AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. These mats are inside the battery absorbing the acid, making them spill-proof and can be mounted upside down if you like that sort of thing.
Some vehicles require AGM batteries by the engineers that built the car. These need to be replaced with AGM batteries as the charging system of the car is set for them.
Should you put an AGM battery in a car that only requires a regular lead-acid battery? There aren’t a lot of cases where this is worth the extra cost. If it’s just a regular car, and not an off-road truck with a winch, or a built-up motor, or other special applications, replacing a lead-acid with a lead-acid is the way to go. If you do have a special application that requires extra cranking power or the battery gets drained down more than it should, then yes, in some cases it’s worth it.
Can you put a regular lead-acid battery in a car that calls for an AGM? You can, but expect a decreased lifespan of the battery. Something like a year, instead of 4 or 5 years.
AGM batteries have some advantages. In an RV for example they do not emit any gas when being charged and you can have them inside with you. They can also be safely drained down lower than a regular acid giving you more time between charges.
Most brands of lead-acid batteries will recover from neglect better than an AGM, so if you know you aren’t going to keep an eye on them, it will cost you more to ruin the batteries.
AGM batteries are a great choice for RV’s, off-grid, trolling motors, motorcycles, and vehicles that were designed for them. Otherwise, regular lead-acid batteries still do a good job in most applications at a lower cost.
Give us a call to ask about what your best choice would be.