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Lead-Acid vs. Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries

When buying a new battery for your vehicle, you may have the option of a Lead-Acid battery or an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery. Lead-acid batteries power your vehicle with electrical energy produced by metal plates immersed in an electrolyte solution that is 65% water and 35% sulfuric acid. AGM batteries are advanced lead-acid products that provide more power to support higher electrical demands of today's vehicles.

new auto battery being installed in car

Which Type of Battery Should You Buy?

When it is time to replace your battery, consider the differences between a lead-acid battery and an AGM battery.

Pros of AGM Batteries

  • AGM batteries use the latest technology and hold a charge better than a lead-acid battery
  • Usually maintenance-free and do not require watering
  • Reliable and hold their charge in low temperatures better than a lead-acid battery
  • AGM batteries are safer as they have no free liquid and minimal gases
  • Vibration resistant

If your vehicle battery is difficult to reach for maintenance, an AGM battery is a good choice because they require far less maintenance.

Cons of AGM Batteries

The downsides of AGM batteries are their cost and the fact that they are most reliable when their use is limited to the discharge of no more than 50% of battery capacity. Over and undercharging can affect their life and performance.

Lead-Acid Batteries

Most of the disadvantages of a lead-acid battery stem from the need for periodic inspection and maintenance. These batteries can be damaged by forceful movement. Extreme heat and cold can affect the battery function as the free liquids they contain can evaporate or freeze.

What Size Battery Do You Need?

If a licensed vehicle mechanic is replacing your battery, it is his/her responsibility to install the proper size. Otherwise, the correct battery size is listed in the owner's manual that came with your vehicle. If you've misplaced the manual, you can look up the battery size online by searching for your vehicle make, model, and year. Another place to find battery size is on the battery you are replacing.

Cost of Replacing Your Car’s Battery

Compared to other maintenance tasks, replacing your car battery is relatively inexpensive. The average price of a typical lead-acid battery is between $60 and $120. Premium batteries are usually more. An AGM battery is closer to $200. To learn more about what type of battery is best for your vehicle, or for more information about any of our services, contact us at Custom Complete Automotive today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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