Marine batteries are high-capacity, deep-cycle batteries capable of powering powerful electric components. Marine batteries are primarily intended for use on boats, but many people have wondered if the battery can be used to operate a car.
The Answer is Yes; however, there are some requirements the battery has to meet before it can be used in a car. Because a marine battery is not made for a vehicle, prolonged usage in the car can drastically shorten the battery’s lifespan.
To use a marine battery in your car, you must first understand what marine batteries are and how they work. Next, we’ll discuss the difference between automobile and marine batteries and what requirements need to be met before you can use a marine battery in your car.
What is a Marine battery?
A marine battery has similar capabilities to a starter battery; however, the quantity of current discharged by this battery type sets it apart from other batteries. Also, it takes longer for a marine battery to generate enough energy to start an engine. Marine batteries include fewer battery cells, but they have larger lead plates that are more powerful and long-lasting. These plates generate a large quantity of energy over a long period, allowing a marine boat’s radar, lights, GPS, other electrical components, and the engine to operate. It’s simply a power storage device, similar to a car battery but with more capacity.
Furthermore, the structure was created to be used as a boat. Therefore, even in terms of physical sturdiness, the battery is stronger than a vehicle battery, allowing it to withstand all vibrations without failing. Some types of marine batteries available are:
- Cranking batteries: these batteries have a lot of lead plates but are significantly thinner than the deep cycles batteries. They are Used for boat engines as they produce large bursts of energy for relatively short periods and a quick recharge by the boat’s alternator.
- Deep cycle batteries: usually referred to as house batteries, have fewer lead plates thicker and can produce enough energy to power the boat’s accessories for a long time. However, they are more expensive than cranking marine batteries.
- Dual-purpose batteries are also called hybrid batteries and are the most common marine batteries. The battery plates are thin enough to deliver sufficient current and thick enough to provide adequate cycling performance. However, they are the most expensive of the marine batteries.
What is a car battery?
Car batteries are Lead-acid batteries that convert the lead- to sulphuric acid. The chemical reaction of sulphuric acid produces the current. The battery produces a voltage of 2V, and Every car battery has six battery cell plates, each of which produces 12 volts. The current energy produced in a car battery is used to kick start the engine. In addition, the car’s electrical components, such as the headlights, brake lights, radio, and dashboard, are also powered by the battery. The car battery differs significantly from a marine battery in that it has thinner lead plates. This implies it releases a higher current faster, which is required to start an engine. On the other hand, Marine batteries are more durable and built to resist situations that a car would not be able to handle.
The difference between a marine battery and a car battery
There are basic differences between the marine and the car battery that are highlighted below:
- Current: The design of car batteries includes multiple thin plates. It enables them to deliver a significantly higher current to start the engine. For vehicles, this is an important necessity. As a result, automotive batteries tend to discharge high currents over short durations before being recharged by the alternator. On the other hand, Marine batteries deliver lower currents for longer periods.
- Cranking amps: Cars and marine batteries have distinct CA ratings. CCA stands for cold-cranking amps in cars, while MCA stands for marine crank amps. This rating indicates how many amps your vehicle’s battery produces in unfavorable conditions. For example, the cold crank amps are rated at 0°F, while marine crank amps are at 32°F. So to use a marine battery in your car, you should find one with an MCA that is appropriate for your driving conditions.
- Durability: Car batteries are designed to endure high temperatures and vibrations caused by the engine, but any other form of intense pressure will cause the battery to fail. However, A marine battery is designed for boats and can endure any form of sea force. Marine batteries can resist extreme temperatures and pressure. A marine engine can withstand the strong vibrations of a failing engine.
- Voltage: The voltage of all car batteries is 12 volts. Marine batteries come in a variety of voltages, starting at 6 volts. Due to the varying power demands of boats, the capacity of marine batteries varies. Some marine batteries provide a 12v power source, which can be used in cars.
- Battery Size: CarCar batteries are far smaller than marine batteries in terms of size. Only smaller marine may be suitable for cars, which are difficult to find.
- Price: When compared to vehicle batteries, marine batteries are pricier. However, given the sturdiness of marine batteries, the price is justified. They’re made to withstand all sorts of vibrations.
The requirements to use a marine battery in a car
A marine battery does not generate the current required to start a car, but there may be some marine batteries that can work in a car. Provided the marine battery fits the following requirements, it can be used to power a car:
- The battery is a 12V battery so that it can be charged successfully by the alternator
- The battery has the cold cranking amps of 650 CCA to 800 CCA to help start the car engine
- The battery size can fit under the hood of the car
- The position and size of the battery terminals have to be similar to that of a car battery.
Is it safe to use a marine battery for your car?
Although it is possible to use a marine battery in your car, it is not safe as marine batteries do not possess enough cold cranking amps to start the vehicle in cold weather. Also, while a car battery can last for years in the car, using a marine battery can shorten the life of both the battery and the car engine. It is also possible for the marine battery to cause significant damage to the car’s alternator.
Things to consider in choosing the right battery for your car
Using a battery designed for your vehicle can will help preserve the battery life and help you save money in the long run. Here are some of the factors to consider before picking a battery for your car:
- Battery Size: This refers to the battery size that will best match the exact dimensions of your vehicle. Every battery is allocated a number or a letter based on the make, model, and engine type of the vehicles it can be used for. Even though some cars can use different batteries, it’s critical to use a battery from the correct group size for your vehicle.
- Cold-cranking amps refer to the battery’s ability to start a vehicle’s engine in cold temperatures. It is a measurement of how many amps a 12-volt battery can generate in the shortest time possible. It is better to go for a battery with high CCA for the easy starting of the car, especially if you live in a cold climate.
- The reserve capacity: this measures how long a battery will continue to run a car if the car battery stops charging. Therefore, it is advisable to buy a battery with a high reserve capacity to produce enough current long enough to get help if the battery stops charging.
Marine batteries are made for powerboats and designed for that specific purpose. Even though it can be used to power a car with some features in place, it is not advisable as it has many disadvantages. A car battery is designed to deliver a short energy burst that can help power the car before the alternator starts charging it. On the other hand, a marine battery provides energy slowly as it is used to power the engine and operate the boat’s electrical components. Many features differentiate the batteries, and it is better to use the battery specified for each application correctly.