Gel Car Battery Pros and Cons: FAQ

January 27, 2012

Gel car battery models are also referred to as VRLA batteries. This is because they are designated as low maintenance batteries. The user does not have to add water to the battery to make sure that electrolyte levels return back to normal. A car battery cell that is designated as a gel battery has far less acid than conventional deep cycle car batteries, and this is a tremendous advantage for users. The interior of the battery is filled with a gel electrolyte rather than a battery acid. Here are some frequently asked questions about the pros and cons of gel car batteries.

Is There a Chance of Battery Acid Spilling?

The advantage with gelled batteries is that the electrolyte solution is in the form of a gel. It's next to impossible to spill the gel. Moreover, the batteries are sealed to prevent the gel from seeping out.

Are Gel Car Batteries as Heavy as Lead Acid Batteries?

Gelled batteries are much lighter than ordinary batteries. This is because they can hold their charge for a longer period of time. There is a far lesser chance of the battery losing its charge and running flat. These batteries can hold a far lesser amount of gelled electrolyte just for this reason, and this automatically makes it lighter.

Are These Batteries Better to Use in the Winter?

You will find that these batteries are more durable and they withstand high ranges of temperature. It also makes it easier to use these batteries in cold weather.

Why Are These Batteries Not Supplied with Ordinary Cars?

You will not get gelled batteries with most car models. This is because these models of batteries are difficult to make and they can be expensive. You will, however, get these models of batteries with expensive cars. As times change, there is a good chance that you will find all car manufacturers supplying maintenance-free or gelled batteries with average as well as high end cars.

Will These Batteries Give Me Problems while Charging?

Not really, but there are rules to be followed when you charge gel batteries. You will have to charge them at a slower rate to prevent excess gas from forming and collecting inside the battery. They cannot be fast charged on automotive chargers due to this problem. They also have to be charged at a lower voltage (2/10ths less) than ordinary batteries. Overcharging will cause the gel to become permanently porous. This will affect the life of the battery and will cause a loss in power.

Is There a Better Variety of the Gelled Battery?

In hot weather, the gelled battery can lose water resulting in permanent damage. "Absorbed Glass Mats" or AGM between the plates is a far better variety that you can use now. These batteries have extremely delicate fiber Boron-Silicate glass mats that offer the same advantage of gelled batteries, but they are much safer to use.

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