Can You Use A Marine Battery In A Car Without Causing Issues?

A common debate among motor enthusiasts starts with the question “can you use a marine battery in a car?” There is no direct answer to this question as it depends on how and why you want to use a marine battery.

Marine batteries are highly powerful deep cycle batteries that can generate power for heavy electric components. Marine batteries are mainly designed for boats but they can also be used as car batteries.

To understand if you can use a marine battery for your car, you have to know what car marine batteries are and how they work. We are going to inform you about both car and marine batteries along with their differences so you can understand if you should use marine batteries for a car.

What is a Car Battery?

auto mechanic checking Car Battery

A car battery is specially designed to supply vast amounts of electricity to start the engine. This only works for once to kick start the engine and sits idle for the rest of the time. However, car batteries also provide the electricity needed for electric components of the car such as lights, brake lights, control panel, display, etc.

These types of batteries are also known as starting batteries as their main purpose is to crank up the battery while starting. Car batterie scan not produce the same vast amount of energy for a long time after the engine starts.

What is a Marine Battery?

A marine battery is a hybrid form of both starting batteries and house batteries. This type of battery can be used to crank up the battery while starting and also keep producing enough power to function heavy electronic components used in boats. House batteries are also known as deep cycle batteries as they are mostly used to supply energy for a long time.

You can use a marine battery for a car as it also comes with crank battery facilities which would produce a vast amount of energy to start the engine. However, the house battery facility of a marine battery is not necessary for a car.

How Does A Car Battery Work?

Car batteries are lead-acid batteries with lead plates. The lead-acid inside this type of battery is merged into sulphuric acid. The sulphuric acid chemical reaction produces current.

Car battery cells also produce a voltage of 2v. Every car battery has 6 battery cell plates which produce a total of 12v. The current energy produced in a car battery cranks the engine to perform a kick start.

How Does A Marine Battery Work?

Marine batteries have similar abilities as a starter battery but it would take more time for a marine battery to produce enough energy to crank up an engine for starting. Marine batteries are made with fewer battery cells but these cells have thicker lead plates which are highly powerful and durable.

These plates produce a vast amount of energy for a long time to power a marine boat’s radar, lights, GPS, and all other electronic components along with the engine. It’s just a power storing device that is similar to a car battery but with a higher power.

key Differences Between Car Battery And Marine Battery

Here are some major differences that separate a car battery from a marine battery:

1. Battery Type:

Marine batteries and car batteries are two different types of batteries. A car battery is a starting battery while marine batteries are deep cycle batteries. Here are the differences between starting battery & deep cycle battery.

  • Starting battery: Starting batteries produce a large amount of energy while starting the engine and stay idle for the rest of the time.
  • Deep Cycle Battery: Deep cycle batteries produce a stable amount of energy throughout a long period to operate electric components that require a lot of energy.

2. CA Rating (Cranking Amps)

CA rating is differently described for cars and marine vehicles. Cars CCA which means cold-cranking amps. This rating tells you how many amps your vehicle’s battery produces in cold temperatures. Marine vehicles use MCA which means marine crank amps. This also indicates the same rating but with different measurements. You have to find out the regular temperature you are going to use your vehicle in.

Marine crank amps rating is done at 32°F while cold crank amps of a car are rated at 0°F. These calculations are done at ideal temperatures of driving cars and marine vehicles separately. If you want to use a marine battery for a car, then you have to find a battery with suitable MCA for your driving condition.

3. Durability

When it comes to durability, marine batteries are unbeatable. Car batteries are built to withstand engine temperature and vibration. Any other excessive pressure that a car battery can withstand would damage it. Batteries for different locations vehicles are made with different weather conditions withstanding ability.

On the other hand, a marine battery can withstand any type of marine force as it is made for boats. Marine batteries can withstand heavy pressure and temperature. Even the high vibration of a malfunctioning engine can’t harm a marine engine.

3. Voltage

All car batteries have the same voltage of 12. Marine batteries have different voltage options which start from 6v. Marine battery size differs due to the different power requirements of boats. Some marine batteries also come with a 12v supply which is ideal for use on a car.

4. Battery Size

Car batteries are comparatively smaller than marine batteries in terms of size. Car batteries can be 24f to up to 65f in size while a marine battery can be as big as 95f. Only smaller marine batteries are sometimes compatible with cars which are quite hard to find.

Can You Use A Marine Battery In A Car Without Causing Issues?

Can You Use A Marine Battery In A Car Without Causing Issues?

The short answer is ‘yes. You actually can use a marine battery on your car. But the marine battery should meet all the requirements of a car battery. Here are some important factors you need to look for in a marine battery to use on your car:

The first thing you should check is the marine battery’s voltage. The battery must produce 12v to be compatible with a car as cars need 12v batteries to work perfectly and provide a smooth crank start.

Secondly, the marine battery’s size should be suitable to be adjusted as a car battery. Since marine batteries are bigger than car batteries, you won’t be able to install a marine battery if it is too big to install on your car.

Lastly, you should check the marine batteries MCA rating. Most marine batteries do not produce enough amps in freezing temperatures. You should go for batteries that have a lower MCA rating and also make sure it matches your car’s previous battery’s CCA rating.

If you can manage to ensure all of the enlisted requirements on marine batteries, then you can use a marine battery for a car.

What Would Happen If I Used a Marine Battery For My Car?

You might be concerned with the question of “is it safe to use a marine battery on a car?” The desponding answer is that it is not safe to use a marine battery on a car. Car batteries work better on freezing temperatures as marine batteries are specially designed for higher marine temperatures. In cold weather, you won’t get enough power output from a marine battery if you use it on a car.

Besides, using marine batteries on a car will also reduce both engine and battery lifespan. While a normal car battery can last for years, a marine battery won’t last more than half of its lifespan.

1. Can I Use A Car Alternator To Charge A Deep Cycle Battery?

Yes, you can use a car alternator to charge a marine battery. If you have installed a marine battery in a car, you can charge it with a car alternator. Charging marine batteries with car alternators would need higher rpm. You need to speed up to at least 1500 rpm to charge a marine battery while you might need only 500-700 rpm speed for a normal car battery.

2. Can A Marine Battery Last Longer Than A Car Battery?

A car battery can last around 3-5 years while a marine battery can last more than 5 years if it is used in a marine vehicle such as a boat. However, if you are using a marine battery on a car, it would not even last as long as a car battery because its power system is not designed for a car’s ignition system.

3. Can A Car Battery Charger Charge A Marine Battery?

A car battery charger can charge a marine battery. This means that you can charge the marine battery you are using on your car with the car battery’s charger. Though, the charging speed might be a little slow in this case.

You can charge a marine battery as fast as a car battery with a car charger if you select the right charger that has a suitable voltage supply for the marine battery.

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Now that we have answered the question “can you use a marine battery in a car?” you must have understood that you can use a marine battery in a car. However, it is not recommended to use a marine battery in a car.

Since marine batteries are not made for cars, they have more disadvantages than benefits. You can use marine batteries to meet all the requirements similar to a car battery along with more durability. But a marine battery is still not a car battery

So, you won’t get long-lastingness and powerful crank output in cold temperature conditions.

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