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What Kind of Battery is a Car Battery ? What The Best Kind For My Car ?

What Kind of Battery is a Car Battery ? What The Best Kind For My Car ?

A car battery is a system that drives the vehicle's electrical components. It is responsible for starting your engine, as well as ensuring that the lights, wipers, and music play, among other things. A car would not start without it, to put it bluntly.

Batteries have become integral units in recent years as the production of electric vehicles has increased. They store the electric energy required to operate the vehicle. Since batteries are rechargeable, they can now be used over and over again for an extended period of time.

Today, cars come with different types of batteries. Not sure what kind of car battery is in your vehicle? Worry not. In this guide, we take a look at the various types to help you identify the kind of battery fitted in your car.  

How do automobile batteries work?

When the ignition key is turned (or pressed in the case of an ignition button), the stored electrical energy in the battery is released. This electrical energy is quickly sent to the starter, which then starts the engine.

The extra power is then directed to electrical components, which are powered as a result. The alternator allows the battery to be charged and discharged. Your car would have issues if the battery level is too low.

Then what type of batteries that use in a car ?

A vehicle using electrolyte type battery. This type using electrolyte (it from sulfuric acid) to store and discharge electrical energy.

But the electrolyte type have some design.

1. Regular lead acid battery

A solution of sulfuric acid and purified water serves as the electrolyte in a lead acid battery cell. Pure sulfuric acid has a specific gravity of around 1.84, and it is diluted with distilled water before the specific gravity of the solution falls between 1.2 and 1.23..But, depending on the type of battery, season, and climatic conditions, the manufacturer of the battery may prescribe a particular gravity of diluted sulfuric acid.

regular lead acid battery have several caps. this caps use to fill the electrolyte and it be a way out for vapor created when battery reaction is on going. in othe words, in this battery you need to fully maintenance the battery. keep the electrolyte volume to get maximum battery performance.

2. VRLA battery

VRLA stands for Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid and refers to low-maintenance rechargeable lead-acid batteries. VRLA batteries do not need the addition of water to the cells on a regular basis due to their design.

VRLA batteries are also known as Absorbent Glass Mat batteries or Gel batteries. Although these batteries are often referred to as sealed lead-acid batteries, they often have a safety pressure release valve.

A VRLA battery, unlike vented (also known as flooded) batteries, cannot spill its electrolyte if it is inverted. VRLA batteries are often referred to as "acid-starved" designs because they use much less electrolyte (battery acid) than regular lead-acid batteries. The label "valve controlled" does not fully characterize the technology; these are "recombinant" batteries, which means that the oxygen evolved on the positive plates would largely recombine with the hydrogen ready to evolve on the negative plates, resulting in water—thus avoiding water loss.

The valve serves solely as a safety precaution in the event that the rate of hydrogen evolution becomes dangerously high. One benefit of this design is that it has a much higher power-to-floor-space ratio than big, flooded battery systems; another is that it has a high-rate power capacity, although for a short time. As a result, VRLA batteries are commonly used in UPS systems (uninterruptible power supply) or other high-rate applications.

Because of their specific features and advantages, VRLA batteries can be used in almost any flooded lead-acid battery application (in combination with well-regulated charging), as well as applications where conventional flooded batteries cannot be used.

Pros of VRLA battery

1. Referred to maintenance free battery

These batteries are known as maintenance-free batteries because they don't need to be watered. VRLA batteries outperform flooded batteries in applications where maintenance is difficult to conduct because there is no free liquid and limited gassing.

2. Less vapor

It has less vapor than VRLA, so the battery usage will be last for longer. And the battery has close design, so you don’t need to worry from electrolyte leakage.

However, the VRLA has some disadvantages. Users should exercise caution when charging this battery because overcharging and undercharging will shorten its life and reduce its efficiency. AGM batteries are most reliable when their discharge is limited to no more than 50% of the battery size.

And once the battery drop, you can not service it. It need to be replace.

You often find This type of batteries in off-grid power systems including environmentally friendly renewable energy systems like wind and solar power. They are also great for electric vehicle service and uninterrupted power supply systems, as well as robotics and some ATVs and motorcycles.

