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Tacoma Batteries: Storing Power

Tacoma Batteries: Storing Power

There’s no worse feeling than turning the key on your truck only for your engine not to fire. You try again, but no luck at all. The battery is dead and your anxiety rises. Now, you’re stranded in the backcountry with nothing more than your useless truck and enough supplies for a campfire. This is going to be a long trip. Dead batteries can go a long way in ruining someone’s day, whether you’re in the middle of an epic off-road expedition or just trying to make it to the office on time. In the guide below, we jump into the role of a battery in your truck’s firing power and how to choose the right one for the job. Read on!

Shop Tacoma Batteries

A dead battery is a stranded Tacoma, and nothing's worse than being alone in the wilderness. Stock batteries generally can't withstand the abuse of winching and aftermarket lights for sustained periods. Upgrading to an aftermarket battery will ensure it doesn't discharge as much electricity during storage, and it'll be able to stand up to harsher environments.

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The Role of the Battery in Your Tacoma

It’s common knowledge that without a battery, your car or truck won’t run—even the so-called indestructible Tacoma. But what exactly does the battery do for your truck? In simple terms, the battery is called upon to provide power for the starter to fire the engine. From there, the rotation of the engine drives the alternator, forcing electrical current back into the battery where it is stored as chemical energy. This is the process that recharges your truck’s battery so it will have enough power to start the engine the next time around, where chemical energy is converted back into electrical energy.

Important Battery Terminology

Cranking Amps (CA): the measurement of the number of amps a battery can produce at 32 degrees Fahrenheit 

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): like cranking amps, this a measurement referring to the number of amps a battery can produce, but at zero degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds without dropping below 7.2 volts. This means that a high CCA is especially important for drivers who live in very cold climates. It’s also the most commonly known battery measurement.

Group Size: this refers to the battery size that will best fit in your vehicle based upon dimensions, terminal locations, and type.

Reserve Capacity (RC): the number of minutes a fully charged battery can discharge 25 amps until the battery drops under 10.5 volts.

The importance of Reserve Capacity

You’re in the market for a new battery for your trusty Tacoma—you put this truck through its paces, with lots of hard driving and plenty of nights of camping in the backwoods. While it’s vital to ensure that the group size of the battery fits your truck, and the CCA will be adequate enough to handle the conditions you live in, the most important rating to pay attention to is Reserve Capacity (RC).

Why? This will tell how long a battery can deliver power over an extended period of time. It’s an especially important measurement in the case that the Tacoma’s charging system fails, leaving the battery to power headlights, windshield wipers, and other electric accessories until you reach a safe location or service shop.

If you plan on long backcountry expeditions, pick a battery with as much RC as possible. It could save you from a serious headache later on.

OEM Toyota Tacoma Battery Group Sizes

  • 2.7L Inline-four Engine: 34F
  • 3.5L V6 Engine: 27F

AMG vs. Deep Cycle vs. SLI Batteries

It’s time for a new battery in your Tacoma, and you’re looking for a bit of an upgrade this time around. You hit the store, only to see a variety of different types, which leaves you with more questions than answers. Let’s discuss the three types of batteries available for your Tacoma and the benefits of each.

SLI Batteries: We will start with SLI batteries—also known as Starting, Lighting, Ignition batteries—because they are the most common batteries found on the road today. This type of battery is best at providing short bursts of power (but only around 3% of their total power), making them best for firing the engines in vehicles before being recharged by the alternator. They also help supply extra power when the electrical load exceeds the power produced by the alternator for a short period of time. 

SLI batteries come with downfalls, including the risk of failing after several deep cycles (using 50% or more of its total capacity) or after a complete discharge. This makes SLI batteries require more maintenance and have shorter lifespans than other options.

Expect to see these mounted on daily drivers, but not any build with a serious electrical load.

AGM Batteries: Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries are designed with an internal fiberglass mat, which is compressed between two plates and filled with battery acid up to 95% of its total capacity. This design has proved beneficial by reducing vibration and self-discharge, helping increase the lifespan over other options. The fact that they help reduce vibrations is a huge plus for off-road applications, where the Tacoma can face serious bumps and create a battery leak inside your engine bay with standard SLI batteries.

AGM batteries are a popular choice for serious off-road rigs because of their ability to recharge after serious cycles, such as heavy winching and powering onboard air compressors. These come at a cost, however, with AGMs costing as much as three or four times that of SLI options.

Deep Cycle Batteries: A deep cycle battery is designed with thicker, solid internal plates that allow them to consistently recharge after cycles of 98% discharge. This quality makes them ideal for applications requiring repetitive drainage or in instances that your truck’s electrical load outweighs the alternator’s power output, such as due to serious audio systems or high usage of auxiliary lighting.

On the other hand, deep cycle batteries struggle with cold conditions because of low CCA ratings and all-out starting power that other types have. This means that Tacoma drivers will often need to upsize the battery used (which can cause difficulties) or dual cycle type battery.

Choosing the Right Battery for Your Tacoma

There’s a serious selection for Tacoma batteries, all offering different types of advantages. Which is the right type for your build? Take into consideration your usual driving habits, typical weather conditions, and the amount of electric-powered auxiliary systems your truck uses. Looking for the best off-road battery possible? If budget isn’t an issue, we’d suggest going all-out with an AGM unit.


Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro