Can I Charge An AGM Battery Using A Regular Charger?

Understanding the various types of batteries in the industry is much essential. Now and then, we’ve come across drivers claiming to get confused by the specifications found on their battery chargers.

The confusion is because these drivers, especially the newbies, don’t know the various types of cells in the market. Understanding the different types of batteries in the market helps one decide the battery charger that meets your specific needs.

Can I charge my AGM battery using any charger I come across? The answer is no. You can’t charge an absorbent glass material battery using a standard charger. Both the AGM and gel batteries can’t sustain the high speeds in the standard chargers. They require a slow and stable charge over several hours.

I recommend you to read the article on the best AGM battery chargers if you like to learn about that specific chargers.

What Happens When You Charge an AGM Battery Using a Standard Charger?

When compared to the lead-acid batteries, AGM batteries are a bit different. Although the two types of cells have similar components, an AGM battery has a unique chemical structure. As their name suggests, these batteries have glass, as an absorbent material, stuck in between the plates.

The absorbent material is designed to hold together the fluids/acids present in the battery. As a result, absorbent glass material batteries are deemed to be safer as opposed to the usual lead-acid batteries.

In case of an accident, AGM batteries leak less acids and thus less harmful. On the other end, lead-acid batteries are known for spilling acids which can be corrosive and corrosive, hence a danger to any driver.

As stated earlier, AGM batteries can’t withstand the instant charging speed offered by an ordinary battery charger. According to the battery experts, by using a regular charger, there is a possibility that the battery will overcharge.

Overcharging an AGM battery can significantly damage the battery to the point that it can’t be repaired. Overcharging the battery can as well interfere with the battery’s charge capacity.

The fact that the affected battery can no longer hold the same amount of charge means that the battery loses its basic functionality, which is holding charges for an extended period.

Can AGM Batteries be Tested the Same as a Standard Battery?

Apart from using a typical charger to top up AGM batteries, many people also do assume that absorbent glass material (AGM) batteries can be tested in the same way as a conventional battery. I can confirm to you that this is false. AGM batteries are special in a way, and require a different kind of testing.

By reading shallowly over the internet, you will learn that these types of batteries have lower internal resistance in comparison to the flooded ones. What does internal resistance have to do with the testing? You may ask. Well, with the low resistance, your old battery tester or analyzer may not be able to pick the correct readings.

Now that your old tester can’t help you with the readings, what is the next move? It’s advisable to get a modern battery analyzer. Most modern analyzers come equipped with a testing mode for the AGM and gel batteries. The difference is that this mode may not be available in the analyzer you use for your standard battery.

The analyzer can be found at any auto shop and comes at an affordable price. Therefore, you can liaise with your mechanic to acquire a tester that meets both your needs and budget.

Can I Swap My AGM Battery in the Same Way as Standard Batteries?

This is a question that I find many people asking over the internet. The sad part is that they rarely get a clear answer. From an expert’s point of view, the AGM batteries can be replaced similarly as the flooded batteries. Also, in some circumstances, these types of cells can’t be replaced likewise.

Replacing an AGM battery is dependent on the type of vehicle in question. For example, if you own a recent car model, you may need to carry out an extra step once the battery is replaced. Modern cars have a battery sensor systems and which are meant to scan if the battery is replaced.

Failure to examine the newly installed battery can see the alternator overcharge the new battery. As a result, your new AGM battery may become spoilt moments after the replacement is done. (Learn how to recondition your AGM battery).

How Do I Benefit from Using an AGM Battery?

1. They are spill-proof. Absorbent glass material batteries (AGM) came into existence in the ‘80s. The cells were designed by the aircraft sector to replace the-then Ni-Cad batteries. The Ni-Cad cells were a bit risky for the fighter jets and helicopters, especially, which are prone to maneuvering while in the sky.

AGM batteries comprise a mat in which glass fibers are woven to raise the surface area. This technical design allows the battery to function the same way as a lead-acid battery without flooding the plates. The glass material prevents the electrolyte from spilling and thus making the battery safe for any driver on the road.

2. It’s maintenance-free. Adding water to the battery is a common practice when using a lead-acid battery. The annoying part is that the process can be overwhelming and easy to forget. The good thing about using an AGM battery is that it will never need any water. According to its description, this type of cell is maintenance-free.

3. They can withstand the cold weather. Initially, AGM batteries were designed to replace the usual batteries because of the issues related to spilling and cold climates. The lead-acid batteries used in the ‘80s couldn’t keep up with the cold weathers.

AGM batteries are designed to work on even the cold weathers without freezing. Therefore, if you’re having troubles with your battery during the winter, an AGM battery should be your scapegoat.

4. Doesn’t give any gas while charging. Charging a standard battery at home isn’t recommended. The restriction is because most cells are known to produce hydrogen gas while charging and which pose as a risk to human life.

The difference with an AGM battery is that it doesn’t provide any gas while charging. Therefore, with this battery, you don’t have to be worried about the ventilation while charging.

5. The battery is shock resistant. AGM batteries have a unique design, sandwich construction which makes the cell resistant to vibrations.

Sources:
1. The Advantage of an AGM Battery – Pep Boys
2. Charging your AGM Battery – OPTIMA Batteries