Beside the two type above, there is another battery type. It is gel type battery. This battery has same principle as VRLA battery. But the electrolyte form not In liquid, but it is gel form. So the performance clearly better than VRLA battery we discuss above.

But the price so expensive, that’s why this battery is not use in general car, but only several car use this battery like performance car.

The conclusion, What the type for my car ?

Many vehicle produce today using VRLA battery. It is use because the battery has free maintenance and it is not too expensive. So it is the best choice for your vehicle.

What Causes an Alternator To Overcharge?

What Causes an Alternator To Overcharge?

Alternator is a self power plant for the vehicle electrical needs. The alternator generates electrical energy to supply the electric needs of the vehicle and performs battery recharge.

So that the vehicle battery is always in full charge position.

The alternator works by converting the rotational motion into electrical energy. The alternator rotor is connected to the engine pulley, the alternator shaft rotation will produce electricity with varying values.

The value is based on the rotor rotational RPM.

That is a sign, when the engine is in a high RPM position, the value of the electrical energy generated by the alternator can be very large. Then, What if the alternator overcharge the battery?

Voltage Regulator Prevent Overcharging

Every charging system is equipped with a voltage regulator. This is a component to keep the voltage generated by the alternator from getting too high.

As I said above, the alternator is connected to the engine pulley directly via a belt. That means, the alternator shaft rotation is affected by engine RPM.

However, the voltage regulator will activate when the engine RPM increases.

There are several types of voltage regulators. One of them is the contact plate or conventional type. This type works using a contact point to adjust the input voltage leading to the rotor coil.

So the alternator works using the electromagnetic force. An electric current will be created when the magnetic field rotates in the coil. In the alternator, the magnetic field is not obtained from the permanent magnet but it is obtained from the rotor coil.

To make the coil rotor have a magnetic force, we need to apply an electric current to the coil rotor.

the value of the voltage applied to the coil rotor affects the strength of the magnetic field formed in the coil rotor.

The voltage regulator has options, whether the rotor coil will be supplied with full voltage (12 V), partial voltage, or 0 volts.

So simply put, the voltage regulator will deliver full voltage to the rotor coil when the engine RPM is low. The voltage regulator will switch to the partial voltage input when the engine speed is in middle speed.

When the engine is at top speed, no voltage is applied to the rotor coil.

So the contact point will switch automatically based on the engine RPM.

Then what causes the alternator to be overcharged?

Contact Point Gets Damage

If the contact point gets damage, of course it will interfere with the performance of the voltage regulator. The contact points can experience switch failure, which causes the input voltage to the rotor coil to always be at full voltage (12 V).

So that when the engine RPM increases, the charging voltage will increase until it exceeds capacity. (15 Volt or above).

What causes the contact point to get damage?

1. Impact on the voltage regulator

The conventional regulator is located outside the alternator. So, this component is prone to collisions. A collision will make the plate at the contact point stuck, so the contact cannot be switched.

2. The contact point is stuck

The contact point is made of steel plate. If the vehicle is not used for a long time, the plate may become stiff. So it doesn't allow for a switch.

3. Corrosion

Corrosion and rust are things that often appear on components made of metal. This rust will interfere with the contact points to get switch.

What's the solution?

Component replacement is the best solution. This component is easy to replace, because it is located outside the alternator. So you don't have to take anything apart.

But conventional voltage regulators are only used in vehicles produced in the past. Vehicles produced in the era of 2000. most of them use an electronic voltage regulator.

Then what makes the alternator overcharge on the electronic voltage regulator?

Faulty transistor is the reason that makes the alternator overcharged the battery.

Transistors are electronic components that are used to select the input line for the rotor coil. Just like the conventional regulators, electronic regulators also have input with full voltage, medium voltage and low voltage.

However, electronic regulators use transistors as a substitute for contact points.

Of course this can reduce the risk of damage caused by contact points. However, if one of the transistors is damaged then the alternator may undercharge or overcharge.

The bad things, the electronic regulator is located inside the alternator. So, when this failure occurs you have to replace a unit of the alternator.

However, this is a rare thing. Electronic alternators are more durable than conventional regulators.

What happens if I let the alternator overcharged?

