Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source: CNET
Your car needs a battery to crank or start. Probably you have found yourself in situations whereby you try to start the vehicle but it doesn’t crank. In one instance, the dashboard lights may illuminate but the engine still refuses to crank.
One possible reason for this is inadequate amps. Key components are not getting the required power to start them off.
You already know that your car is rated 12 volts.
So, how many amps are needed to start a car?
It ranges between 200amps to 1000 amps. For small to average engine-sized vehicles will need 400 amps. Large engine-size will need 1000 amps.
But there is more to these numbers and this is the purpose of this article. For example, there are numerous other factors that affect the required cranking amps despite having stated the required amperes that you will need.
Keep reading to get more information.
What it takes to start a car?
Despite the advanced technology, starting a car entails a series of steps and procedures, all of which stem from the power source or the battery.
The main function of the battery is to supply the starting power that will be needed to start the motor. This battery must be well charged so that it will be able to provide the required amps for starting the vehicle.
The starter motor subsequently uses the power from the battery to turn the crankshaft of the engine. This will set off the combustion process of the cylinders. The fuel system will supply the required fuel to the vehicle through the injectors and the engine will start.
As the combustion continues, the engine will have sufficient power to continue running without depending on power from the battery.
A fault in any of the above components will prevent the vehicle from starting. For example, if the battery does not provide sufficient power, the engine will not crank. On the other hand, a faulty starter motor will not crank the engine, despite supplying it with sufficient power.
Engine size vs required amps
There is a direct connection between the engine size of the vehicle vs the amps required to start the vehicle. The larger the engine, the more the amps will be needed to crank up the car.
For example, you may ask about how many amps to start an SUV or how many amps to start a truck.
One of the reasons why large engines need more amps is they tend to have more components than the small engines. Also, the key electronic components on larger engines have high ratings. The higher the electrical rating the more the amps it will need to be set off.
Another reason why you will need more amps for the larger engine size is the compression ratio. The fuel and air in the larger engine will require more force to be compressed. This can only be achieved if adequate number of amps is supplied.
The weight of the components is also a key reason why larger engines require more amps. These engines tend to have heavier components that can only be cranked with adequate amps.
Type of engine
Other than the engine size, you have to consider the type of the engine when analyzing the minimum amperage to start a car. Two cars can have the same engine size but different starting amperage. It all boils down to the type of engine used.
Car engines come in different makes and design features. You may ask yourself, how many amps to start a V8 engine?
Some of the features that differentiate one engine from another and can affect the starting amps include the following.
-Number of cylinders in the engine: The required starting amps may depend on the number of cylinders in that engine. The more the cylinders the higher the starting amp that will be required. This is based on the fact that this engine has more components.
-Engine configuration: In this context, engine configuration refers to the arrangement of cylinders on the engine. It also refers to the size of the crankshaft. This will end up affecting the amount of current that will be needed to start the vehicle.
-Compression ratio: Different engines have different compression ratio. The higher the ratio, the more the amps will be needed to start it.
Once you analyze the features and properties of your engine, you will be able to predict the number of amps that will be needed to start it.
Weather can affect the amps
This is something that every car owner must have experienced. Your car struggles to start during cold days than during warm or hot days. This implies that the car will require higher amps to start during cold temperature than during warm/hot temperature.
Why is this the case? Well, it is all about the impact of the temperature on the car’s engine oil. Low temperature causes a car’s engine to thicken and this will slow down the way it reacts to the electric current.
A car that normally starts with 500 amps will require up to 600 amps.
And this is where the concept of cold cranking amps (CCA) and is usually higher than the standard amps.
During winters or you live in an area with cold climate it will be smart to but ca car battery with a high CCA. It is built to start your vehicle regardless of the low environmental temperatures.
Now that you know how many amps are needed to start your vehicle, what next?
You are now in a perfect position to buy a battery that will meet the minimum amperage that will start your car.
Remember to keep in mind all the above factors that will have an impact on the final amps requirement. When the vehicle refuses to start despite using the right type of battery, then you should proceed to analyze these other factors.
Finally, ensure that your vehicle is fitted with premium quality electronic components that will not hinder it from starting.
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