Are all car batteries the same?

20 May 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

The purpose of your car’s battery is to supply your vehicle with enough power to the starter motor and ignition system. The way it works is by creating a chemical reaction: the battery converts this chemical reaction into electrical energy to power up your car. Without the car battery, your car simply won't start.

But are all car batteries the same?

Not every type of car battery will be suitable to be used as a replacement battery as not every vehicle will have the same requirements. When looking for a new battery, getting the right size and type is probably one of the most important things to ensure you avoid damaging your vehicles electrical system.

In this article, we will cover the different types of car batteries.

Wet cell batteries

Also known as flooded batteries.

Typically wet cell batteries are a combination of lead, sulfuric acid and water (this creates the electrolyte). Often less expensive, they, unfortunately, do not provide the same type of benefits as a VRLA battery does. It is common for vehicles to have a lead-acid battery, and they should be placed upright. Regular maintenance is required to replace any electrolytes lost.

SLI Batteries

SLI stands for Starting, Lighting and Ignition.

Most car batteries are typically SLI batteries. They start up your car whilst providing power to your ignition, lights and other components in your vehicle. These types of batteries distribute short spurts of power at one time.

VRLA Batteries

VRLA stands for Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid.

These types of batteries are constructed so that they do not require frequent water adding to the battery cells. From this, VRLA batteries will not require servicing, they just need to be replaced.

Types of VRLA Batteries:

AGM Batteries

AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat.

Often referred to as a “dry battery”,  AGM batteries are still typically lead-acid batteries. What makes them different from a flooded battery is that electrolytes are absorbed in a glass mat separator. Unlike flooded batteries, an AGM battery can be mounted in a variety of positions without leaking electrolytes.

AGM batteries are very capable of delivering high currents and grant great electrical reliability. With little to no maintenance, this type of battery offers a long service life.

Gel Cell Batteries

Although often mistaken as - Gel batteries are not the same as AGM batteries. These types of batteries have a silica-based electrolyte and are less effective in both cold or hot temperatures.

Li-ion batteries

Also known as Lithium-Ion Batteries.

This type of battery is uncommon in the majority of vehicles, simply because they are incompatible. Li-ion batteries are mostly used for hybrid and electric cars as they are able to store more energy. Lighter than the lead-acid batteries, Li-ion batteries unfortunately only last around three years.

If you ever have problems with your car battery, it is best to get it checked out by a professional mechanic. Here at Lindley’s Autocentres, we have a car battery repair and replacement service - so be sure to visit us for any enquires or help.

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