Car batteries come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. Which one should I buy?
You are not alone if you are confused about what type of battery is best for your car. Most car owners are unaware of the variety of car batteries on the market today. In the end, they end up settling for cheap, ill-fitting, and substandard batteries that underperform in the long run.
A car’s ignition system is not complete without a battery. They provide electrical energy to the car’s starter so it can start the engine and power various components like the radio and lights.
In order to simplify the selection process, here are five common types of car batteries that everyone should be familiar with.
Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Batteries
Recently, lithium-ion batteries have become increasingly popular for powering electric and hybrid cars. Li-ion batteries feature a secondary cell (rechargeable) design for better performance and capacity. Compared to other car batteries, they are lighter and require less maintenance. Li-ion batteries have a high charge capacity and a low self-discharge rate. They can last for about three to four years on average.
With a low car battery price, lead-acid batteries are available in a wide range of capacities and sizes. In these batteries, the storage capacity is determined by the amount of electrolyte and the size of the battery plates. In addition, lead-acid batteries require the least maintenance among the various battery types.
Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) Batteries
VRLA batteries are highly advanced lead-acid batteries designed to be low-maintenance, do not spill when they are inverted or tilted, and do not require regular addition of water to the battery cells. There are two common types of valve-regulated lead-acid batteries: Absorption Glass Mat (AGM) and Gel Cell Batteries.
Starting, Lighting, and Ignition (SLI) Batteries
The majority of cars manufactured today are equipped with SLI batteries – a type of lead-acid, rechargeable battery that delivers power in short bursts to start the engine. Since the SLIs are integrated into the car’s charging system, they experience short cycles of charging and discharging whenever the car is running. The SLI battery also powers the car’s electronic systems, including the radio, lights, infotainment system, heating/cooling systems, and more.
Wet Cell Batteries
Wet-cell batteries are also known as flooded batteries because they contain a liquid electrolyte. They are used as secondary batteries that are recharged by the car’s alternator once the car is started. Wet cell batteries can have an increased number of charge-discharge cycles with regular maintenance.