Tag: Car Batteries

When to Upgrade Your Vehicle’s Electrical System

Your vehicle’s electrical system is crucial to your vehicle’s audio system and how it sounds and performs. Wiring, your car’s alternator, as well as your car’s batteries are all important factors when it comes to your vehicle’s electrical system. In this blog article, we will go over some guidelines to follow when it comes to how and when to upgrade your vehicle’s electrical system. If ya’ll still have questions regarding your vehicle’s electrical system, feel free to comment in the section below this article and we will do our best to help you upgrade your electrical system.

1Upgrading Your Alternator

High Output Alternators

First of all, upgrading your alternator does depend on the type of vehicle you’re working with as well as how much wattage your car audio system needs. But, when it comes to upgrading the alternator, in our experts’ professional opinion, if you are dealing with a system that is anywhere over 1000 watts, it might be a good idea to upgrade your alternator- especially if you are adding more batteries to your car’s electrical system. The key takeaway is that its always better to have too much power than too little power. So, make sure you also have a sufficient amount of batteries to power your system.

2Upgrading Your Car Battery

Car Batteries at Sonic Electronix

It is important to your audio system that you have an adequate amount of batteries powering your system. If not, your system cannot run efficiently. It is recommended that if  you add an amplifier to your system,  you should add a secondary battery as well. And as you add more components to your car audio system, pay attention to how much power your system needs in order to run without failing and add a secondary battery or upgrade your battery accordingly.

3Using a Capacitor

A capacitor is a temporary storage tank for electricity, which charges and discharges electricity at a high speed. Although a capacitor won’t add any additional power to your car audio system, once the capacitor is charged up, it will help stabilize the voltage by providing quick bursts of electricity during peak power demands. Adding a capacitor can fix occasional headlight dimming or other electrical issues within your vehicle. However, their primary use is to help provide your amplifier with a consistent voltage for improved performance. Although capacitors can act as a quick fix solution to your electrical system’s power output, they are usually not recommended. Instead, our experts suggest recommend a secondary battery, as a battery holds power more permanently. However, if you are going to install a capacitor, make sure to get one that is well built, such as NVX’s XCAP1F.

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Understanding Car Batteries

Battery Up

XS Power D680

XS Power 12-Volt Deep Cycle AGM Power Cell

Ah, yes batteries.  To most a mystery and to some an essential car audio component.  To know exactly what sets a standard battery apart from a performance battery can mean the difference between a light dimming, inefficient system and a head turning, top-notch system.  Follow us as we explore batteries and find out exactly what you should look for in a good battery for your sound system.  Who knows, you might actually learn something too!

Cranking Amps: This specification is absolutely important when looking at batteries.  Basically, the cranking amps tells you how much current a battery can produce for 30 seconds at a temperature of 32° F and not have the voltage of any of the individual cells drop below 1.2 volts. This may also be known as MCA or marine cranking amps.

Kinetik HC800

Kinetik HC800 Power Cell

Cold Cranking Amps: This is similar to cranking amps but is tested at 0° F instead of 32° F.  This is particularly important for vehicles that must preform and operate in very cold climates.  Since the chemical reaction which produces electrical current in a battery decreases as the temperature drops, the battery will produce less current at colder temperatures (below freezing, especially).  When comparing the current of two batteries, make sure there are standards to qualify the current ratings.  If there is no CA or CCA, you do not know how the battery was tested and the current rating will be fundamentally useless.

Reserve Capacity: The reserve capacity will tell you the time it takes a battery to produce 25 amps at 80° F before the individual cell voltage drops below 1.75 volts.

Stinger SPV44

Stinger SPV44 660 Amp Power Series Dry Cell Battery

Deep Cycle vs Standard Battery: A normal lead-acid battery will be damaged if it is completely drained even one time.  A deep cycled battery is designed to withstand draining multiple times. Deep cycle batteries have more reserve capacity but less cranking amps for a given size.  This makes them ideal for seasonal vehicles such as boats.