This can damage some of the electronic components in the car. The ECU has been set to use 12 Volts, if the voltage on the system exceeds 12 Volts, the ECU and some sensors can malfunction.

So that there is a problem with the engine.

The bulb on your vehicle lighting is easier to break. This is because the filament of the bulb receives electricity with a voltage above the capacity.

Your car battery also dies faster, because the overcharge will make the battery electrolyte evaporation more massive.

So if you detect an overcharge on the charging system, fix it immediately.

What Happened When You Jump a Car The Reversed Way?

What Happened When You Jump a Car The Reversed Way?

One of the most problem in our vehicle is engine starting failure. This problem can arise from various causes.

The most common cause, is the battery. The vehicle battery does not have full voltage, so it is unable to run the engine starting system.

The solution? many people use the jump start method.

But what happens if we connect the jumper cable with the wrong way?

Jump start method

This is a method to start the engine with a battery from another vehicle. So even if the battery in our car dies, it can still be turned on through the help of another car battery.

To get jump the vehicle, we have to connect two batteries in parallel position. That means, the two positive terminals of the battery will be connected and the negative terminal will be connected to the negative terminal.

This makes the electrical system in our car have a voltage with the same value as the battery in another car (jumper battery).

So, all electrical systems including the starter system will run normally.

When the engine is running, you can disconnect the jumper cables. The vehicle charging system will supply all the needs for electrical energy.

Then what happens if we connect the jumper cables in reverse?

We connect the positive jumper battery terminal to the negative origin battery terminal. And the negative jumper battery terminal is connected to the positive origin terminal of the battery.

This will create a series, where positive meets negative and negative meets positive.

But the problem here is that the two batteries are connected directly without passing the load.

Load is an electrical component that requires an electric current. The resistance value at load will affect how much current flows.

In the above case, the two batteries are connected directly by two cables. So there is no load on the batteries connection.

What happens if it is closed circuit without load?

The resistance value becomes 0, so that nothing blocks the electric current. This makes large amount of the current flowing through the cable.

In fact, all the current stored in the jumper battery will flow at the same time.

What are the consequences?

1. Sparks appear

When you connect one jumper wire to a different battery terminal (positive to negative), it will hold the two batteries together.

So the positive and negative terminals on the two batteries (which have not been connected by a wire) become power and ground.

If we connect the two terminals using a jumper wire directly, large amounts of current will flow immediately.

So that when the jumper wire approaches the battery terminals, it will produce sparks.

2. Jumper wire burned out

The intensity of the electric current shows how much energy is flowing. Cables use copper as a conductor. Copper in the cable has a limit to accommodate the flow of electric current.

The larger the diameter of the copper, the greater the current that can be flowed.

When a large amount of current flows through the copper, and it exceeds the capacity of the cable, it melts the copper.

This is the same as an electric water boiler, where the large amount of current will flow to the iron so the iron becomes hot.

When the copper in the cable is hot, it melts the insulation that covers the cable. So that smoke will appear and you will smell burning rubber.

Sometimes, a fire can also occur and it can spread to other parts.

3. Battery loss of voltage

Just like what I said above, when both of battery terminal connected directly, it will flow a huge amount of current. This is an event to balance the potential different.

Battery is useful because it has potential different. So, when you connected the battery through the load, it will flow an energy to the load. So the load function.

but the longer it is used, the smaller the battery potential difference. When the battery potential difference is gone, it can be said to be a battery loss of voltage. So it needs recharge.

In the above case, a huge amount of current will flow of the battery. So that in a short time the battery potential difference will be gone.

That makes the battery jumper which is initially full charged, becomes a loss of voltage.

Of course the current consequences are not too frightening, because this can be overcome with a battery recharge.

The thing you need to pay attention is point number 2. when the jumper cable burns, it can spread to other parts. And the thing makes it difficult, the jumper cables are hot so it is impossible for us to touch them or remove the jumper cables.

Therefore, when you encounter sparks when you jump a car, don't continue. Do a check, make sure you have connected the battery terminals correctly.

Connecting Car Battery Wrong Way Round, What Will Happen?

Connecting Car Battery Wrong Way Round, What Will Happen?

The car electrical system uses DC electricity. That means, the electric current is only unidirectional. So that the two poles must be connected precisely and it forbidden to reversed.

