Some car accessories have to be physically moved each time they are used, for example car jacks, pressure washers, and car covers. Car batteries are different.
Most people only worry about “how much does a car battery weigh” when it’s time for a replacement. Batteries must be lifted straight up and lowered straight down, usually into a very tight space.
Given that most batteries weigh between 30 and 50 pounds, DIY’ers need to be confident that they can lift that much weight.
The good news is that once a new battery is in place, you are most likely good to go for 3 to 5 years.
How Much Does a Car Battery Weigh?
We have categorized average car battery weights in three different ways:
- For the Top 20 selling vehicles in the U.S.
- By reserve capacity ratings
- For the most common BCI Group Size numbers.
A BCI number is a standardized size set by the Battery Council International trade association.
This video provides a good introduction into the topic.
For an excellent article on how to select the right car battery and how to get the right fit, check out our in-depth article on the best car battery brands.
Battery Weights by Top 20 Selling Vehicles
We took the best selling 20 vehicles in the U.S. and calculated the average car battery weight.
For the Top 20 selling vehicles in the U.S., car battery weights ranged from 29 to 50 pounds, with the average coming in at just under 41 pounds.
Below are the details. Please note that a given make and model (e.g., Ford F150) may have 3 or 4 different engines choices, some of which use different batteries. In that case, we simply chose the biggest seller.
|Vehicle||Sales||BCI Number||Weight (lbs)||Weight (kgs)|
|Ford F Series||909,330||48||42||19.1|
|Toyota Rav 4||427,168||35||40||18.1|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||224,908||94R||49||22.2|
Source for unit sales: 20 Best Selling Cars and Trucks. For trucks, one-half ton models were used vs super duty models. Based on selected best selling car batteries such as Interstate and AC Delco.
Battery Weights by Reserve Capacity
Reserve capacity is just like it sounds. It measures how much reserve power is available for lights, pumps, inverters, etc., if the engine (or alternator) stops working.
Reserve capacity is the number of minutes a battery can maintain a 25 amperage discharge at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. While the the 25 amps threshold is arbitrary, it is considered a “useful” amount of power for most applications.
|Reserve Capacity||Battery Weight (lbs)||Battery Weight (kgs)|
Battery Weights by Common BCI Group Size Number
While there are almost 70 BCI group sizes for “car” batteries (i.e., 12 volt, non commercial vehicles), the top 10 BCI numbers cover a large portion of the overall car market.
|BCI Group Number||Battery Weight (lbs)||Relevant Vehicles|
|24 and 24F||41||Many Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota models|
|34/78||39||Many larger Chrysler vehicles and 1996-2000 GM trucks, SUVs and sedan models|
|35||40||Many Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and newer Honda models|
|47 (H5)||35||Many Buick, Chevrolet, Fiat and Volkswagen models|
|48 (H6)||42||Many Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Jeep, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Volvo models|
|49 (H8)||52||Many Audi, BMW, Hyundai and Mercedes models|
|51R||29||Many Honda, Mazda and Nissan models|
|65||45||Many Ford and Mercury large car, truck and SUV models|
|75||34||Select GM and Chrysler compact and midsize models|
|94R||49||Many Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and Volkswagen models. Select Jeeps like Grand Cherokee|
Note: average weights were calculated across a select group of manufacturers such as Interstate and AC Delco.
Why Are Car Batteries So Heavy?
One of my friends was lifting a car battery and said, “this thing feels like it’s made out of lead!” Little did he know he was actually spot on! Batteries are primarily constructed with lead plates and a water-based electrolyte solution (i.e., battery acid). Both of these ingredients are very dense and very heavy.
The average 12 volt battery has 6 chambers which house the individual cells. Each cell has several thin lead plates bathed in battery acid. To get a better visual, this video shows the inside of a car battery starting at the 3:50 mark.
Car batteries are complicated. There are almost 70 different official sizes for 12 volt batteries. Add in multiple models with different polarities and amperage ratings for each size, and things can get complex in a hurry.
Most car, truck and SUV batteries range from 30 to 50 pounds with the average for best selling vehicles being 41 pounds.
Knowing the average weight of a car battery is important for DIY maintenance. If the weight is too much to handle, please check with your local dealer. They will be more than happy to replace your battery for you…for a small fee, of course.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are car batteries made from?
Car batteries are basically an outer case that houses the materials needed to convert chemical energy into electrical energy. The components include:
- Polypropylene outer case
- An electrolyte solution (30% – 50% sulfuric acid in a water base; formula is H2 SO4)
- Lead terminals and plates
- Fiberglass mats (for advanced AGM batteries only).
Can batteries with the same BCI number have different power ratings and weights?
Yes. Virtually all car batteries are 12 volts, but they can supply different amperages. One way of increasing power is putting in more lead plates. More lead plates, more chemical reaction, and thus more electrons produced. Adding extra plates will definitely increase the weight.
How much does a car battery weigh?
Hopefully, we have provided as comprehensive answer as you will ever need. If you are asked this question, we strongly recommend finding the relevant BCI Group Size number in question. Batteries differ greatly in size (think Toyota Camry vs a Ford F 150), so an average number is not all that helpful.