What is an AGM Battery – Pros and Cons

A lot of car battery brands have AGM type in their catalogs. The AGM battery is a mainstay on many new vehicle models. Its robustness matches the power needs of the cars, ensuring resiliency when on the road.

What exactly is this type of battery, and how does it work? This is a question many people seek answers to understand the AGM battery and how it differs from the standard car battery. Let’s examine the features, components, and benefits of this auto power source.

What is an AGM Battery?

In full, AGM stands for absorbent glass mat, a reference to its functionality. On how it works, you have to put it side-by-side with the SLA battery, which is the standard version. The SLA battery has lead plates that form the positive and negative electrodes and an electrolyte between them. This arrangement forms the cells contained in the battery case.

Some SLA batteries have a valve to allow gases to escape. Their sealed nature prevents any spillages. The AGM battery has an almost similar structure, the main difference being the inclusion of a fiberglass mat between the two electrodes. The mat acts as a sponge, holding the electrolyte and making the battery spill-less.

The AGM battery creates a large surface area for the electrodes to contact the electrolyte without the risk of flooding. The electrolyte is stable translates to vibration resistance; as such, it is ideal for off-road vehicles like ATVs and UTVs.  Maintenance is effortless as it is less prone to spills and sulfation.

What about the AGM battery life? The battery can last you up to five years but can extend to eight or ten with proper maintenance.

AGM battery vs. gel battery; which is the best? Gel batteries are special valve-regulated lead-acid batteries with a jellified electrolyte. Similar to the AGM type, they are stable due to the electrolyte being in suspended form. The AGM battery is more resilient and very durable. Many users of the gel battery complain of damages due to charging problems.

The AGM battery, being a powerhouse, offers many applications since its advent in the industry. As hinted earlier, it is perfect for off-road vehicles as it is very stable and can assume any position without the risk of electrolyte spillage. It is ideal for upscale motorbikes as it does not spill acid in case of accidents.

It is a high-yield battery, an excellent fit for new-age vehicles with high power needs. Also, it is the go-to battery for marine, RVs and home uses, due to its resilience to cold weather.

AGM battery

AGM Battery Pros and Cons

An essential part of the review is to look at the AGM battery’s pros and cons. It shows you the selling appeal of this car part and what to expect when using it. We start by looking at the pros.

Pros of AGM Battery

This battery type is spill-less owing to the fiberglass mat that acts like a sponge. You do not have to worry about electrolyte spills or sulfation. The stability offered by the AGM battery makes it ideal for rough driving conditions. The battery should not be upright for it to function well.

The other thing to love about this car powerhouse is its longevity. If properly used and tended to, it will last you for a considerable time. Maintenance is a simple process, and it is very resilient, suitable for powerful vehicles. The batteries can easily be recycled when no longer functional.

Cons

A downside of this battery type is that it is pretty expensive. However, the AMG battery price is justifiable, seeing the value the battery offers. While it has a high degree of resiliency, it can get damaged due to overcharging.

What Are the Types of AGM Batteries?

The two types of AGM batteries are lead-calcium and thin plate pure lead (TPPL). The former comes with some of the limitations of the flooded batteries. Their plates are thick and do not allow for pulse starting power. These batteries are single-purpose and support deep discharging.

The TPPL type has a high CCA rating and a deep cycle value of 400 cycles. You can fast charge this battery, same as discharging it. The TPPL AGM battery is very resilient and can serve you up to 12-years. Moreover, they are environmentally friendly as they are easy to recycle.

How Do You Maintain The AGM Battery?

As previously mentioned, the maintenance of AGM batteries is an effortless affair. When not in use, store it in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place. Do not store it in a discharged state to minimize sulfation. Also, you should avoid overcharging or undercharging it as this causes damage to the electrodes.

Use the correct charger to charge the battery, and it will have your back for more years. The good thing is that the battery is stable and does not need to be upright for it to work.

What Causes AGM Batteries to Fail?

Battery failure is common after it serves you for a specific time. It is a problem if the failure happens during the first five years of use as it is still ‘young’ at this point. Poor maintenance is the leading cause of AGM battery failure. Never overcharge or undercharge it, as it can slash a few service years of this battery.

Using the wrong charger and poor storage also cause these car utilities to fail. Use and maintain the batteries as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Which AGM Battery Is the Best?

If impressed with the concept of AGM batteries, you may want to get one for your vehicle. You have a vast pool of choices to pick from. Top recommendations include the Weize 12V 100AH deep cycle battery and the Universal Power Group AGM battery.

The selling appeal of the two models is an excellent battery capacity and voltage, zero risks of spillage, and offer value for your spending. A look at reviews will land you on the befitting model for your car.

FAQs

Q: What Is the Difference Between an AGM Battery and A Standard Battery?

