Battery discussions and debates are not new, and no matter what anyone says, there will always be differences of opinions. One such argument, or should we say question, is this: “Can you use a marine battery in a car?”.
Different people will give different answers to this question. Some would say that it’s okay, while others would argue that it’s not. But what really is the truth? Well, let’s find out. But first, let’s consider the difference between a marine battery and a car battery.
What Is A Marine Battery?
A marine battery, also known as a boat battery, could either be a starting battery, a deep-cycle battery, or a combination of both. In some circles, a marine battery is considered as the hybrid type. A hybrid battery can function both to crank up the engine of the boat and perform as a house battery. House batteries are commonly found in recreational vessels and are expected to supply energy over extended periods, in contrast to cranking batteries that are capable of providing large amounts of cranking power.
A marine battery is usually expected to function as both house and cranking battery. This means they are expected to have power enough to start a boat’s engine and enough to supply energy for the boat’s accessories, such as sound systems, pumps, and lighting. And as expected, a marine battery can supply a combination of high cranking power followed by a steady flow of energy supply to keep other equipment or accessories running.
What makes marine batteries unique is that they have thicker plates compared to normal batteries. This is one of the reasons that they cost more.
How About A Car Battery?
A car battery is designed to primarily for supplying large amounts of current to get a car’s engine started. Once it has done its job, it pretty much just sits there under the hood being recharged to full capacity by the car’s alternator. This is the reason car batteries are also referred to as starter batteries. From time to time, the battery is used to supply power for the car’s electrical components, such as the headlights, brake lights, tail lights, and instrument panel.
One significant difference of a car battery from a marine battery is that it has more thinner lead plates. This means it can discharge a higher initial current needed to crank over an engine. However, marine batteries are sturdier and are designed to withstand conditions that are more extreme than what a car would be able to handle.
Is It Okay To Use A Boat Battery For Your Vehicle?
The first factor is the purpose for which you’re using the marine battery. If you’re planning to use the marine battery as an emergency starter for your car whose original battery just died, then yes, a marine battery should be able to supply the cranking power needed to start your car’s engine.
Another factor to consider is the voltage. Is the marine battery a 12-volt battery? If yes, then you may be able to use it for your car.
And by the way, by marine battery, we’re referring to the hybrid type, which can function both as a starter and a deep cycle battery. We’re not adding the individual starter marine battery to the equation because obviously, it will be able to power your car as long as it can fit under the hood.
And speaking of which, another factor to consider is the size of the marine battery. If you wish to use a marine battery for your car, make sure first that the orientation of its terminal posts and its dimensions are identical to that of a standard car battery.
One thing you need to consider, though, is that your car doesn’t really need that much deep-cycle power from a marine battery. The reason cars use standard starter batteries is that it’s the only thing they will ever need to run. Another reason using a marine battery to power a car for long-term might not be a good idea is that it would shorten the lifespan of the battery, and perhaps even shorten the lifespan of the car’s electrical parts.
Yes, marine batteries are better built, and using them for your car may seem to make sense. However, if you come to think of it, there’s a reason why cars come with standard batteries and not with marine batteries. If car manufacturers intended for their products to run using marine batteries, they would have told us so. But no, car batteries are meant to be powered by standard batteries and not marine batteries.
How About Vice Versa?
This is where things get more exciting. It’s one thing to use a marine battery to power a car, but it’s another thing to use a car battery to power a boat. It’s actually an old misconception among boaters that car batteries can be used for boats. In reality, while a marine battery may be able to power a car for both short-term and long-term use, a car battery won’t be able to do the same. Perhaps it may be able to crank up the boat’s engine, but the battery won’t last long.
The reason is obvious – car batteries are considered as starter batteries and won’t be able to provide the deep cycle needs of a boat. Boats need at least two batteries or at least one hybrid battery. Unlike cars, they have heavier electrical loads that need a power source that can be discharged slowly at an extended period. Again, a starter battery cannot provide such power. Only a deep cycle battery or a hybrid battery can provide what a vessel as big as boat needs.
Not only that, but marine batteries use some special bonding process. This process allows the battery to stay intact despite harsh conditions at sea. Normal batteries such as those used in cars do not go through such process. This means they are not as hardy, and would easily fail under extreme conditions.
Selecting A Battery That’s Right For Your Automotive
It’s crucial to use a battery for your car that’s specifically designed for it. Batteries go through an extensive process to make sure they are of the best quality, and you won’t go wrong by using a car battery for your car. Before buying a battery, however, make sure you consider these three factors:
Battery Group Size – This pertains to the size of the battery that will best fit the physical dimensions of your automobile. Numbers and letters are assigned to each group size and are typically based on the make, model, and engine type of vehicles they are intended for. While some cars may be able to accommodate batteries from another group size, it’s still very important to use a battery from a group size that’s specific to your vehicle.
Cold Cranking Amp – The CCA is a rating used to define the ability of a battery to start a vehicle’s engine in cold temperatures. It pertains to the number of amps a 12-volt battery can generate at 0°F for thirty seconds while maintaining at least 7.2 volts. If you live in a tropical country, this shouldn’t be a big of an issue for you when choosing a battery. If you’re in a colder part of the world, though, the CCA is a crucial consideration for you, which means you should consider a battery with a higher CCA rating.
Battery Reserve Capacity – The RC of a car indicates how long a hundred-percent charged battery can go on generating power for essential car accessories if the alternator fails. Ideally, the battery should have an RC rating enough for it to be able to provide a steady current of 25 amps without falling below 1.75 volts per cell.
Selecting a battery for your car can be quite confusing. If you’re not sure what type of battery to purchase, it’s always a good idea to ask an expert or us. Or better yet, consult your car’s manual, because you will never go wrong checking it.
So, can we use a boat battery in a automotive? Yes, you can, but only for emergencies and if you intend to replace it with a standard car battery as soon as possible. Using it for extended periods may shorten the life of the battery itself and possibly the life of the car. And after all, a car won’t benefit that much from a marine battery since they are harder to find and costs more than actual car batteries.
So, there you go. We hope we were able to answer the question of whether a marine battery would be ideal to use for a car. We also hope we were able to give additional information related to the subject. If you have further questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section. We’ll be more than willing to accommodate them.
Hi, I am Mark Neal From San Francisco in the United States. I’m the founder of BATTERY MAN GUIDE since last December in 2017. My team from Philippines and i have been working very hard to write lot of articles about “product reviews” and “how to guide” on batteries we believe they will help for what you look for! You may sometimes find some incorrect grammars and less engagement dialogue but we will improve our contents continuously along the way. To be honest, we are still not well established battery website, but we are trying to become an authority in this industry in the future by providing valuable information for our readers. With that being said, thank you for visiting at BATTERY MAN GUIDE and we are looking forward to having a great relationship with you!