So what happens if we connect the battery cable in wrong side? will it damage the engine?

We will discuss it.

Battery Terminal Position

Battery has a box shape with two terminals located above the battery. The battery cable will be designed automatically according to the position of the battery terminals. So the incidence of the wrongly connected battery rarely occurs because the cable will not be connected if the battery is backwards.

However, when the battery died, the car owner had to replace it with the new one. If we replace it with the same type as before, the battery will not reverse.

If we use batteries from other brands, of course the position of the battery terminals can be different.

So that it is possible for wrong battery terminals to occur.

Then what will happen if I connect battery in wrong way round ?

1. Starting system does not work

The engine starting system uses an electric motor to generate rotational energy and a solenoid as a switch to start the electric motor.

The solenoid in the starting system works based on the electromagnetic force. In essence, the coil in the solenoid will turn into a magnet when it gets an electric current. The direction of the magnetic field inside the solenoid is influenced by the direction of the electric current.

So that when the battery is reversed, the magnetism inside the solenoid will reverse too. That keeps the starter motor from connecting.

So that the starter motor is not running.

But there are several types of solenoids that are not affected by the direction of the current. The solenoid will continue to work properly even if the electric current is reversed. This keeps the motor starter connected.

The starter motor uses an electromagnetic force as well. If the direction of the current is reversed, the starter motor rotation will reverse. And this makes the starting system work but the engine does not start.

2. Blown Diode rectifier

The rectifier diode is a component to make the AC current from the alternator change to DC current. So that it can be used to recharge the battery.

What happens if the battery is in the backward position?

First you need to know that the diode works by blocking an electric current on one side. So at AC current, the direction of the electric current moves in two directions. The diode will block one direction of current, so the current out from the diode has only a direction. That's DC current.

This rectifier is located between the alternator output and the battery positive main cable. And the rectifier has one ground wire.

If the battery is in an inverted position, the battery positive cable will be connected to the negative terminal of the battery, and ground will be connected to the positive terminal of the battery.

What will happen ?

The current will flow from the ground to the battery positive cable. And this will not be blocked by the diode, because the current flows from behind the diode.

The good news, it still doesn't spoil anything. Because the circuit of charging system is still cut off.

But when you press the starter button, the current will be directly connected to the battery negative terminal without load.

That is very dangerous, because if the current flowing without load, it has a very large value. The risk, the diode will burn. So you will find a thin puff of smoke from the alternator area.

3. Fuses broke

Still as we discussed in point 2, when the battery is connected in the backward position, there is a possibility that a large amount of current flows in the electrical circuit. So that all electrical systems in vehicles are at risk of damage.

But you don't need too worry, because the vehicle has fuses.

Fuse is a safety component to avoid large amounts of current from flowing across the circuit.

Fuse has a limit, if the amount of the current that passes through the fuse exceeds the limit, the fuses will be cut automatically. So that the circuit is safe.

4. Some electrical components broke

Although the circuit on a vehicle has fuse, it is designed to protect the circuit if the current flows to the fuse first. The fuse is located after the battery positive terminal before the circuit. So that when a large amount of current is detected, the current will stop at fuse.

However, if the battery in backward position, current will flow from the ground. That means the current will pass through the circuit, then enter the fuse.

So that the large amount of current went through the circuit even in a short time.

It could burn some of the electronic components.

So the risk of something as trivial as this is quite large. Because some electronic components may not function when you fix the battery position.

And electronic components that are damaged, can't be repaired. It needs component replacement so that the circuit can work normally.

So, the best way is prevention.

When you are going to install the battery, make sure you check the battery terminals 3 times. Most of people, are confuse on the battery terminal not on the connector. This is because there is no difference between the positive and negative terminals of the battery.

What distinguishes, only the logo is sometimes disguised on the battery.

So don't install the battery if you don't know where the positive terminal and where the negative terminal.

What Causes a Car Battery to Die Quickly?

What Causes a Car Battery to Die Quickly?

Batteries are components that have a lifetime. When the lifetime runs out, the battery will die and be useless.

How long is the car battery lifetime?

It's not certain. Some batteries have a long life, and some get damaged quickly. In fact, driver habits can also affect battery life.

