AGM vs Standard Battery: Differences Explained

A battery in a car supplies the initial charge when you want to start the electrical system of the car. It also serves for starting different electrical equipment parts in a vehicle. But every 3-5 years they are gone and you are in the search for a new car battery.  But which car battery is more suitable for you: AGM vs Standard Battery?

There is a main difference between the two popular battery types. One battery type is based on a flooded lead acid design, while the other one is an absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery that has been popular in recent years.

In this article, we explain more about AGM and standard batteries, and we make the choice easier for you.

AGM vs Standard Battery

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There are many differences between AGM and standard batteries. First of all, we must know a little bit about the history of the batteries.

AGM batteries have been in commercial use since the 1980s when the first type of these batteries was introduced. The batteries were presented as an alternative to the standard or flooded lead-acid batteries.

The advantages of the AGM batteries are long life, no-spill properties, and minimal maintenance. With all these characteristics, these batteries have a good reputation among car batteries.

The main difference between AGM and standard batteries lies in the way the battery acid is held inside the battery. When it comes to AGM batteries, they use absorbent glass that has the function to absorb the battery acid.

As a result, the electrolytes have a large surface area to touch the plates. This is all possible without flooding the battery with too many fluids.

In the text below, we will explain more about the main differences between AGM and standard car batteries.

 

  1. Longevity

In general, you can expect that your standard battery lasts for 3-4 years. The corrosion will be present in standard batteries, and there will be a high chance of sulfation in the battery. At the same time, you can expect the stratification of the battery acid inside the battery.

On the other hand, we have AGM batteries that can last for 5-7 years. The overall design of these batteries is different and it provides protection against grind corrosion and stratification.

  1. Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance needs, standard batteries have electrolytes that produce gasses. You need to regularly top up the electrolytes by adding distilled water to the battery. In this manner, you replace the water that is lost during the gassing.

In addition, the standard batteries need to be placed in areas that are open and well-ventilated. These batteries emit gasses and steam excessively when in use.

When we consider AGM batteries, we can find them easier to maintain. These batteries allow gasses to combine without any loss. The watering with distilled water is not necessary, and there are valves that vent excess gasses at the times when the pressure is higher than usual.

  1. Charging of the batteries

AGM batteries have lower internal resistance and have a faster charging time than standard batteries. In general, the AGM batteries are 5 times faster when it comes to charging. This makes them ideal when you do not have much time and you need a battery fast. [1]

However, you must be sure that you use the right charger.

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What Are Additional Differences Between AGM and Standard Batteries

changing car battery

When you know the main differences between AGM and standard batteries, you can decide which battery to buy for your vehicle. The differences are huge and you must think twice before you make a decision.

Find out what else makes the batteries different.

Self-discharge rate

There is a lower self-discharge rate inside the AGM batteries. This means that these batteries can last longer when they are not in use. They will lose about 1-3% of the power within a month of non-use.

At the same time, the standard batteries will lose up to 10% of the battery power when the battery is not in use. This makes a huge difference between the two batteries.

If you keep your batteries inactive, you need to recharge the standard battery often, while your AGM battery will not require frequent recharging.

Spillage

If you have an AGM battery, you may notice that the battery is not position-sensitive. This means that you can mount the battery and change its position in many directions without the fear of spillage.

There are silicone mats that protect the area between the cell plates, and that is why the electrolytes are protected and there is no spillage of the fluids. [2]

When we consider standard batteries, we can notice the opposite effect. These batteries are very sensitive to different positions and they must be upright in order to stop spilling. There are liquid electrolytes inside and these can spill easily if you do not hold the battery in the proper position.

Cost-effectiveness

Typically, AGM batteries are 2-3 times more expensive than standard batteries. However, if we consider the fact that AGM batteries last more than standard batteries, then we can say that they are not too expensive.

You can buy an AGM battery and save money in the long run because the battery will serve you for many years. In this manner, you will get a quality battery that will be long-lasting and reliable.

Pros and Cons of AGM Batteries

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Since we know the advantages of AGM batteries like durability, a long lifespan, and a short charging time, we should also pay attention to some disadvantages of these batteries.

The main pros of AGM batteries are:

 

  1. Non-spillage solutions
  2. A good lifespan
  3. Easy maintenance
  4. Short charging time
  5. Low self-discharge rate

 

The main cons of AGM batteries are:

 

  1. Energy issues
  2. Sensitivity to overcharging
  3. High production costs

When it comes to energy issues, it is important to know that AGM batteries have a high-power output, and they cannot be used on several devices. Instead, they can be used on one device for a long time under a moderate load.

Sensitivity to overcharging is another disadvantage of AGM batteries. They have a low tolerance to overcharging and they are not designed for high voltages.

High production costs are one of the leading reasons why people are turned down when they think about buying an AGM battery. The costs of production and manufacturing are very high, and that is why these batteries are expensive on the market.

 

How Do I Know If My Battery Is AGM?

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One of the most certain ways to find out if your battery is AGM is to check the label. There is a label on the battery that says “AGM” or “Absorbed Glass Mat.” If you notice this detail, you can be sure that your battery is AGM.

At the same time, if there is no labeling that says clearly that the battery is AGM, you can search online and find out the details.

There is a battery number on the unit and you can use this number when you search for the type of the battery online. When you are sure that your battery is AGM, you can experience all of the mentioned qualities of these batteries.

Are Deep Cycle Batteries AGM

Yes, most AGM batteries are deep cycle batteries. They have a power storage unit that is able to provide energy for a longer period of time. [3]

In general, a deep cycle battery has a different discharge when compared to standard batteries. There is a higher depth of discharge and this is why AGM batteries can last longer.

At the same time, the deep cycle batteries use Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology to ensure that electrolytes are in place. This technology makes the AGM batteries more resistant to shocks and vibrations.

Is AGM Battery Worth It?

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When we take into account all of the mentioned advantages like longevity, low self-discharge rate, and many other positive sides, we can say that AGM batteries are worth the price.

They are usually more expensive than standard batteries but they provide better characteristics overall.

You can find quality AGM batteries online or at brick-and-mortar stores. No matter where you find an AGM battery, you can see why these batteries are simply better than standard ones.

The engineering design of AGM batteries is different and you can notice that some characteristics are worth the money you invest in these batteries.

Conclusion

Now when you know the main characteristics of AGM and standard batteries, you can go further and decide which battery to buy.

Many people will go for AGM batteries because they can last longer and provide better performance. At the same time, the price you pay for AGM batteries is higher, but it is worth it.

If you want to spend less and get a standard battery, you may need to change them often and you cannot expect the best performance from standard batteries.

No matter which battery you choose, now when you know more about AGM vs standard battery details, you can consider the main characteristics of each battery. Be wise and invest your money in the battery that suits your budget and preferences in the best manner.