Amp Hours: This is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries.  This is a unit of measurement for battery capacity.  It is obtained by multiplying a current flow in amperes by the time of discharge in hours.

Remember that a battery is like a piggy bank: If you keep withdrawing and never depositing, you will eventually have nothing.  Not only will a battery be a great compliment to your sound system, but will charge more efficiently allowing you to have more reserve capacity. These high performance batteries will not leak or corrode.  Which means you can go as far as park your car upside down and still be thumping!




XS Power Batteries Now At Sonic Electronix

XS Power was established in 2005 by a group of automotive enthusiasts, their main focus and goal was to bring the highest performance car batteries & accessories to the mobile audio and street performance markets. XS Power has a strong commitment to product testing, which in turn leads to a technological edge over most similar competitors in today’s market. Their Car Batteries are constructed with the highest energy density chemistry found in AGM batteries, this is just one of the reasons that makes XS Power the battery of choice for competition car audio.

Here at Sonic Electronix, we have just started carrying some of the XS Power product line like battery terminals, battery terminal posts, and their high quality car batteries. We have their 12-Volt, 14-Volt, and 16-Volt models available in various different power configurations. Each one these XS Power power cells can be used as a replacement for your vehicles standard battery or as a secondary battery to power your high-performance sound system. They are manufactured with a leak-proof non-hazardous design with no external vents; this allows these batteries to be mounted anywhere and in any position with no leaks.

XS Power D3100

D3100 12-Volt AGM Battery

XS Power’s top of the line 12-Volt is battery is the D3100. This deep cycle AGM power cell is perfect for 4000W – 5000W high powered car audio systems and is 100% sealed in a reinforced ABS plastic case for extreme durability. This battery features 1360 cranking amps (enough power to crank the highest performance engines), a maximum output of 5000 amps, and 110 amp hours. It also includes M6 terminal hardware and will fit in almost any factory battery location.

XS Power D1400

D1400 14-Volt AGM Battery

The 14-Volt model we carry here at Sonic is the D1400. This power cell also features enough power to crank high performance engines. It puts out 675 cranking amps, 2400 amps max with 50 amp hours. Weighing in it a light and compact 43 lbs, the D1400 is very easy to install into your vehicle. This 14-Volt power cell should be used for car audio systems ranging from 1500-3000 watts of power and will resist extreme vibrations for ultimate performance.

XS Power XP1000

XP1000 16-Volt AGM Racing Battery

The XS Power XP1000 is the 16-Volt power cell we have available. This AGM racing battery features XS Power’s cutting-edge lead acid battery technology, this technology will produce high amounts of energy in small spaces. The XP1000 is great for racing, car audio, motorcycles, ATVs, and marine applications featuring 675 cranking amps, a max output of 2400 amps with 50 amp hours. It is 100% sealed and maintenance free and includes M10 terminal hardware for installation.


Upgrading Your Vehicles Electrical System

Adding a high powered car audio system to your vehicle could definitely make your driving sessions much more enjoyable, but it can also do some damage to the electrical system if you do not upgrade. Most vehicles electrical systems are 12 volt DC systems, when the vehicle is not running, the primary source of power is the battery or power cell. When the vehicle is running, the alternator is the primary source of power. Depending on your car’s factory electrical system, you may not have enough power to run your aftermarket stereo system, that’s when it’s time for an electrical system upgrade. There are a few different options when upgrading such as adding another battery, upgrading your alternator, or adding a capacitor.