The AMG battery is relatively popular, and you will find it on new vehicles. The contrasting point between this battery and the standard one is the structure. The regular battery has the electrolyte freely flowing between the two electrodes. On the other hand, the AGM type has the electrolyte suspended in a fiberglass mat that acts like a sponge, making the battery spill-less.

Q: How Do I Know I Have an AGM Battery?

You may encounter the hurdle of differentiating a standard battery from a conventional one. You start by checking the labels, which tell you the type you have and essential values like voltage and capacity.

Sometimes, you have a damaged label, and you cannot make out its writings. The solution is to unplug the battery if plugged and shake it. If you feel some liquid wiggling, it indicates the presence of an electrolyte; thus, it is a flooded battery.

Suppose you do not feel any liquid moving after shaking; there is a high chance it is an AMG battery. The electrode is not freely moving as it is suspended in the sponge-like fiberglass mat.

Q: Can I Charge an AGM Battery with A Regular Charger?

Charging a battery is a crucial part of maintaining the battery. An AGM battery charger will boost the AGM battery. While you can use a standard charger to charge this battery, many manufacturers and auto pundits advise against it as some are fast chargers and may damage the battery.

Q: What Is Better, Lithium or AGM Battery?

AGM battery vs. lithium battery is a common debate that looks at the best option. Both are very resilient and long-lasting though it appears the lithium type outlasts the AGM battery. The lithium battery is ideal for electric cars, while the AGM is fit for off-roading and high-power-need vehicles.

Q: Can I Replace an AGM Battery with A Standard Lead Battery?

If you need a battery replacement and cannot come across an AGM battery, you can use the regular lead battery. However, performance might be low, especially if you have a car that needs more power. Also, be keen on how you position the battery to avoid spills.

Q: Can You Jumpstart a Car with an AGM Battery?

Jumpstarting a battery is the go-to solution when it is low and cannot start the engine. While you can jumpstart an AGM battery, many auto-pundits do not recommend it due to the risk of overcharging it. Ascertain that the jumpers you are using are AGM compatible to prevent mishaps.

Q: How Long Will an AGM Battery Last?

A quality of AGM batteries worth loving is their resiliency. You can use it for a long time with minor signs of wear and tear. If you take care of the battery well, it can last up to ten years, with some even going to the 12-year mark.

Q: Is an AGM Battery Worth the Extra Money?

A discouraging thing about AGM batteries is that they are costly. Looking at what they have to offer, such as low maintenance, efficiency, and longevity, you see it is worth every coin. If you want to spend little in the long run, go for AGM batteries.

Q: Are AGM Batteries Better Than Lead-Acid?

The AMG battery has a lot of advantages over the lead-acid battery. They include a spill-proof design, longevity, and power. The lead-acid battery can serve you for 5-6-years while the AMG can go up to ten. The only discouraging thing about AMG batteries is that they are pricey.

Q: Can You Use an AGM Battery in Any Car?

The AGM battery is versatile and will go into any vehicle. It is an upgrade from a standard lead-acid battery, seeing its many perks like resiliency. You have to pay more for it, but its service will never let you down.

Q: How Do You Charge a Dead AGM Battery?

Before you dispose of a dead AGM battery, you may want to rejuvenate it and see if it can still serve you. You will need an AMG-certified charger to help boost the battery. The other way to go about it is by jumpstarting it. Use the proper cables when boosting your battery to prevent any damage. You can look for cables meant for this type of battery for the best outcome.

Q: Are AGM Batteries Better in Cold Weather?

The structure of AGM batteries gives them an advantage over other battery types. You can use it in cold weather without the risk of the electrolyte expanding in the case as the fiberglass mat holds it in place. As such, it performs better in cold or hot weather.

Q: How Long Do AGM Batteries Take to Charge?

If your battery is low, you need to charge it with the recommended AMG charger. It is advisable to slow charge it to prevent overheating and general wear. This may take you roughly 5-6 hours.

Q: Can You Mix Lithium and AGM Batteries?

You can put a lithium battery in parallel connection with AGM batteries. For the best results, you should use an isolator. Fix the AGM battery into one set of contacts and the lithium batteries into the other. This connection is excellent as lithium batteries charge faster.

what is an agm battery

Final Words

When you look at their selling appeal, AGM batteries are all-rounded car accessories. Longevity, reliability, and robustness are some of the boxes it ticks. You can learn more about this battery in this piece and see how it differs from the standard battery. Consider getting it for your vehicle to benefit from its resiliency, longevity, robust power, and all.

Tito

Hi There, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I have been working as a mechanic for over fifteen years. I worked for a long time at Global Rebound Automotive companies (Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others ) as a Mechanic and Mechanics Supervisor.

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