12V Car Battery: Things You Need to Know

by John Brown | Last Updated: 10/16/2019

Modern cars are equipped with a 12-volt battery. When you either insert the key in the car’s ignition or push the button to ‘ON,’ a signal is sent to the battery. After receiving the signal, the battery converts chemical energy into electrical energy, which is then used to crank the engine.

A 12V Car Battery: Everything You Need to Know

In this section, we’ll talk about some common specifications of a 12-volt car battery.

1. Life Span of a Battery

Ideally, a car battery should last for about six years. However, multiple discharge/recharge cycles can shorten the lifespan of the battery. Also, many people have a habit of recharging their electronic devices using the charge of the car battery. When the engine is running, the battery isn’t really affected by multiple electronic devices connected to the battery. However, if you keep charging your devices when the engine is switched off, the devices will start depleting your battery power.

2. Internal Resistance of a 12V Car Battery

In theory, a car battery offers the ideal voltage to recharge electronic devices. However, in reality, there are certain factors that limit the smooth performance of the battery. Any drop in the voltage of the battery is normally caused by internal resistance. This internal resistance varies due to things like temperature and battery age. Generally, the internal resistance of a 12V car battery is 0.02 ohms.

3. Lithium Car Battery

Many cars come equipped with a lithium car battery. Lithium is good for batteries mainly because of the following reasons.

a) It is highly reactive. It loses its electrons instantly, making it easier for the current to flow through the battery.

b) It is also lighter than other materials such as lead. So for cars that require multiple batteries, a lithium car battery is a good option.

c) Lithium-ion batteries are also rechargeable.

4. Amps in a Car Battery

A 12-volt car battery has a capacity of 48 Ah. This means that it can deliver one amp for 48 hours – or two amps for 24 hours, and so on – when it is fully charged.

A 12V Car Battery: Important Facts

Let’s have a look at the most important facts of a car battery.

1. Not Permanent

The most important component of the car, a car battery is not a permanent part of the vehicle. This means that after completing its useful life, it needs to be changed. Regardless of how well you maintain your car, your car battery will need a replacement after a certain period.  

2. Weather Matters

Temperature also has a direct impact on the performance of the car battery. Car batteries mostly use a liquid electrolyte solution to hold a charge. This solution is affected by cold weather. Low temperatures generally make it difficult for the solution to transfer full power.

The Final Word

Even though the proper maintenance of a car battery will not expand its useful life, it will at least ensure that the battery continues to perform well throughout its life.