batteries

The next category of motor vehicle batteries is the valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery. These are the safest lead-acid batteries. They’re also sealed, which makes them easy to store in enclosed spaces.

That means you can put your VRLA car battery under your seat without worries. Because of that, VRLAs also aren’t serviceable battery types. This means you don’t need to top up the battery with distilled water when the acid inside evaporates.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)

The first kind of VRLA batteries is the AGM. Rather than a typical free-flowing format, AGMs use electrolytes held in glass mats. Unlike traditional lead-acid batteries, AGMs are lighter and more versatile in design.

They can hold a charge even when you leave your car unused for a long time. AGMs degrade slower and have a long battery life, but they’re also more expensive than wet cell batteries. They’re the best choices for high-end modern vehicles and off-road vehicles. 

Gel Cell

Gel cells are batteries that use gelled electrolytes. This allows for temperature-resistance and evaporation-resistance. You also have the advantage of spill-resistant batteries. 

A gel cell battery is sturdy and resistant to shocks and vibrations. This is the type of battery for rough-service applications like off-roading. However, note that gel cell batteries don’t do as well in low temperatures. 

They’re the best types of batteries for motorcycles and ATVs. They also work well for lawnmowers. 

Lithium-Ion Batteries

A Lithium-ion or Li-ion battery is rare and expensive. However, it has a long battery life. If you remember the various types of rechargeable batteries, one of the most popular types is the Lithium-ion. 

Lithium-ion batteries are almost weightless compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. Despite that, they can store more energy. You can also give these compact batteries quick recharging.

Yet, out of all the types of car batteries, a Li-ion battery is the most incompatible with most cars. You’ll often find them under the hoods of electric and hybrid vehicles.

5. Finding the Best Types of Car Batteries for You

Now, you know more about the most common types of car batteries. Take what you’ve learned from the application of car batteries we mentioned. If you’re still unsure, it’s better to consult with someone who knows a lot about cars inside and out.

There are still more things that you can learn about car batteries. For example, certain manufacturers create batteries with different sizes.

Checking the size of a battery is easier once you know the type you need. Like smaller batteries, car batteries also come in different sizes. Make sure you learn what size fits your vehicle best before you buy one.

Learn More About Cars

These are the different types of car batteries. Don’t hesitate to revisit this guide the next time you need to shop for batteries and guarantee you get the right one. 

Of course, batteries are only the start. If you want to see more content on vehicles, check out our other posts!