If you are reading this, it means you must have wondered if one could use a marine battery in a car. Well, look no further! In this article, all your questions and doubts about marine batteries in cars will be answered. So, can you use a marine battery in a car?
Yes! A marine battery can be used in a car but is it really advisable to do so?
Is it really the best option? Let’s find out now.
What Exactly is a Marine Battery?
A marine battery is just another term to describe a boat battery and, as the name suggests, it is designed to be used on a boat. They are designed to withstand vibrations and provide power to carry boats or marine vessels.
Marine batteries can be divided into three distinct categories – starting batteries, deep cycle batteries, and dual-purpose batteries. Before you learn more about how efficient marine batteries are and how compatible they are with your vehicle, you must first understand the three options available.
- Starting batteries: This type of battery generates quick bursts of current energy within short periods of time. These batteries are generally used to start a boat’s engine and are recharged rapidly by the engine alternator.
- Deep cycle batteries: These are designed to last for a long span of discharging and recharging cycles. They are usually just designed for this purpose only and should not be used as a starting battery.
- Dual-purpose batteries: They can essentially combine the starting and deep cycle batteries’ functions. It is a two-in-one deal!
Now that we understand the primary purpose and types of marine batteries, let’s see the differences between a marine battery and a car battery.
Marine Battery Vs Car Battery
If you are a beginner and you take a look at these two vehicle battery types, you may not see the difference between a marine battery and a car battery, but there’s more than meets the eye. The marine vs car battery debate has been on for quite some time now and we should take a look at some valid points here.
At the end of this section, we should be able to spot the differences easily and pick without a doubt which battery type is better for you.
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Before you decide to use a marine battery as a replacement for your car battery, you should consider its functionality. What role does a car battery play? Car batteries provide just enough amperage to get a gasoline or diesel engine running and just after, the car battery has to be recharged by the alternator.
On the other hand, as we previously analyzed, the marine battery doesn’t just power the engine. It pushes forward to keep some parts and accessories of the boat in motion. For example, they could keep the pumps running, gauges, and other boat accessories.
Another good distinction between marine batteries and car (automobile) batteries is the design. A marine boat is designed to discharge large bursts of energy for long periods, to withstand vibrations from the harsh environment, and as such, is designed with much thicker internal lead plates to aid this purpose.
They are typically larger in size than automobile and car batteries and they have extra plastic protection. As a matter of fact, marine batteries are up to 15 times more vibration resistant than standard car batteries.
Marine Cranking Amps (MCA) and Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
Unlike car batteries, marine batteries are rated with MCA rating. Marine cranking amps are tested right at the freezing point and not below it.
Car batteries have a CCA rating and this rating is obtained from measurements taken below the freezing point. You may be tempted to ask why the MCA is tested at the freezing point and not below.
Well, for marine batteries, it is quite rare and unsafe to see a ship or boat sailing in icy waters, unlike cars which might have to deal with wild temperatures below freezing point.
So, can you use a marine battery in a car? Or can I use a marine battery in a truck?
Well, Yes. If you can get the right size and fit! You see, due to the different designs and large plastic protection, it is really difficult to get a marine battery that just fits. In this case, running toward a car battery would be the best option for you.
For trucks, perhaps finding a fit would be easier. You also need to take into consideration that it can be a momentous solution, but it’s not recommended that you use a marine battery in a car or truck for a long period of time.
Effects of Using a Deep Cycle Battery in a Car
While considering the possibility of using a marine battery in a car, the first thing you should remember is to never use a marine deep cycle battery in your car. As earlier explained, deep cycle batteries are not designed to be used as starting batteries, as they are meant for discharging and recharging over a long period of time and cannot provide extra large currents in as little time as starting engines do.
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Using a deep cycle battery in a car would lead to the marine battery being damaged, reduction of the battery life, or worse, some parts of the car such as its accessories and electrical parts could sustain damage and also have their lifespans reduced.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know the best battery type for my car?
Learning about the original parts and specifications of your vehicle helps whenever the need to change car parts arises. In such situations, a window sticker would be of great help. If you want to learn more about how you can get one for your car, you can read about window stickers here.
Can you use a marine battery in a car?
The article has explained in detail that a marine battery can most definitely be used in a car and it is all your decision to make. All you need to do is carefully analyze your reasons and state why you would like to replace your battery with a marine battery. You can use these kinds of batteries in an emergency, but we wouldn’t recommend keeping them forever.
Will a car alternator fully charge a marine battery?
No! No vehicle alternator can properly and fully charge up a marine battery. The battery would get charged up to some extent but note that the alternator in an automobile cannot fully charge a deep cycle battery most especially. On average, a marine battery takes 4 – 6 hours to charge and it will only bring the battery to about 80% and not full charge.
Are marine batteries 12 volts or not?
You might be tempted to think that marine batteries would have more voltage capacity than the standard car batteries, but in this case, that would be incorrect. So, yes. Marine batteries are 12 volts batteries similar to automobile batteries.