Can You Use A Marine Battery In A Car?

We loathe scenarios where our car battery has run out of power in a place where not much help is available. Whether you need a minor jump-start or are thinking of changing your car battery to a marine battery and getting help, this should give you a brief of what to expect. Can you use a marine battery in a car? Let’s go know now.

What Is A Marine Battery?

Before knowing if you can use a marine battery in a car, you should have some understanding of what a marine battery is. You probably already know that a marine battery is utilized to set off boats. Three categories of marine batteries are available: Cranking, Deep Cycle, and Hybrid.

Cranking Battery:

As the name suggests, this type is used to crank up the engine. It will ensure that the boat starts up with a boost and gets off the landing area into the water.

A cranking battery has several thin plates. These thin plates provide more surface area to let the engine start as smoothly as butter. However, this type cannot provide constant power throughout your journey. That is where a deep-cycle battery comes in handy.

Deep Cycle Battery:

Deep cycle batteries constantly let you use small bits of power. This type of source is beneficial when your boat has electronic devices such as chart plotters, engine monitors, depth sounders, etc.

Unlike the cranking battery, deep cycle batteries consist of lesser and narrower plates. This ensures more extended output and multiple cycles, which means the battery can be depleted and charged again. This cycle can be repeated various times, a feature that the cranking battery lacks.

Hybrid Battery:

A hybrid or dual-purpose battery can be called the best of both worlds. The width of the plates is neither thin like in cranking nor thick like in a deep cycle. Instead, the width is measured so that the battery can be a constant power source while producing it decently fast enough to crank up the boat.

Marine VS. Car Batteries

Now that we have covered the basics of a marine battery let us jump into the differences between a car and a marine battery.

Car batteries require a good number of thin plates that give a smooth kickoff. This width is usually thinner than that in a cranking battery. Car batteries are also made of lead but are more delicate than marine batteries.

A lot of energy is mandatory to start the car. Other than that, some power from the battery is sourced for the lights, radio, monitors, or air conditioning.

Marine batteries offer more power for longer periods and can endure tougher conditions. These advantages also make them more expensive than car batteries.

Marine batteries use MCA instead of CCA in car batteries which is the power rating at which it can kick off the boat or car in cold temperatures. Surprisingly CCA and MCA are measured at different experimental temperatures. 0°F for cars and 32°F for boats.

So, Can You Use a Marine Battery In A Car?

Now onto the real question, “Can You use a marine battery in a car?” As a backup or emergency, yes, you can. However, it would help if you kept particular aspects in mind. Know that you cannot just buy any marine battery and rely on it to do the job.


What purpose do you want your marine battery to serve? If it is for a simple emergency crank up, then a cranking battery will suffice. But, who is to know that a boost to start your car will do when in an emergency? Keeping the option to drive the vehicle is a safer choice.

Plus, if you are going to the lengths of getting a marine battery as a backup, maybe going further to get a hybrid battery is best. You can make a mental list of questions and concerns you have to ask a professional at the shop later.


If the marine battery you are attaching to the car provides too high or too low a voltage, it might not work or even damage your car. So check that the battery is labeled 12 V. This is a suitable voltage range.

Also, since an alternator recharges a typical car battery after starting the car, the marine battery must have this option.


Obviously, a larger battery will not let you shut the car hood. Needless you say, you will want a marine battery that has similar in size to the car battery. Before shopping for a marine battery, look at and note down your car battery size.

The common sizes include 24, 24F, 25, etc. Also, make a mental note or take a picture of where the terminals are located. A mismatch will cause havoc.


As mentioned previously, CCA for car batteries is the same as MCA for boat batteries. However, they are set for different temperatures. This rating is essential if you live in colder regions. If you are not sure how the difference in degrees affects the values, you can simply ask an expert at the battery shop for help.


Reading about marine batteries may intrigue you into using them full-time for your road vehicle. However, you need to know that regular use of marine batteries in your car will not just harm the battery but also the car and your pocket. On top of that, your choices can lead you to a damaged alternator.

There is a reason car batteries are built differently. Talk about your options to an expert. Safety precautions for emergencies are great but practice with proper advice and care.


Can a deep cycle battery be operated to jump-start my car?

Yes. A 12 V deep cycle battery can jump-start a car. However, as the written piece suggests, some conditions should be met.

Final Words

After finishing this article, we hope you now understand the various types of marine batteries and how you can use them in your car for emergencies. Remember the disadvantages of overuse too. It is easy to think that since marine batteries have some benefits, they will be better for long-term use.

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