A good lawn mower battery is key to a healthy-looking lawn. The last thing you want is for your lawn mower battery to fail just when you are about to start your yard schedule. With a good battery, your mower takes less time to start and runs smoothly throughout the mowing period.
Table of Contents
Are Lawn Mowers Batteries Standard or AGM?
Most lawn mowers use 12-volt batteries while some may even use a 6-volt battery. AGM batteries have a flat top, except for the visible negative and positive terminals. Standard batteries have a removable top or caps.
The Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) is an upgrade of the flooded lead-acid or standard batteries. The AGM batteries have a high performance, do not spill, require low maintenance, and offer a long service life. On the other hand, standard batteries are spillable and require a regular maintenance schedule.
Generally, an AGM battery can last up to 12 years if handled with care. This is because AGMs have a slow discharge rate of 1% to 3%. Meanwhile, a standard lead acid battery can only last up to 4 years.
Do I Have an AGM or Standard Battery?
To know the type of battery that you have, you can simply check on the label. A standard battery is labeled as “flooded lead acid,” “lead acid,” “liquid lead acid,” or “wet cell.” An AGM lead-acid battery will be labeled as “AGM,” “dry cell,” absorbed Glass Mat,” valve regulated,” or “non-spillable.”
How to tell if the Battery is AGM or Standard?
Knowing the type of your battery is essential to understanding how to care for it. We all want our batteries to have long battery life. The AGM batteries are the newest type of batteries compared to the standard batteries. But you might be wondering how you tell if the battery is AGM or Standard. Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Response To Shaking
The first way to determine whether your battery is AGM or Standard is to shake. When you shake a Standard battery and then hold it still, it wiggles. That is; there will be extra movement in the liquid center of the battery. On the other hand, AGM batteries do not wiggle even after shaking them.
You can further differentiate between Standard and AGM batteries by checking their labels. To be specific, AGM batteries have the following inscriptions; “AGM,” “Valve regulated,” “Absorbed Glass Mat,” “non-spillable,” or “dry cell.” Meanwhile, standard batteries have inscriptions like; “wet cell,” “liquid lead acid,” “flooded lead acid,” or “lead acid.”
- The Battery’s Top Structure
AGM batteries have flat tops. The only thing at the top is the positive and negative terminals. Meanwhile, Standard batteries have removable caps on their tops.
What Happens if You Charge an AGM Battery with a Normal Charger?
Here’s the thing, You can charge a regular battery using an AGM charger but you should definitely not charge an AGM battery with a normal charger. This is because a regular lead-acid charger and an AGM charger have different charging modes.
AGM batteries are designed for slow and low charging. With this in mind, AGM chargers have microprocessors that collect information from the battery power elements. This helps make proper adjustments to meet the battery specifications on current and voltage.
Proper charging of an AGM battery is very crucial to ensure a long lifespan. If you charge an AGM battery in the wrong way – this includes charging it with a normal charger, it will face premature aging. That is to say, the battery will be damaged faster hence reducing its service life. Charging your AGM battery with a normal charger exposes the battery cells to pre-heating. This damages the battery causing it to die.
Pro Tip: The following tips are important to ensure that your AGM battery has a long service life.
- Buy an AGM Battery Charger
If someone told you that a charger is designed as a one-size-fits-all, that is false! Chargers come in various designs depending on the gadget’s specifications. Some chargers are designed for low-power batteries while others are designed for high-power ones. As a rule of thumb, large batteries have big chargers and vice versa.
- Charge AGM Batteries in The Ideal Temperature Specifications
Unlike other batteries, the AGM battery has a specified temperature range. As such, you should only charge these batteries if the prevailing temperature falls in this given range. Before charging the AGM battery, always ensure that the temperature is not below 0 degrees Fahrenheit or above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep Calm If the Battery warms Up
The cells of the AGM battery may feel warm towards the end of the charging process. This is completely normal for all lead acid batteries. However, the battery should not be too hot, just a little warmth that you can feel by placing your hand on it. In case the battery gets too hot during charging; you can disconnect to give it time to cool off before you continue charging.
- Understand How Charges Affect an AGM Battery
Batteries are made with completely different technologies. In fact, your laptop battery is so much different from the AGM battery. Charging AGM batteries require special charging procedures. For example, unlike other types of batteries that you can partially charge, AGM batteries require you to fully charge them once you commence the charging process.
Smart AGM chargers give the battery a “top up”. If you partially charge your AGM battery, let’s say up to 80% over and over again, the battery may lose its ability to fully charge. As such, you’d only be able to charge your AGM battery up to 80% and not greater than that.
Can I Jump-Start an AGM Battery?
Yes, you can jump-start with an AGM battery. AGM batteries are the jump starters that act as the extension of the car batteries. As such, there is no risk of producing a voltage greater than the battery specified limit. To jump-start an AGM battery, you can simply use the same procedure as you would jump-start a flooded-lead-acid battery.
The only difference with an AGM battery is the charger. You need to use an AGM mode charger to avoid overcharging the battery. AGM batteries are more reliable since they can deliver sufficient power even during extreme discharge conditions.
Both the AGM and the standard batteries have their advantages and disadvantages. The main point is to get a reliable lawn mower battery. However, keep in mind that; while standard batteries are cheaper than AGMs, they require high maintenance from time to time and have a lower lifetime. As such, standard batteries might actually end up costing you more – cheap is expensive after all.