So what are the things that make a car battery die quickly?

Died Battery Meaning

Died battery has two meanings, first is a battery that dies due to loss of voltage, and second is a dead battery because electrolytes are not able to store electrical energy.

For the first, it can be overcome by battery recharging. The battery only loses power, because the function of the battery is to store electrical energy, so when all the energy in the battery is used up, the battery will lose voltage.

But for the second, the battery must be replaced. Because the battery capacity to store electrical energy is very low. So that the battery will be fully charged quickly, but the maximum energy stored in the battery is small.

In this article we will focus on the second mean, it is a battery die because it has broke electrolytes. For battery loss of voltage, that's a rare occurrence. Because every vehicle has a charging system.

so the battery will always be fully charged during engine run.

Here are some things that make car batteries die quickly.

1. Additional accessories that require electricity

For car owners, feel happy when their car is different from the others. One way, by adding some accessories.

Examples of accessories installed on a car are variation lamps, HID projector headlights, interior speakers, etc.

The accessories mentioned above require a supply of electrical energy. It comes from the battery.

So when the car's electrical load increases, the discharge rate on the battery will also increase. The engine has a charging system, under normal conditions the charging system is able to supply electricity to the vehicle and the battery still has residual energy to recharge the battery.

But if the vehicle's electricity load is higher, the battery recharge will be very low. So that the battery is not in a full charge condition even though the engine is running for a long time.

This will trigger the battery storage capacity to decrease, so the battery dies faster.

2. Engine often to On / Off position

when you drive, it's not always smooth. The car will stop due to traffic light, or some reason.

If you always turn off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, it makes the starer system work more often. So that it need more electric that stored in the battery.

This makes the recharging process of the battery does not make the battery at fully charged. Because the results of the recharge will discharge directly when the next starting process.

So, don't make it a habit to turn off the engine when you are in a driving position. Turn off the engine when you have reached your destination, and the vehicle has not been used for a long time.

It keeps the battery fully charged. So that the battery capacity remains normal.

3. Battery exposed to heat

Heat makes the hydrogen ions in the battery evaporate faster. Hydrogen is one of the ions in battery electrolytes. When the engine is running, the battery recharges. When the process is recharged, the hydrogen will be released from the original molecule.

If the surrounding conditions are hot, this can force the hydrogen to evaporate into loose air. If the hydrogen concentration in the electrolyte decreases, the capacity of the battery to store electricity is reduced.

That is why the battery has a heat sink. This will prevent overheating from getting into the battery.

The Battery Completely Dead, Can You Still Jump The Battery?

The Battery Completely Dead, Can You Still Jump The Battery?

One of the tricks to start the engine with a dead battery is the jump start method.

But what if the battery is completely dead, it means that there is no voltage left in the battery. Can it still be?

What is Battery Jump Start

Battery jump start is a technique to start the engine, where the battery has no voltage.

The principle of the jump start is to use another power source for the starter system without removing the empty battery.

So all electrical systems in a car, including the starter system, have an energy source that comes from the battery. If the battery is dead, of course all electrical systems will die. However, if we switch it to another energy source, it is another battery which is fully charged, so the electrical system will run normally.

Jump start, can divert the energy source to another battery without removing the original battery.

The trick, by connecting the two batteries in parallel. This connection will supply a voltage from the jumper battery to the origin battery with the same value. So that the electrical system will get the same voltage source, that is 12 volts.

To do a battery jump start, you need a fully charged battery. It can be from other cars that have fully charged batteries. Then two jumper cables.

You only need to connect the two battery terminals with the same type, positive with positive, and ground with ground.

After that, you can start the car as usual and the engine will start.

When the engine is running, you can disconnect the jumper cables and the engine will stay run.

Returning to the topic, what if the battery is completely dead? Does the engine keep running when the battery jumper is disconnected?

Of course it is ok, because every engine has a charging system. The charging system functions to recharge the voltage on the battery.

But when the battery is completely dead, the voltage generated by the charging system will be prioritized for the engine's electrical system supply, such as the ignition system and the EFI system.

If there is more electricity from the charging system, it is used to recharge the battery. So that the battery will be full by itself.

