Can You Use A Deep Cycle Battery In A Car?

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Before answering the given question “can you use a deep cycle battery in a car?” I’d briefly give you an explanation about a deep cycle battery before going back to the question.

A deep cycle battery is simply a lead battery that is designed to give out upheld power for a long time and move reliably until it has discharged about 80% or more than that, which needs to be recharged. (Read Also: Can You Charge A Marine Battery With Your Car? Find Out Now)

It’s very necessary to know that though deep cycle batteries can discharge up to 80%, many factories advise not to discharge below 45% to expand the power of the battery.

The state of discharge is the deep cycle that stands as the difference to other types of battery that gives only small explosions of energy before they are recharged.

 Through that explanation, I’m sure we already know what a deep cycle is and probably what it does. To move straight to the question, Can You Use A Deep Cycle Battery In A Car? Yes, you can use a deep cycle battery in a car. But while doing that you should also keep in mind that you are reducing the life duration of the deep cycle battery.

And you should also know that the deep cycle battery might not be able to produce sufficient current to start the car, though it may work if the car’s engine is very small.

But still, have it in mind that it’s going to reduce the duration of the battery cause it wasn’t created for a high current circuit.

Table Of Contents

What’s The Difference Between A Deep Cycle Battery And A Car Battery? 

Both batteries (car battery and deep cycle battery) are lead-acid and they use the same chemistry for their system. The differences between both batteries would be explained below;

  1. A car battery is manufactured to give a large quantity of current for a little period – this wave of current is required to change the engine over while starting. Immediately the car starts, the alternator gives all the power the car requires for the battery to be able to work all through without being exhausted. A car battery can last several years if it’s used appropriately.

2.       To boost the surface area, the car battery utilizes thin plates to attain a huge amount of current. While a deep cycle battery is manufactured to give a constant quantity of current for a long time- when a surge is needed a   deep cycle battery can provide it but not like the surge a car battery provides.

A deep cycle is also manufactured to be intensely discharged continuously; this is something that would destroy a car battery immediately, the deep cycle battery uses a thicker plate to attain such a feat.

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3.       A car battery generally has two rates which are the CCA (cold cranking amps) and the RC (reverse capacity).

  • CCA – the total number of averages that the car battery can achieve is 32° F (0°c) for 30 seconds.
  • RC – this is the total number of minutes; the battery can transmit 25 amperes while sustaining its voltage longer than 10.5 volts.     

Normally, a deep cycle battery should have two times the RC of a car battery but it will generate half or three-quarters of the CCA. The deep cycle battery can tolerate a hundred total discharge or recharge cycles. A car battery is developed to be discharged.

Can A Car Alternator Charge A Deep Cycle Battery? 

A car alternator is an electric generator that is used to charge batteries and strengthen the electrical system when the car is moving.(Read Also: Can I Start A Car With A Battery Charger Connected? Find Out)

The answer to the question is, yes, a car alternator can charge a deep cycle battery. While doing that it’s adequate if you increase the speed of the car so that the alternator would be able to charge the battery at a high rate.

What Is The Advantage Of A Deep Cycle Battery? 

 A deep cycle battery has advantages that will be listed and probably explained below;

  • A deep cycle battery does not suffer water loss – though the battery will sift considerably with time, but will not lose any quantity of water. Water loss can allow a deep cycle battery to discharge quickly. Though it would still maintain a lesser amount of charge and it will not discharge to the extent where It will be useless.
  •  It does not need a continual point of charge – As it frequently runs down, the capacity of the battery to reserve power will decrease slightly. When the battery has been charged, it will gradually get back the reserved power being sure of the load of the battery, it might take about 4-8 hours to acquire a full charge. This will make the battery remain at full charge for the period of the lifespan of the car.
  • It can also vary from other categories in the way it can self-discharge. some batteries self-discharge by discharging through the lowest of the unit and from the top. This self-discharge transpires slower than the quick discharge provided by a deep cycle. As the deep cycle self-discharge, its cells are not energetically switching off like in a normal car battery every time they are discharging. Meanwhile, a deep cycle cell will discharge the battery to a semi-lasting state before going back to full charge enabling it to be fully charged several times before it is sifted of its power. (Read Also:How Long Before Car Battery Dies With Radio On?)

Expert Tips On How To Know If My Deep Cycle Battery Is Bad? 

You can know if your deep cycle battery is bad by following the steps that will be listed below, 

  1. Examine the battery – most times you can know that your battery is bad by examining it. You should examine a few things like: 
  • Smashed terminal
  • Swelling on the case 
  • Broken or fractured plastic
  • Unnecessary leakage
  • Discolouration

If the terminals have been smashed, then it’s very risky and can cause a low circuit. There will be some evidence of melting if a low circuit occurs and all the power would be released immediately which can generate a lot of heat and can also cause the battery to blow up.

