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Posted: Jun 22, 2018

How Many Years Do AGM Batteries Last?

All OPTIMA Batteries are AGM (also known as Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries, but the question consumers often ask is, "How many years do AGM batteries last?" That's a valid question, considering AGM batteries typically cost significantly more than their flooded counterparts. Unfortunately, the answer isn't an easy one to provide, because there are a variety of factors that impact how long an AGM battery can last and not all AGM batteries are the same. For some, the answer could be several more months, for others, the answer could be several more years. Here's why-

  • OPTIMA AGM batteries use pure lead in their construction, which performs better and lasts longer than the recycled lead used in many batteries today, both flooded and AGM. The cast lead straps that connect the cells of an OPTIMA battery also work better and last longer than the weaker inter-cell welds found on many car batteries.
  • In addition to the quality of materials used in the construction of OPTIMA AGM batteries, the climate in which any AGM battery is used can also have a significant impact on how long they last. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, tend to be harder on AGM car batteries than more mild temperatures. That means batteries in Alaska or Alabama may not last as long as batteries in San Diego.
  • The applications in which AGM batteries are used can also have an impact on how long AGM batteries last. Many new vehicles use "Start/Stop" technology, which acts similarly to a gas-powered golf cart. When you come to a complete stop, the engine shuts off. When you press on the accelerator, the engine starts up again. That means the batteries used in these Start/Stop vehicles could typically start the engine thousands of times more over the life of a battery, than a vehicle that just leaves the engine running the entire time the vehicle is in use. Manufacturers know these Start/Stop vehicles will be much harder on batteries, so many now choose to equip their vehicles with AGM batteries from the factory, which can handle these conditions much better than a flooded battery.
  • A vehicle that gets driven on a 20-mile commute at 45 mph every day of the year won't be as hard on a battery as a vehicle that sits most of the year and only sees occasional use. When battery voltage is properly-maintained, batteries tend to last longer. When batteries sit in a partially-discharged state for extended periods of time, batteries tend not to last as long and that's true for both flooded and AGM batteries

    With those factors in mind, we typically can't offer a specific number of years as an answer to the question of how long an AGM battery might last, because every application is different. We can generally say an AGM battery can last two to three times as long as a flooded battery. In the commuter car example we referenced, if a flooded battery lasts three to five years, an AGM battery could last six to ten years or longer. In a high-vibration commercial application, a typical flooded battery may only last a few weeks, where an OPTIMA AGM battery could last several months. If you need help finding the right AGM battery for your vehicle, click here.

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