An auto battery or automobile battery is simply a rechargeable pre-charged battery that is utilized to begin a vehicle's electrical system. Its purpose is mainly to supply an electrical current to the vehicle's electrical starting system, which in turn begins the engine to run. Without an auto battery, a starting vehicle simply cannot operate. It is truly the most important part of a vehicle's mechanism and also one of the most expensive.
There are several types of auto batteries currently being sold in the marketplace. The most common type is the NiCad (or nickel-cadmium) type. This is the most commonly used and popular variety of batteries in North America today. NiCad batteries work because they have a chemical compound which when charged, creates a flow of electrical current.
When the chemical reaction occurs, it creates a chemical reaction with the metal electrodes inside of the cell. As this chemical reaction takes place, the metal electrodes create a voltage across the cell, which then creates a magnetic field that draws in more chemicals and allows the battery to create even more voltage. The reason why many people like to use NiCad auto batteries is because of their efficiency in producing a steady amount of electrical current. However, the problem with NiCad batteries is that they have a tendency to self-destruct at a certain point.
Other types of auto batteries that are commonly used include the Lead Acid type and the Nickel Cadmium battery. The Lead-Acid type of battery works by allowing the user to manually crank up the voltage of a battery. The user does so by removing a lead-acid battery from its charger and plugging it into an electrical device such as an appliance power adapter or an automobile's alternator. Once the acid battery has been plugged in, it begins to slowly corrode, creating an electrical current. The disadvantage to this type of battery is that it tends to create a lot of temporary electricity as it charges.
Another popular option used in modern-day auto batteries is the Nickel Cadmium battery. These are also known as NiCad rechargeable batteries. The NiCad battery operates in a very similar way to the Lead Acid type of battery, however, it requires a special connection to work. To prevent self-discharge, the NiCad battery has two layers of special plastic plates placed in a special pattern. As time goes on, the layers begin to develop a physical charge as the battery is charging. As the charge progresses, this charge will build until it reaches a point that the battery can no longer accept or release the chemical energy, causing the battery to self-destruct.
An alternative to the NiCad battery is the cold cranking amps. Cold-cranking amps operate just like the NiCad but with a lower voltage. They do, however, have a higher amp rating than the NiCad, but because of its lower voltage, it is only suitable for high usage charging purposes. In some cases, this will be enough but in others, it is recommended that the auto battery use the cold-cranking amps and the lead-acid type of batteries.
In newer vehicles that incorporate gasoline into their engines, the alternator will be rechargeable through a battery. This allows the vehicle's battery to be recharged during the operation of the engine. Many newer cars have gasoline-powered alternators but they are limited to being able to hold a charge for only six to eight hours of continuous use. In order to increase the length of the battery's charge, the alternator is connected to a generator that cranks out more power. Many newer vehicles still require the use of a lead acid-flooded battery. Flooded batteries have lead sulfate electrolytes mixed with the normal saline electrolytes that are found in your saltwater aquarium.
If you need a true long-term warranty and the price point is within your comfort zone, you may want to check out the standard wet cell batteries that are available in most automotive aftermarket shops. These auto batteries provide a longer term of service and are much less expensive than the auto battery being discussed here. However, there is an issue with these and that is if you drain them, they can develop a leaking acid level and pose a safety risk.