What Happens if You Put the Wrong Size Battery in Your Car?

Naomi O'Colman

What Happens if You Put the Wrong Size Battery in Your Car?

What Happens if You Put the Wrong Size Battery in Your Car?

What happens if you put the wrong size battery in your car? Car batteries are available in a variety of types with varying characteristics. Car owners want a battery that they can trust and that will last longer than normal. But, in order for our automobile to work, do we need specific battery types and sizes? This is something car owners should be aware of.

The simple answer is that if you install the improper battery size in your vehicle, the flow of currents may not compatible with the vehicle, causing long-term damage to the car.

What if The Battery Isn’t Big Enough?

When you install a lesser battery in a car, it usually won’t start. Most of the car’s electronics, including some of the most critical electrical systems, would not turn on if this happens.

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Accessories will quickly deplete a battery with a smaller capacity. It takes a lot of effort just to listen to the radio. A series of starts and stops will put a strain on the smaller battery, preventing any form of recharge.

The life expectancy of batteries is measured as well as their cold-cranking amps. These cold-cranking amps define the ability to start an engine in cold weather. Let’s say you’re trying to start a V-8 motor with a four-cylinder vehicle battery, and it’s cold outdoors.

A battery that isn’t big enough won’t be able to supply enough power to your car’s engine or accessories. The battery doesn’t get a chance to fully recharge if you’re out running errands all day and frequently starting and stopping the automobile. This, in turn, may trigger the alternator to overheat, posing a long-term danger of damage.

Physically, one big issue with a smaller battery is that it doesn’t fit correctly in the compartment it was meant for, causing additional vibration to the battery and other parts. Again, there’s a chance of long-term harm.

What if The Battery Is Excessively Large?

Using a battery that is larger than the manufacturer recommends can have similar long-term consequences for your car.

If you buy a battery off the shelf, you might find that it doesn’t fit in your vehicle’s battery compartment until you get home. Car batteries come in a range of sizes and designs, such as top-mount versus side-mount, in addition to power and cold cranking amp ratings.

Along with the battery’s location, it’s important to remember that alternators and batteries are perfectly matched to the vehicle’s power requirements. A bad battery and alternator combo can cause overheating and long-term damage to the alternator.

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Because of the differences in size, connections, and mounting arrangements, a battery that is too large may not even sit in the battery compartment. Even if you were able to cram it into a tight space and secure it, there’s still the problem of cold cranking amps.

If you don’t have enough cold-cranking amps, your automobile will have problems in the winter. As a result, the battery’s life will be cut short.

What Kind of Battery Should I Get for My Car?

Before you go out and buy a new car battery, check your owner’s manual for the battery specs that your car’s manufacturer recommends. It’s worth noting that using a battery that isn’t the same brand as the one that came with the car is fine given that it has the same size and output as the one advised by the manufacturer.

If you don’t have the owner’s handbook, you can always check the information on the present battery (if it’s the original) or use an online search engine to look up your car’s exact specifications.

Why Is It Important to Get the Right Battery?

Modern automobiles contain a variety of gadgets that require a suitable battery to operate effectively. Thus, the battery is essential for all of the electronics and accessories, not only for starting the automobile. One of those critical items, for example, maybe your anti-theft system. That’s something you’ll want to have electricity on hand at all times.

Will The Wrong Size Car Battery Damage The Alternator?

Your alternator will eventually be damaged if you use the improper car battery size. As previously said, whether your battery is tiny or large, it will cause harm to your alternator.

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If you continue using it for quick, frequent trips, a small battery will harm the alternator and cause it to fail sooner or later. The battery is frequently the source of power for small alternators. Small cells will eventually cause the alternator to work in order to supply the energy flow.

Larger batteries, on the other hand, necessitate a great deal of power from the alternator. To charge these larger batteries, the alternator has to work extra hard. You’re making the alternator work twice as hard, which can limit its life.

Is It Ok To Put A Higher Amp Battery In A Car?

Yes, increasing the amps or reserve capacity of your automobile battery is beneficial. It will give your engine additional cranking power as long as you obtain the right size for your vehicle.

A car battery’s reserve capacity or amps are unimportant. The more amps you have, the better. It will provide your car with a longer-lasting and more powerful performance. A car battery with a greater amp rating is preferable for your vehicle.

Even before the battery dies, reserve capacity refers to the amount of time a battery can produce power without needing to be recharged by the alternator.


When it comes to batteries, there are a lot of alternatives, and if you’re not familiar with them, it may be very perplexing. It’s not easy to match the battery’s voltages, amps, and size. If you’re not comfortable with replacing components like a battery, do yourself a favor and seek assistance.