We all try our best to avoid unwanted problems, such as an electrical issue that prevents your car from starting and leaves you stranded in a parking lot or some other location far from the required repair. What can you do, then, to lessen the likelihood of a potential undesirable scenario involving an electrical system crash in your car?

Make sure to first invest twice as much in a good car battery. Between $75 and $125 is the price range for a lead acid battery. Because they were created for the first time in 1859 and are the least expensive among the sources used today to start automobile engines, liquid lead acid batteries are the most prevalent only because they are the oldest. The sealed liquid lead acid battery, which was invented in 1971, made it easy to maintain.

Unlike liquids, gel and absorbed glass mate are used in VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) batteries. Gel batteries are as the name applies which is a “Gel”. To create the mat that holds the electrolyte in AGM batteries, silicate glass fibers are combined with boron. Non liquid gel batteries were created in the late 1920’s and lead to the creation of the “Absorbed Glass Mat” batteries in 1957. The AGM battery, also known as an absorbed glass mat battery, was first produced in 1972, but it was primarily used for electronics and military and non-vehicular applications like boats, motorhomes, and motorcycles. AGM batteries are now more widely available for use in production automobiles. AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries can cost between $160 and $250, but they have more benefits than liquid lead acid batteries.

AGM batteries are primarily used in applications like boats and recreational vehicles where the use of the vehicle is intermittent. Compared to liquid lead acid batteries, the non-use discharge rate in non-use applications is significantly lower. Also significantly faster is the charge rate. AGM batteries are now being installed as standard equipment by some automakers due to the increased power consumption of today’s vehicles. Due to computer features and braking, BMW has become known for being the first automaker to install AGM batteries in their 2007 models.

Although AGM batteries are much better than liquid lead acid batteries, you must be careful not to overcharge them. The need for a high output alternator is unnecessary because they can be charged more quickly with a normal output alternator up to 14.5 volts. A solar panel with a trickle charge is advised when using an AGM battery in an inactive vehicle. Overcharging AGM batteries to 14.5 volts will cause them to fail. Due to the harsh environment they are used in, sports cars tend to have the most issues charging AGM batteries. Toss away your old plug in garage battery charger and get a new one that maintains “Voltage” instead of amps. While an older charger does not detect low voltage and does not charge the battery, an AGM battery charger will detect a very low voltage in the battery and will begin the recharge.

Used in military vehicles that spend many years in storage, these batteries start up without a hitch. Online, I’ve read about people who’ve stored their AGM batteries in their garage for many years while they still had their full charge. When I occasionally start the engine on one of my AGM batteries—which I use in all of my cars—it starts right up. I also disconnected the negative cable from the battery that I don’t use as frequently anymore. I’ve read complaints about the AGM frequently failing, but only when used improperly or in systems where charging is higher than is advised. These batteries can sit for extended periods of time without being charged, but it’s advised to use a solar panel that only provides a very slight trickle charge when not in use. Again, I will reiterate what I have learned from my own experiences: when the battery is not in use, disconnect the negative cable.

The wet cell versus the AGM and gel? The thicker plates of the AGM resist sulfur buildups that can corrode a wet cell battery and tend not to warp as easily during deep discharges. If they last that long, wet cell batteries typically degrade after 4 years. If the AGM battery is not overcharged, it has a lifespan of up to 10 years. Sport vehicles benefit greatly from gel cell batteries, but they typically charge more slowly.

The Winner Is, “Absorbed Glass Mat” if you learn how to take care of them properly.

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