While talking with most people, I have often seen that most people get confused by the different sizes of batteries available.
You will find around 7 different sizes of batteries in 90% of the cars. When it comes to choosing a battery size, there is not much choice. The confusion between the customers starts because of the same batteries having different names. Most modern European and American cars use the “H” series battery.
They are available in 4 different sizes. The “H” configuration battery sizes have similar height and width. The difference in the measurement is the Length (dimensions from left to right). These batteries are also known as “BCI Group Sizes”. Therefore, the same battery has two different names.
The two different names for the “H” Configuration batteries are as follows: H5 is also known as Group 47, H6 as Group 48, H7 as 94R, and H8 as 49. H5 and H6 are the most commonly used batteries in American cars among the 4 different sizes. In this article, we will discuss the two batteries and help you understand the differences between them.
H5 vs H6
The biggest difference between h5 and h6 batteries is their weight. H5 batteries are lightweight, but h6 batteries are comparatively heavier. This is why h5 batteries are mainly used for racing and performance-based use. H6 batteries are heavier and give you the extra capacity, and are better if you are driving in colder areas.
If your car has several extra accessories such as radar detectors, cameras, or theft alarms, it is better to go for the h6 batteries.
H5 Battery Overview
H5 batteries or group 47 batteries are medium in size. They are commonly used in light industrial applications like dual-purpose batteries or cranking, or automotive.
These are mainly used in gas engines, mid-range diesel engines, and for powering various electronic and electrical devices when the primary engine(s) is turned off. Most of the h5 batteries are designed as maintenance-free, and spill-proof AGM batteries.
The physical dimensions of the group 47 batteries are similar to the EN 55L2 battery and standard DIN H5 battery, which is also known as the L2 battery.
The right side is the positive terminal of the battery when kept in front of the user. These batteries have automotive terminals. But, some of them also come with ‘Nut and Bolts’ terminals.
On average, the h5 battery features an MCA value of 700-750 Amperes, 20-hour capacity in 50-60 Amperes hours, RC or Reserve Capacity of around 110 to 115 minutes, CCA value of 600-630 Amperes, and it weighs around 17 to 19 kgs(38 to 42 pounds).
Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between dual-purpose and starting AGM batteries. Similarly, there is no exception for h5 batteries. Some of these batteries are identified as “Starting”. These are made for the “Start&Go” application.
These batteries crank gas and diesel engines, but they allow the medium to deep discharges and obtain charge well. The dual-purpose batteries crank internal firing engines and also tolerates cycle application and deep-discharge well. You will often find these batteries in single battery systems where the requirement of the battery is to power different systems when the primary engine is off.
H6 Battery Overview
H6 batteries or group 48 batteries are mid-range batteries. They are commonly used as light industrial, automotive, and marine batteries as dual-purpose or starting batteries.
These batteries often power electronic and electric devices when the primary engine is off or when the main power is not there. The design of most of these batteries is spill-proof, and maintenance-free AGM batteries.
They come with increased resistance to mechanical shocks and vibrations. The features of the standard h6 batteries are similar to the EN 66L3 and the standard DIN H6 batteries. Due to the similarity in its sizes, L3 or h6 and EN standards are considered to be group 48 batteries and vice versa.
The right side is the positive terminal of the h6 batteries when placed in front of the user. On average, h6 batteries feature an MCA rating of around 800 to 930 Amperes, nominal capacity of 60 to 72 Ampere hours, RC or Reserve Capacity value around 120 to 140 minutes, CCA ratings of 720 to 800 Amperes, and weighs around 20 to 24 kgs (45-54 pounds).
The high-end dual-purpose h6 batteries are very versatile. They are strong enough to resist deep discharge applications and provide a large starting current. The h6 dual-purpose batteries are worthy of several applications, including cranking or starting use, for security and medical systems, as trolling motor battery, several off-grid implementations, as sump pump motor battery, and many more.
Conclusion on H6 vs H5 Battery Comparison
Both h5 and h6 batteries are very popular in American vehicles. Both are used for different purposes and have their advantages and disadvantages. Before buying an h5 battery make sure to check the base hold down type, CCA/Ah rating, terminal type as well as orientation, etc.
Before buying an h6 battery make sure to check the nominal capacity of the battery, the battery’s RC ratings, CCA, MCA, base-hold down type, terminal types as well as orientation, etc. I have listed every detail you need to differentiate between h5 and h6 batteries. In case you have any questions regarding this article, let us know in the comments section below.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.