What Are Cold Cranking Amps?

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If you’ve ever buy a car batteries, you’ve likely come across a CCA(Cold Cranking Amps) rating. What does that Cold Cranking Amp rating mean? And How to pick out the suitable CCA rating battery?

This article will explain what Cold Cranking Amps are, how much CCA is needed to start a car engine, and answer some other CCA-related FAQs.

What Are Cold Cranking Amps?

Cold Cranking Amps(CCA) is a rating that used in the battery industry to define a battery’s ability to start an engine in cold temperatures.

Generally speaking, it is easier to start an engine in a warm environment than in a cold one. Therefore, It measures how much current (measured in Amps) a new, fully charged 12V battery could deliver for 30 seconds while maintaining 7.2V at 0°F (-18°C).

The higher the CCA rating, the greater the starting power of the battery.

temperature in cold cranking amps
Temperature In Cold Cranking Amps

Should I Buy A Battery Based On The CCA Rating?

Ofcausewe need, If you live in a cold climate, the CCA rating is a more important consideration than it is if you live in a warm one. When the CCA of the battery you buy is less than the rated value, it is likely result in poor performance.

And using a lower CCA battery than the original battery may not give you enough power for your car. But choiceing one with a much higher CCA rating isn’t necessary. For the most part, an extra 200 CCA isn’t necessary and can cost more.

So, use the suitable CCA rating as a starting point.

Make sure your replacement battery has a CCA rating that is the same or slightly exceeds the original battery.

Just remember that a high CCA battery doesn’t mean it’s better than one with lower CCA. It just means that it has more power to crank an engine in freezing temperatures.

What Is The Difference Between CCA And MCA?

Many batteries typically also come with a MCA cranking amps. What is this mean?

MCA means Marine Cranking Amps, also called CA (cranking amps). fully charged 12V battery could deliver for 30 seconds while maintaining 7.2V at 32°F (0°C).

CCA means Cold Cranking Amps, It measures how much current (measured in Amps) a new, fully charged 12V battery could deliver for 30 seconds while maintaining 7.2V at 0°F (-18°C).

So for same battery,the cranking amps number will be higher than the CCA number, because of the warmer temperature.

How Many CCAs Do I Need In A Jump Starter?

Normally, vehicle manufacturers provide CCA requirements for each model and engine they produce. Check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to get this information.

Also you can caculate Cold Cranking Amp by yourself.

Generally, the rule of thumb is 1 CCA for every cubic inch of engine displacement (2 CCA for diesel engines).

You’ll often see engine displacement expressed in liters (L) or cubic centimeters (CC), which is the total cylinder volume of the engine.

1L is about 61 cubic inches (CID).

For example, a 3276 CC engine is rounded to 3.3L, which is equivalent to 201 cubic inches.

How do these numbers work with the car battery CCA?

Applying that rule of thumb we mentioned earlier would mean:

A 280 CCA battery would be more than enough for a 201 cubic inch V4 engine, but insufficient for a 400 cubic inch V8 engine.

Is larger CCA Better For Your Cars?

A car battery must only fit the minimum CCA requirements to work well. This means that if you have met or exceeded the CCA of the original battery, there is nothing to worry about.

A higher CCA battery can be more reliable and last longer. CCA decreases over time due to charge loss and other factors. Choosing a higher CCA battery can mean you have to replace it less often. It also means that your car will start reliably in colder temperatures. But the larger CCA also means the higher cost.

Does a Battery’s Cold Cranking Amps Decrease Over Time?

Over the course of its life, the battery lead plates will gradually deteriorate as your battery is used. When this happens, your battery will lose a portion of its overall capacity, decreasing the number of cold cranking amps. This is one of the reasons that an older battery is more likely to die in cold weather; it no longer has the CCAs necessary to overcome the effects of low temperatures.

If you’ve had your battery for three years or longer, it’s a good idea to have it looked at. Once your car battery have poor performance all the time, you may need change a new one.

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