Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image of car battery source Pixabay
Cold cranking amps (CCA): What is is and why should I care about it? If you are planning to buy a car battery, or any other battery that will be used for starting a motor, you have all the reasons to care about the CCA value.
Cold cranking amps refers to the amount of current that a battery should provide in order to crank up the motor.
How many amps should the battery provide?
Well, this is not a fixed value. Instead, it depends on various factors such as engine size, temperature, type of engine, size of engine, general weather conditions among others.
In this article, we are going to look into the details of the cold cranking amps that you need.
We will also guide you into choosing the right battery and the related accessories for powering up your vehicle.
Why should I care about cold cranking amps?
Perhaps you are wondering why you should bother to care about the cold cranking amps of a vehicle.
You should care about the CCA as it is the ultimate measurement of the battery’s performance in cold weather.
The battery should be able to supply adequate current to the vehicle even at the coldest temperatures while at the same time maintain the required voltage.
Cold cranking amps is also important because during cold days, engine oil tend to thicken. In doing so, it slows down the chemical reaction of the battery hence it will be hard to supply the required current to crank up.
A battery whose CCA is high will be able to start the engine fast and efficiently even during cold days. On the other hand, a battery with a low CCA will struggle to do so under the same conditions.
Obviously, you will go for a battery with a high cold cranking amps.
How many CCA do I need to start a car?
As we have already stated, the size of the car is one of the key requirements. The CCA requirement for most small to medium cars is between 350- 500. Actually, most cars will need up to 600 CCA to start in cold weather.
How did we arrive at this figure?
The rule of thumb for estimating the approximate CCA rating is that a typical motor needs 1 CCA per the engine displacement, which is measured in terms of the cubic inches.
But there is more to it beyond the engine size.
Cold cranking amps calculator
The easiest way to determine the CCA is to use a cold cranking amps calculator. It will give you the most accurate CCA rating that is required for any specific vehicle.
The calculator takes into account different factors that affect the power of a battery to start the engine at cold weather.
For example, the calculator will consider the size of the engine, temperature and altitude of the area.
How do I use a cold cranking amps calculator?
To use this calculator, simply key in the information about your vehicle. This data includes vehicle’s make, the model, engine size.
Most advanced CCA calculators can even take extra data such as weather, temperature and altitude of the area. They have the geolocation feature to collect such data.
The calculator will then use the data to estimate the required CCA rating of the battery that you should use on that particular vehicle.
You can be sure of getting more accurate values when using advanced calculators.
You should also consult your vehicle’s manual or data sheet to get get accurate CCA values.
How many cold craning amps do I need for a V8 engine?
We all know that V8 engines are quite big, so they will need high amount of CCA, even when installed on small vehicles.
It is estimated that average CCA rating for a V8 engine is between 700 and 800.
This range considers the fact that these engines come in different sizes and also specific models of vehicles. Some vehicles have more electrical demands than others, so they will need higher CCA rating.
How many cold cranking amps for V6 engine?
Just like in the case of V8 engine, the CCA for a V6 engine will also depend on the specific model. Otherwise, it ranges between 550 to 650.
Take time to consult the manual of the vehicle so that you can find out its accurate rating.
How many cold cranking amps for a motorcycle?
Here, you have to consider the engine size of the motorcycle in question. We have motorcycles that have small engines such as 50cc and others have large engines as high as 1400cc.
So, the CCA can be 125CCA for small motorcycles. Medium to large-sized motorcycles will need up to 500 CCA rating.
How many CCA for lawn mower?
Since lawn mowers also have motors, you will have to consider the CCA battery that you will use.
Small to medium-sized lawn mowers will need CCA rating of between 100 to 200. This rating is ideal for the push lawn mowers.
Drivable lawn mowers tend to have bigger engines and their CCA requirement can be as high as 400.
However, you should still check the specifications of the mower so that you can know the exact size of its engine.
What s the highest CCA?
Is there a battery that has the highest CCA? And where can I find such a battery?
To be frank, there is no single battery with the highest cold crank amperes rating.
However you ca find batteries whose CCA rating can be as high as 1200.
Such type of battery should be able to crank up the motor without any resistant. It is an ideal choice for extreme cold conditions.
What are the dangers of using such a battery on a small CCA-rated motor?
There is no defined risk of your engine is rated 500 and you use a 1000 CCA battery.
However the excess cranking power can lead to overheating and current overload.
This is the main reason why we advise to stick to the recommended CCA for your vehicle.
I hope that with this guide, you will be able to choose a battery with the right cold cranking amps.
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