But it's a different story if the electrolyte battery is low. This means that electrolytes cannot store electrical energy in a large amount. So in this condition, battery cannot be used for starting.

But it can still be turned on via a jump start as described above. If you disconnect, the engine keeps run because the electricity needs are supplied by the charging system. When the engine is turned off, the battery is unable to start the engine.

The reason is, the battery is already charged with electrical energy. However, because the electrolyte storage capacity is weak, only a small amount of electricity is stored in the battery. That is why the battery is not able to start.

To find out the condition of electrolytes, there are several ways

1. Measure the specific gravity

If you have a tool to measure the specific gravity of electrolytes, you can find out whether the electrolytes are in normal conditions or not.

2. CCA battery

In sealed lead acid type batteries, we cannot access electrolytes. It's because of the closed battery design. To check it, you can use a battery tester. You can measure the voltage, and the most important is the CCA.

Each battery has a CCA standard printed on the battery box. If the rated CCA is lower than the standard, the battery will need to be replaced.

Can We Charge a Car Battery by Driving Around?

Can We Charge a Car Battery by Driving Around?

The car battery is a very useful component. Starting system, it can start the engine with just a button. And the starting system works electronically, so it requires electrical energy from the battery.

If the battery is dead, the starting system cannot function. That keeps the engine from starting via the starter feature, and you need to pull the vehicle to start the engine.

The problem is, the dead battery issue is almost experienced by car owners.

The question is, can the dead battery be recharge by driving the vehicle? isn't a car has a charging system?

It is the right thing, that every vehicle has a charging system. And the function of the charging system is to recharge the battery.

But the problem is, the alternator needs voltage to create magnetism. If the battery voltage is empty, the alternator cannot generate electricity.

To be clearer I will explain this in detail.

Battery Charging Process in Vehicle

So the charging system uses an alternator to convert rotational energy into electrical energy. Just like any other generator, the alternator uses a coil and a magnetic field. But in the alternator, the magnetic field is not obtained from the permanent magnet but from the coil.

So that the alternator needs a little voltage to produce a magnetic field. When a magnetic field is formed even though it is very small, the alternator can generate electricity. The electricity produced will increase the magnetic field in the alternator, so that the output voltage is greater.

In this condition, the alternator can be used to recharge the battery.

So whether a dead battery can be recharge by the alternator?

It depends on the battery. If the battery has no voltage (0 Volt) then the alternator cannot generate magnetism, so electricity cannot be generated.

However, if the battery still has a small voltage, you only need to start the engine. The trick is to push the car until the engine starts. Then the alternator will recharge the battery. When recharging, you can leave the car idle, or you want to drive the car faster.

With a higher RPM, the resulting voltage output is also greater. So that it charges the battery faster.

To find out whether the battery still has remaining voltage, you can turn on the headlamp or horn. If it's still working even though it's not maximal, then the battery still has voltage.

But if that doesn't work, then the battery has no residual voltage.

Then what is the solution for a battery that has no residual voltage?

First you have to find out, whether the battery is just losing voltage, or if the battery electrolytes are low.

If the battery only loses voltage, the electrolyte can still store electrical energy. So that the battery can be recharged by the alternator.

you just need to find the way to turn on the engine. One of the way, using battery jump start technique. This technique will be explained below.

But if the battery electrolyte is weak, then the electrolyte cannot store large amounts of electrical energy. If this is the case, then the alternator can still recharge the battery, but this is useless. Because the energy stored in the battery cannot be used to power the starter system.

When the battery electrolyte is low, the most effective solution is to replace the battery.

Jump a car battery with another battery

This is a method to start the engine with low voltage battery conditions. You only need to connect your car battery to the battery in another car in parallel, then the starter system will turn on.

This method is easier because you don't have to push the car to start it. so it is very useful when your car battery don't have any residual voltage.

But the same, when the battery electrolyte is low, this will not have an impact in the future. Later, the battery returns to low even though the engine has been running for a long time.

So in conclusion, every car has a charging system. It will work automatically when the engine starts. Low voltage battery is mostly experienced in vehicles that have not been used for a long time. By starting the engine and using it to drive around, the battery charging system runs faster.

So you can recharge the battery with just a drive around.