ALL THIS JARGON – WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Each car battery tends to have a different specification and it is important to know what each of the terms mean and how they can be applied to our needs: Ampere Hours / Ah Rating
Ampere-Hour Capacity at 20 Hour Rate (AH) – This tells you the amount of electricity that a battery will deliver during 20 hours before the voltage falls to 10.50V. Modern cars often have a lot of gadgets and electronics which use a lot of electricity, so you need to make sure that the AH is high enough to accommodate the needs of your car.
Ampere Hours (Ah) relate to the sustained electrical power of the battery or loosely speaking how much power it can supply on a constant basis.
For example - a 1.4 engine Fiesta with standard everyday equipment such as a radio, sat-nav, wipers, central locking, driving lights etc. may need only 40 - 45 Ampere Hours. A battery with 43, 44 or 45 Ah would be the right choice.
By contrast a 1.4 engine Fiesta with more electrical equipment such as a media center, extra powerful speakers, car spotlights, powered windows, electric sunroof, cd changer, heated seats etc. would need a slightly more robust / powerful battery to handle the extra load in the longer term.
Most vehicles can only take a certain size of battery. If you go for the battery option with a bit more Ah, check whether your alternator can charge it. CCA
Cold Cranking Performance in Amps (CCA) – The higher the CCA the easier it is to start the vehicle. If you have a diesel car, or live in a particularly cold area, it is a good idea to make sure that this has a high value.
The 'cold' refers to when the engine is started from cold - e.g. the engine has cooled to below a few degrees celsius whilst the vehicle has been parked up.
Remember an older diesal car that struggles to start because the engine isn't as free turning as a newer version simply needs a battery with 5-10% more CCA than the previous battery!
Your car can take a new battery with the same or more CCA but NOT less! Charge
The charge that a battery holds can be likened to the usable amount of potential energy it has.
Ordinary Lead Acid batteries such as car batteries need to be regularly charged and kept topped up by the vehicle alternator to keep them working properly. If, for any reason the battery's energy levels fall below a certain amount and stay there for prolonged periods of time - it will become unreliable. By contrast a mismatching alternator fitted by a bad mechanic will slowly ruin the battery by overcharging it. Current
The current that a battery can supply (in Ampere Hours - see above) is relative to the original design of your vehicle and the amount of current it typically needs.
If you need more current or more Ampere Hours for additional electrical equipment then a sturdier battery compatible with the alternator would be more practical . Cycle
When the battery is discharged or drained and then recharged it has gone through 1 complete cycle.
An ordinary lead-acid car battery is kept topped-up all the time by the car alternator and never runs flat. If it does - its life will be foreshortened significantly as it cannot survive being below 90% charge for very long. Electrolyte
The battery contains a mixture of water and sulphuric acid. This allows the storage of electrical power. An electrolyte is a substance that contains ions which are electrically charged particles. Element / Plate / Grid
The elements inside a car battery are rows of positive and negative plates. These are assembled with separators. Envelope / Separation
Each battery element / plate / grid is separated from the next using envelope separators. The envelope separators are micro-porous and control the efficiency of energy conversion. Batteries with envelope separation usually have improved performance and a longer service life. Lead Acid Battery
A Lead Acid Battery is a plastic box full of water, acid and lead plates. These are the most common design, are cheap to make, and for most applications they suit their purpose.
Ordinary 'Wet' Lead Acid Batteries have small 'breather' holes on the top to allow expanding gases to escape safely.
This happens when the battery is being worked hard for example your Stereo, Amplifier, Lights, Wipers, SAT-NAV, Spotlights, Heated Seats and so on are switched on all at the same time while you drive down the motorway. Whilst on one hand the power is being drained - on the other the car continues to recharge its battery. Silver Calcium
All of our car batteries are based on Silver Calcium technology. Silver Calcium Batteries work by using internal components that have been coated with calcium silver alloy.
The benefits or silver calcium batteries are improved CCA performance (better starting power), greater resistance to degeneration via corrosion, reduced electrolyte loss (another form of degeneration) with longer product lifespan as a result. Sulphation
Suplhation is one of the most common causes of battery failure. Suplhation happens when a battery is left to stand for a period of time in a partially charged state. Common symptoms are an egg- like sulphur smell whilst charging and cloudy electrolyte. Terminals
The stumpy metal pegs / lugs pointing out of the top of the battery. European Standard (19.5mm positive terminal diameter) & Japanese International Standard (14.7mm positive terminal)
The majority of consumer batteries have only 2 terminals - Positive and Negative. Exceptions being Dual Terminal Batteries where the 'spare' pair of terminals can be connected to for example a winch or spotlights and so on. Voltage
Voltage is essentially what pushes the current around.
The batteries for Indian cars (other than our industrial batteries) are usually 12 Volts (around 99%) the exception being 24 Volt units. Length & Width
Length, where vehicle batteries are concerned, relates to across the front main sticker side of the Battery and unless stated does not include the ridge around the top. Width - From the front sticker side of the battery to the back
(Information refined by me to suit our need from this source. Lead Acid Battery Jargon Buster for Car, Leisure Batteries etc