What Is a Dry Cell Car Battery?

by Laurie Scott

Dry cell car batteries consist of a fiberglass mat that contains electrolytes. The electrolytes cause a chemical reaction that produces electricity. Absorbed glass mat (AGM) car batteries are referred to as dry cell batteries because fluid cannot escape. Although dry cell car batteries are expensive, they last longer than conventional wet cell batteries. They also have more power to crank the car's engine in bad weather.


Dry cell car batteries are considered maintenance-free and charge faster than conventional wet cell batteries. Since AGM material has a low electrical resistance, the battery emits more power and efficiency than other types of batteries. A dry cell car battery that remains in a car for six months loses only 0.2 volts of charge.


The dry cell car battery is the safest of all lead acid batteries. Because it recycles its internal gas within its sealed encasement, there is a slim chance of a gas explosion, corrosion, burning or damage to the chrome of nearby components. You can tip the battery upside-down, mount it sideways and not worry about leakage. There is also no risk of freezing or damage due to extremely cold weather.

Long Service Life

Dry cell batteries do not have to be replaced frequently. The batteries feature a design life of eight to 12 years and a service life of three to 10 years. Conventional batteries average only a five-year design life and a one- to five-year service life.

About the Author

Laurie Scott is a freelance writer and graphic designer who lives in Georgia. Since 1999 she has worked independently serving small businesses, large companies, government and nonprofit organizations. Scott received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Georgia State University.

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  • photo_camera dead battery image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com