Nowadays, lithium batteries are becoming more and more popular among users and enthusiasts.
Because they are a good alternative to conventional lead-acid batteries that are big and heavy. As a result, when you are installing a powerful audio system in your car, you can opt for a lithium battery.
But, how to run lithium batteries for car audio?
Lithium batteries can be used directly as a replacement for lead-acid batteries. The installation process is the same as AGM batteries. You will need to connect the positive and negative terminals to the battery. However, you will need to put heat protection around the battery.
That’s all for the TLDR. I will run you through the whole running process. Trust me, this will not take more than five minutes.
Can you Run Lithium Batteries For Car Audio?
The answer is “Yes”, you can run lithium batteries for car audio systems.
However, lithium batteries are not recommended for cars and there are several reasons why. For starters, some lithium batteries are not compatible with the regular car alternator.
Also, they are susceptible to heat and cost more. I have discussed these issues in the following section.
Why Lithium Batteries are Not Recommended For Car Audio?
Before getting to the using part, let’s be sure if we want to use it or not. So, let’s have a look at the reasons to clarify the claim-
Reason 1: Lithium Batteries Are Not Compatible with Alternators
Modern car alternators can charge lithium batteries very easily. However, if you own an older model, you might face some issues.
Your alternator may not be able to charge the battery properly. This will give poor battery backup time. Also, it may cause serious issues like misfiring.
To solve this issue you will need to install Battery Isolation Manager (BIM). This will add up to the expenses.
Reason 2: Lithium Batteries Need More Protection
Lithium batteries are more prone to damage and problems. When installing, they need protective layers to avoid heating and physical damage.
This extra layer of protection costs more than conventional AGM batteries. Also, AGM batteries are more durable and can go through rough situations.
Reason 3: Lithium Batteries Are Expensive
Price is a major factor when deciding on car batteries. When it comes to price, Lead-Acid batteries are cheaper and easy to install upfront.
On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries are more expensive upfront. This is because the build material in a lithium-based compound costs more than lead. If you are running on a budget, this isn’t the option for you.
Reason 4: Highly Sensitive to Temperature
In extreme temperatures, lithium-ion batteries can fail. They deteriorate in both high and low temperatures. This decreases the useful life expectancy in both extremes.
Overcharging and the weather are both potential causes of abnormally high temperatures. This means that people who reside in places with extreme seasonal temperatures may need to replace their batteries as often as once each year.
Reason 5: Safety Concerns
If a lithium-ion battery is overheated or overcharged, the electrolyte will decompose. As a result, you’ll see gas being released. .
This gas may cause fires on a lithium battery. This can be worse by causing the battery to explode.
Since the alternator in your car isn’t meant to charge the battery constantly. Doing so greatly increases the chances of your car battery exploding the next time you drive it.
Due to all these reasons, lithium batteries are not typically installed in vehicles.
Step-By-Step Guide to Running Lithium Batteries For Car Audio
Installing a Lithium-ion battery is the same as installing a regular car battery. To make the process easier, I have discussed it in 6 easy steps in the following section-
Step 1: Park the Car in a Safe Place & Turn off The Engine
The first step of installing the battery is parking your car in a safe place. Always try to set up your car in a cool shadowy place or in your garage. Turn off the car engine and take the key out of the car.
Step 2: Pop The Hood & Locate the Battery Terminal
Usually, the battery terminal is located under the hood. To get there, pop the hood latch and look at the right side of the engine bay. You will find your battery in a clamped compartment.
Locate the positive and negative terminals now. Usually, the negative terminal has a minus (-) sign and the cable is black. The positive terminal has a plus (+) sign with red cables.
Step 3: Detach the Cables & Remove the Old Battery
Use a screwdriver or wrench to loosen the terminal clamps. After loosening, give it a wiggle and the terminals should come off easily.
Detach the cables and remove the old battery from the housing. At times, the battery may be clamped to the housing. In this case, you may need to loosen the clamps with a ratchet or wrench.
Step 4: Clean the Connectors & Place the New Lithium Battery
Before jumping into attaching the new battery, make sure you clean the connectors. Sometimes residuals form up in the connectors.
You can clean them using hot water. Clean them thoroughly using a brush. Don’t forget to clean the battery housing.
You can place the new lithium-ion battery directly in place of the old battery. And no. you won’t be needing any modifications.
Step 5: Install the BIM & Protective Layers
This is a crucial step that is different from regular battery installation. You will need to install a BIM or Battery Isolation Module.
Usually, this is paired with the negative terminal of the battery. You will need to crimp the wires properly before attaching the BIM.
After installing the BIM, you will need to install the heat shield protection. Do this by wrapping them around the battery and Taping them. This way the battery will be protected from heat and physical damage.
Step 6: Connect the Terminals and Check
After installing the BIM and protection, connect the terminals. Tighten them with a wrench and make sure they don’t wiggle.
Do make sure you connect the negative terminal with the negative cable. Wrongly attaching the cable may end in disaster. After attaching the cables, test the car by starting it up and running all the electronics.
Things to Consider Before Using Lithium Battery
Now you know how you can run lithium batteries for your car audios. However, you might want to check out the comparison between lithium and other regular batteries. Because this way you’ll be sure what to do and will regret your decision later on.
Lithium Car Battery vs Regular Car Battery (Lead Cell)
To get a better overview of the two technologies, let’s have a look at this comparison table-
|Lithium Car Battery
|Regular Car Battery
|Depth of Discharge
Advantages & Disadvantages of Regular Car Battery
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the regular lead-acid car battery.
- Low Initial Cost
- Easy to install, compatible with all types of alternators.
- Does not need any additional equipment.
- Easy to replace, no special tools needed.
- Low discharge depth
- Less efficient than other battery types
- Needs periodic maintenance
- Lower capacity than lithium batteries
Advantages & Disadvantages of Lithium Car Battery
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a Lithium-ion car battery.
- Depth of discharge rate 80% to 90%
- Longer lifespan than regular batteries
- Less recharge cycles are needed
- More power capacity than regular batteries
- Lighter and smaller compared to lead-acid batteries
- Does not work well in extreme weather, especially during cold weathers.
- They are several times more expensive than regular battery
- Lithium batteries require extra protection and a BIM module
- Can get damaged by some alternators
So, Lithium Batteries for Car Audio: Is It Worth It?
Lithium Batteries may seem a good alternative to car audio systems. Especially, if you are installing a powerful audio system.
But, are lithium batteries worth the high cost?
When compared to AGM batteries, lithium-ion batteries have many benefits. They outperform AGM batteries in size, weight, and depth of discharge (DOD). However, lithium batteries can be harmed by extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and improper charging techniques.
If you are going big with your audio system, you can install a lithium battery. But the cost will be higher. In other cases, a regular AGM battery will be more suitable and versatile.
Can a car alternator charge a lithium battery?
Yes, a car alternator can charge a lithium battery. Newer car alternators can easily do this. However, in old cars, you will need to install a battery isolation module. This is to avoid charging problems with older alternator models.
How many pounds of lithium does it take to make a car battery?
It takes around 25 pounds of lithium to make a car battery. However, this is not the only ingredient for the recipe. Apart from lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and copper are used in proportion.
Do I need two batteries for car audio?
Extended use of the car stereo requires the use of a secondary battery. Because of their high power consumption. They are also essential for any system in which the electrical demands surpass the alternator’s output.
That will be all from my side on how to run lithium batteries for car audio. Make sure you install the required peripherals before installing the Lithium Battery.
And do not forget to check the battery regularly. It will save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
See you soon!