With the expansion of the Start-Stop engines, almost every vehicle rolling of the production line will either require an EFB or the higher performance AGM type battery.
Many wonder if they can trade these batteries for more affordable EFB batteries. Knowing the differences between these two types of batteries will help you choose which is best suited for your vehicle.
Keep reading so you can make the right decision for powering your car.
AGM Batteries Explained
AGM batteries are a type of deep-cycle battery. They are sealed and maintenance-free.
The biggest difference between AGM batteries and other types of deep cycle batteries is that they use Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology. You can consider this a sophisticated gel battery design that results in less electrolyte loss than more traditional flooded lead-acid designs.
Their sealed design improves the overall efficiency of your AGM battery. This results in a longer life span when compared to other types of batteries.
Charging AGM Batteries
AGM batteries are charged with a slow, constant current. You can charge them using a battery charger that has the AGM mode enabled.
The charger will power up until it reaches about 14.6 volts, or whatever energy level that the manufacturer considers appropriate. Then, the charging device will maintain this level.
This type of low-current charging is critical to the AGM battery’s operation. You can damage AGM batteries by overcharging or discharging too much.
AGM Battery Uses
AGM batteries are best suited for motorcycles, boats, cars, and RVs. In these applications, you can use AGM batteries in place of conventional lead-acid batteries. They will give you performance that is equal to or better than the conventional battery.
You can also use AGM batteries in off-the-grid power systems, such as solar panels. They’re useful for providing battery backup when there is no available grid power.
AGMs are ideal for anyone who needs more starting current from their vehicle than an EFB battery can provide.
Pros of AGM Batteries
These batteries will last a long time. AGM batteries can last up to twice as long as conventional batteries in deep discharge cycles.
They’re also spill-proof and vibration resistant.
Because of their construction, AGM batteries can’t leak acid. It doesn’t matter if you leave them on their side or upside down for days at a time. Because of this, these batteries are great for off-road vehicles that are prone to rolling over during use.
They’re less susceptible to damage caused by extreme temperatures. An AGM battery won’t freeze in cold conditions like those found in Alaska or Canada. It also won’t explode when exposed to heat from sitting too close to your engine compartment.
EFB Batteries 101
Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) are a more advanced version of standard wet-flooded technology. They’re entry-level batteries that use the same chemistry as gel batteries, but in an innovative way that allows them to be used in stop-start vehicles. These vehicles require rapid charging and discharging cycles; something that traditional flooded lead-acid batteries can’t handle well.
Charging EFB Batteries
If you’re charging your EFB battery at home, the best way to do this is with a charger designed for EFB batteries. These chargers are able to charge your battery at higher voltages than typical car chargers and will help keep your battery healthy.
Pros of EFB Batteries
EFB batteries have several advantages over AGM batteries. The most significant advantage is their longer cycle life. An EFB battery can withstand more cycles of charge and discharge than an AGM before it reaches the end of its useful life.
Another advantage is that EFBs can be discharged to a greater extent than AGMs in high-vibration applications. This makes them better suited for vehicles like motorcycles, where they’ll experience a lot of shaking while in operation.
Even in low-voltage situations, EFBs have a much shorter recharge time than AGMs. Because they’re capable of accepting large amounts of energy at once without damage, recharging an EFB takes less time than it would if you were using an AGM battery.
Cons of EFB Batteries
EFB batteries are more prone to sulfation than AGM batteries. Sulfation is when the positive and negative plates of a battery get covered with an insulating layer of sulfur. This prevents the battery from being able to use its full capacity.
Sulfation occurs when you don’t charge EFB batteries to their full strength regularly. This leads to a significant decrease in performance.
EFB vs AGM Batteries
If you’ve got an entry-level start-stop car, EFB batteries might be the right choice for you. However, if your car has a higher electricity demand (such as those with larger engines), an AGM battery is probably better suited to your needs. Also, if you use your car for longer drives and constantly drain the battery, AGM batteries are a better choice.
Frequent drivers should consider AGM batteries because they’re more resilient to being drained and can withstand multiple charge cycles without losing their effectiveness. These types of batteries have superior temperature resistance and lower internal resistance, which means they’ll last longer overall!
Get Reliable Batteries for Your Vehicle
EFB and AGM batteries are a great choice for many drivers. If you’re looking for a high-quality battery that will last for years, then either option might be right for you. However, if you want something that can handle extreme temperatures and other adverse conditions, an AGM battery may be better suited to your needs.
You can speak to a professional at RB Battery about which type of battery is right for your vehicle. Contact us today and one of our experts will help you make the best choice for your car.