If after being examined and you notice a swell on the case, that is an outcome of overcharging. Some other hints like obvious openings in the case are sometimes prompted by mismanaging.  Broken or fractured plastics would not stop the battery from working but for protection purposes, the battery shouldn’t be used. (Read Also:Can A Bad Alternator Cause Transmission Problems?)

With flooded batteries, the water stages have to be protected. If the water stage is low, refilling it with refined water should help but if the battery has dried up for a long period, it could cause an issue. If the battery has a lot of liquid in the cells and the color is black or brown, this is also evidence of a bad battery.  

  1. Test the weight of the battery – get a digital voltmeter, for the weight of the battery to be tested it must be fully charged. A normal battery should weigh 9 to 10.5 volts for at least 30 seconds. Read the voltage of the battery- to determine the level of charge of the battery, reading the voltage is a good method.
  • If your battery reads 0 volts, there are possibilities that the battery encountered a low circuit. 
  • If your battery does not attain more than 10.5 volts when it’s fully charged, the battery already has a dead cell.
  • Its well charged is less than 12.4 or more than its sulfating.

Why Do Deep Cycle Batteries Go Bad?

 Generally, well-protected and appropriately charged deep cycle batteries go bad due to beneficial grid breakdown resulting in a clear connection. If a deep cycle battery is abandoned for a long time, dendritic cell shorts amid the plates can happen when the battery has been recharged. Roughly 85% of unmatured deep cycle battery losses that are not recharged regularly are because of the accumulation of sulfate.

How Do You Maintain A Deep Cycle Battery?

The ways by which you can maintain a deep cycle battery would be listed and explained below;

  • Project your voltage fixed points that the battery bank will charge at an adequate voltage.
  • Fill up the flooded lead-acid batteries with purified water every 2 weeks as required. 
  • Examine the level of the battery charge regularly. Involve an equality charge to flooded batteries every 90 days do not the same for a sealed lead-acid battery
  • To prevent a breakdown, clean the terminal connections and wires. 

Projecting Your Voltage

For the first time, you’d need to protect your battery chargers to adequate charging settings for your battery. These charging settings authorize parameters such as charging your voltage and current.

This is the part where you project your voltage fixed points. Batteries normally charge in phases which are; volume, assimilate and float. 

  1. Volume – this is when a high current is used to restore charge and carry the voltage up as fast as possible.
  2. Assimilate – the charge percentage is slow as the battery reaches the full charge.
  3. Float- this is when a battery obtains a trickle charge at a hundred per cent to stay charged.

Fill Up The Flooded Lead-Acid Battery

It is important to fill with purified water the lead-acid battery for it to stay active. You should use only purified water, water like tap water will induct little particles which can decrease the chemistry of the battery.  

  • Scan the water stage when the battery is well charged.
  • Unlock the duct well to scan the water stage.
  • Put in the water nearly reached the maximum water stage line. Do not fill up past the line and there should be an indication of the maximum water stage line on the battery manual.

Examining The Level Of The Battery

To examine the level of the battery you can use a “refractometer”. A refractometer is used to calculate the particular gravity of a battery.  

  If your battery is not carrying any charge after a full charge and equalization cycle, it’s likely to be impaired, weakened, or have gotten to the end of the lifespan and have started losing power. Monitors for batteries are helpful tools for day-to-day monitoring but they need an adequate setup. They could provide a wrong reading if they are not projected well.

 The equalization of batteries should be done periodically to make sure that each cell is charged equally. 

  • Examine the water level before commencing an equalized charge.
  • Put off any weight.
  • Put your charger at the voltage indicated in the battery manual.  
  • Begin the equalize charge. During the process of equalizing the charge, gassing and bubbling are natural.
  • End the charging and take detailed gravity readings every one hour.  

 Cleaning The Terminal Wires

  To prevent a breakdown, you need to clean the terminal wires.  You can do this by getting a glass of water and baking soda(teaspoon) to formulate a solution. Use an old toothbrush to brush the formulated solution on decomposed parts. Wrap the battery terminals and other decomposed parts with baking soda and then pour a little amount of water on each terminal.

After that, use your old toothbrush to brush the decomposition off, and make sure you are careful not to allow the solution or the decomposed particles to fall on the other parts of the engine. It’s advisable to take the battery out completely. Immediately after you have brushed the decomposed parts away, rinse and dry the wire ends totally with clean water and let it dry. After it has dried, use some anti-decomposition pads which are also called battery terminal protectors. This would help prevent the battery from getting decomposed. 

Can You Use A Deep Cycle Battery In A Car  –  Conclusion

Car batteries are essential in the modern-day vehicle, and their importance cannot be overestimated. Be it a deep cycle battery or a normal car battery, always check your car specification before going ahead to use them for any reason. You wouldn’t want your vehicle to malfunction simply because of your ignorance – take the right step necessary.

If you have any further questions regarding this topic, kindly drop your questions, comments, and observation in the comment section – let’s enlighten one another. 

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