How Many Cold Cranking Amps Do I Need?

Most car owners know that they needed a steady cold-cranking amp to start their engine. To provide this, car owners would opt to choose a battery with higher cold-cranking amps to give them the needed power in starting their engine without having any problems.

But how many cold-cranking amps do I need? The rate of CCA or cold-cranking amps required to start the engine depends from one car to another. It also depends on the size of the engine, the circuit resistance, viscosity of the engine oil, the temperature, and the loads of accessories you have in your vehicle.

An engine with four-cylinder may have the same CCA as the eight-cylinder engine because it needed a faster cranking to start the engine. All these are required and considered when choosing the right battery for your car.

It is indeed a case to case basis as to how much CCA or cold-cranking amps needed by the vehicle. It is also essential that you know the loading capacity of your car before buying a battery.

What Are a Cold-Cranking Amps?

We have been talking about CCA or cold-cranking amps but do we know what it means besides needing it during the start-up of our vehicles? CCA generally refers to the starting batteries.

It is the measurement of the ability of the battery to provide the needed power in a quick time. It tells us how many currents can a lead-acid battery provide in 30 seconds at zero degrees Celsius as the voltage dropped to a low 7.2 V.

How Many Amps Do I Need For a Car With Four Cylinders?

There are load testers made explicitly for car batteries.They usually use a carbon-pile in simulating the start of a vehicle at room temperature and will draw the battery to a low 8 Volts.

They will then monitor the cell on how fast it bounces back to 12.4 up to 12.6 V on a full charge range. The result will either pass or fail. You can also use a digital battery tester while the battery is still connected. This tester will measure the parasitic drain if there’s any. It will also determine if the cell or array can be able to charge itself while resting.

After all these tests and the battery still fails, then it must already be replaced. You need to remember that when you buy a battery, you have to make sure that it has high cold-cranking amps to turn on your starter efficiently.

V-8 engines need a battery with higher CCA compared to a four-cylinder car. However, some specifications of the OE requires a minimum CCA of 400 to 500 to start the engine efficiently.

What is Considered to Be a Good CCA Rating For a Battery?

Typically, it is easier to start an engine in a hot and tropical country. However, if you live in a place where the temperature is low, CCA or cold-craking amps is of utmost importance. The starting power of a battery depletes as the battery age in time.

A battery with a high starting power must be able to give you enough confidence in time. Your replacement batteries should excel if not equal in terms of rating with the OE battery. If your battery replacement has a lower CCA rating than the OE, then expect reduced performance.

Can We Measure Cold Cranking Amps?

CCA or cold-cranking amps merely is unmeasurable. However, we can estimate it, and the process for estimation may take a week for one battery. That is why the full CCA testing is very seldom done because of its tedious process.

In testing the CCA, one must apply a different current discharge to check which amperage is keeping the battery on top of the set voltage while the engine is cold.

Can We Restore Cold Cranking Amps?

Starter batteries can still be restored. First, you need to test it by using a device that can aptly read the CCA or the cold-cranking amp. However, it cannot give you a reliable outcome for the test.

Some stationary batteries that are also lead-acid batteries require to have their capacity tested by using the charge/discharge process. Failures in these battery types are usually permanent and irreversible. However, it can still be restored depending on some circumstances.

Does Higher Cranking Amps Work Better?

When buying a car battery, one of the most critical factors that you need to consider is the cold-cranking amps. It still holds up to now. Cold-cranking amps will tell you the battery’s ability to work. The higher the CCA or cold-cranking amps of the cell, the best it is for your car or vehicle.

However, you should not confuse it with CA or cranking amps. Cranking amps are going on at a rate of 32 degrees F, while Cold-cranking amps have a scale of zero.

When the temperature gets high as they do the rating, the higher the digits, too, the rate of the CA may be useful and impressive, but that is not the case. You must rely on the scale of the cold-cranking amps.

In the past, where you owned an average car, it usually has enormous starters. Things have changed and have evolved into the new starters. It has become more efficient. The cold-cranking amps have been modified a bit by adding something to increase its efficiency rating, and we call it the RC or the reserve capacity.

Should I Replace My Car Battery Based on the CCA Value?

Most battery manufacturers would say that once your battery has lost its cold-cranking capacity, it will start showing symptoms of battery failure. Manufacturers would say that their batteries are designed to work efficiently at 600 CCA. If the CCA fell below that number, your battery will start showing symptoms of failure.

Some old batteries that have already aged past their warranty period will fail considerably during the winter season. You will notice that your battery already have starting problems as the weather becomes colder. You can always jump start your battery.

It is also advisable to use a battery maintainer during the winter season and in times when you will be storing your vehicle.

So, the question of how many cold cranking amps do I need depends on what your vehicle requires. Check your vehicle specifications thoroughly, and from there you can determine how much cold-cranking amps you need for your car.

Sources:
1. How many CCA do you REALLY need? – mechanic.com.au
2. Tech 101 – Selecting the proper battery – Hemmings Motor News
3. Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) – Autobatteries.com
4. BU-902a: How to Measure CCA – Battery University
5. Battery Replacement – MotorWeek