Stinger SPV70 Dry Cell Battery

Adding a Second battery

The main function of your cars battery is to start the vehicle and provide power when the vehicle is not on. Many people are under the impression that adding a second battery will cure their electrical problems; this is not the case at all. Adding a second battery to your vehicle will only provide you with more “parking-lot” listening time when the vehicle is not running. After the vehicle is started, the second battery becomes another load on an already overworked factory alternator. If you are trying to correct a problem such as an overload of the charging system from the stereo system, it will not be eliminated by adding another battery. However, if you do decide to add another battery, you must decide whether you want to use a battery isolator, or to simply wire the batteries in parallel. If you are using two different types, models, or ages of batteries, it is necessary to use an isolator. The isolator will allow the alternator to charge each independent battery as needed as opposed to seeing both batteries as a single load. Parallel wiring does not require an isolator, but the first thing to consider in parallel addition of batteries is that it is absolutely essential that both batteries be the exact same type, model, and should be as close to the same age as possible. If you do decide to add another battery, I suggest adding a Stinger SPV70 Power Series Battery. This dry cell battery is perfect for high power systems up to 2100 watts.

High Output Alternator

Upgrading Your Alternator

The alternator is the primary source of power when the vehicle is running and the single most important modification you can make when upgrading your electrical system. If you experience frequent dead batteries in your vehicle, it is a good indication that your electrical system isn’t providing enough power and it may be time to upgrade your alternator. When you add a high powered audio system to your ride, the factory alternator is usually too small and has to look to the battery for some extra power, which shortens the batteries life-span. Upgrading your alternator will provide your vehicle with more juice to run all of your electrical components, including your car audio stereo system, without drawing power from the battery.

Tsunami PP92UM-CAP Digital 2 Farad Hybrid Power Capacitor

Adding a Power Capacitor

Car audio capacitors are a great addition to any aftermarket car audio system that is in need of a little extra power. A power capacitor stores power until needed for high electrical demands such as heavy bass notes. Most capacitors usually consist of two metallic plates separated by a dielectric. If you have a problem with annoying dimming headlights every time your stereo is cranked up, a capacitor is just what you need. The dimming is caused by a voltage drop created by the large power demands of your amplifier. The power capacitor helps fill in the gaps for the energy required by your amps. Capacitors use the measurement unit “farad” to determine the size and power output. Here at Sonic Electronix, we like to use the ratio of “1 farad equals 1000 watts” to determine the size of capacitor needed to supply enough power to an amplifier. When adding a power cap, try to use one that is equal to or close to the power output of your car audios system, using a larger capacitor will not damage the audio system, but it will put an unnecessary strain on the vehicles electrical system. Tsunami Capacitors are known for being high quality and we have plenty on our website to suit your needs.

Upgrading your electrical system is one of the most overlooked aspects when adding a high powered car audio sound system to your vehicle. Depending on your situation and the type of system you installed, be sure to to enhance that electrical system for ultimate performance.


Shuriken SK-BT100 High Performance Car Battery

SHURiKEN SK-BT100 High Performance Power Cell Car Battery

By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist

Getting the most out of a car audio system requires a lot of power.  That means high-powered amplifiers, thick power cable, as well as speakers and subwoofers with high power ratings.  With so much demand for power, the car might not be able to generate the amount of power that is required for optimal performance.  This unveils one of the most overlooked aspects of aftermarket car audio systems, the vehicle’s charging system.  While one of the most overlooked, the vehicles charging and electrical system are extremely important in getting the amplifier the power that it requires, as well as protecting the factory OEM electrical system.  For those that are looking to upgrade and get the most from their aftermarket system, consider improving the vehicles battery, or even adding a secondary car battery.

One manufacturer of high performance car batteries and power cells is SHURiKEN. They offer a wide selection of power cells that are the ideal solution for replacing an OEM car battery or adding a secondary battery.  The SHURiKEN SK-BT100 offers 2250 crank amps and 100 amp hours.  Ratings like this continue to prove that this is a serious power cell generating much more power than the standard car battery.  The battery itself is made using AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology that enables the battery to mount in any position.  That means it can easily install in place of the standard battery, or it can mount as a secondary battery with a custom installation in a trunk.  The installation options are limitless with the AGM design.  While there are car batteries that are compatible with a variety of car audio system power ratings, the SHURiKEN SK-BT100 is perfect for systems up to 2000 watts.  Adding a couple of amplifiers and subwoofers will no longer strain a car’s electrical system with one of these high performance car batteries!