Pros and Cons of a Lead Acid Car Battery

January 27, 2012

Most cars that are released on the market work on a simple lead acid car battery. The battery produces enough current through chemical processes to run your car with the help of the fuel that you use in it. Each battery, however, contains a large amount of sulfuric acid that can have a whole range of side effects. Here's a look at the pros and cons of a lead acid car battery.

Pros of Lead Acid Batteries

  • Easy to Make: These batteries are the easiest for manufacturers to make. Most manufacturers can easily make low cost but effective lead acid batteries that do the job of running your car for at least five years or more.
  • Reliable: Lead acid batteries work and they are very reliable.
  • Tolerant to Overcharging: Lead acid batteries can take up slow charges as well as fast charges to run your car. You have to remember, though, that you will have to completely charge the car if you leave it for a prolonged period of time.
  • Can Be Stored for Long Periods of Time: Lead acid batteries discharge and lose their power when they are stored with the electrolyte solution inside them. You can also store the batteries without the electrolyte solution for as long as possible.
  • Several Brands and Price Ranges: Lead acid batteries are available in a huge range of brands, costs and sizes for use in different models of cars.

Cons of Using a Lead Acid Battery

  • Environmental Concerns: Although lead acid car batteries are relatively safe, they do create a lot of environmental concerns. According to a report by the Environmental Defense and the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, the lead emitted by the batteries of vehicles on the road equals about 2,600,000 metric tons. This is an extremely dangerous level that is toxic to humans in the long run. Long term exposure to lead can actually cause kidney and brain damage, cancers and learning problems in children.
  • Corrosion Problems: A lead acid battery can frequently corrode, causing a loss of the chemical reaction parts of the battery. This can be due to electrolysis or overfilling with water.
  • Acid Fumes: Most batteries will emit noxious fumes of hydrogen gas. This is gas is toxic to humans while being highly flammable, too. This process is known as gassing. Wet cells especially have open vents that release any gas that is produced into the local area.
  • Sulfation: This is the process of increased internal resistance inside the battery due to lead sulfate formation. Eventually the extra lead sulfate that is formed makes the battery useless.
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