If you are living in a comparably cold area, you might have faced a common problem with your car that is the engine does not start easily.
Yes, the temperature is the main culprit behind this everyday hassle. As we can’t control the weather and temperature, we need to think of some alternative solutions for the engine of our vehicle. Your car’s battery might not have Cold Cranking Amps included. Wait..!! Here the question arises, “What does Cold Cranking Amps??”
You are at the right place to know about CCA and how this term helps one out of this kind of problem mentioned above. Let’s dive in..!!
What Is Cold Cranking Amps In A Car
In the battery industries, the term Cold Cranking amps refers to the rating of determining the ability of the battery to start the engine in a very cold environment. To be more detailed, a certain amount of current from a 12-volt battery cranks the engine in -18℃ or 0℉ temperature while maintaining a minimum of 7.2volts.
This special feature is very popular worldwide especially in the North American regions as well as Europe. Due to the extreme cold weather condition and high compression engine, it takes too much time to start a vehicle such as a heavy truck or lory.
Back at the beginning of the 20th century, when automotive car engines or batteries were not invented, people used hand-crank machines to start their vehicles. This hand-crank required a lot of human strength and risk to start any engine.
However, around the 1910s, Cadillac introduced the world with electronic engine starters by using batteries. Well from then newer advancements were introduced to the world of automobile industries and paved the way for inventing Cold Cranking Amps.
Popularity of Cold Cranking Ampere
As Cold Cranking amps are very helpful for every automotive car owner in all the regions of the world except some warm places like Australia battery brands circulated the benefit of this advanced technology worldwide and they hit their target successfully. These battery manufacturing companies have created the craze among the people to use their batteries with CCA by using the term “the more, the better” in their advertisements.
How Much CCA Need to Start A Car
Well, the amount of cold Cranking Amps is depended on some specific factors such as the size of the engine, environment temperature, and also the viscosity of engine oil. If you are living in a very cold climate, you must give high priority to the amount of CCA in your battery. But the opposite scenario can be taken into consideration if you are in warm countries.
According to the one thumb rule, 1 CCA is needed for each cubic inch of the engine’s displacement. For example, a 280 CCA battery would be enough for a `140 cubic inch V4 engine but not enough for a 350 cubic inches V8 engine. However, in the cold climate, add 20% more CCA to the battery for a better start of your engine. For instance, you can add a 420 CCA battery for a 350 cubic inches engine.
Note: For the diesel engine displacement, you need 2 CCA instead of 1 CCA for each cubic inch.
How to Check CCA of Battery
One can not calculate accurately the performance but estimate the performance of the battery by the rating of CCA to be hassle-free in a cold situation where the engine might not start. To measure the CCA of a battery you need a carbon pile and a battery that has 80%-90% of SoC and then it should be loaded with 50% of rated CCA for 15 seconds.
Here the temperature also has to be half(15 seconds) of the normal duration. If the CCA of the battery is not enough, the engine won’t start and also other parts of your vehicle might be stressed by the extra heat and uneven power supply.
What is CA, HCA, and PHCA
Like the batteries of the cold regions have some special characteristics. Batteries of the warm regions / marine areas have also cranking amps different from CCA batteries. Since the temperature is high, the battery starts performing at 32℉ or 0℃. However, the other rating scale is almost the same as the Cold Cranking Amp.
Cranking Ampere (CA) also known as Marine Cranking Amp (MCA) performs a certain amount of current from a 12-volt battery cranks the engine in 0℃ or 32℉ temperature while maintaining a minimum of 7.2volts.
Hot Cranking Ampere (HCA) works at the same process as CA and CCA work. It delivers current at a minimum of 7.2 volts when the 12-volt battery is fully charged and it takes 30 seconds. But the difference is the temperature that is 80℉ or 26.7℃. HCA batteries mainly work in the warm area compared to CCA.
Pulse Hot Cranking Ampere (PHCA) rating is specially created to use for the batteries of racing vehicles. It measures a fully charged 12V battery sends current maintaining a voltage of 7.2 for 5 seconds at 0℉ or -18℃ temperature.
Importance of Having CCA In A Car
Cold Cranking Ampere is essential for starting vehicles engines in extremely cold conditions. However, the type of CCA rating varies from vehicle to vehicle. It also depends on the size of the engine, temperature of the place, engine oils viscosity, circuit resistance, and also the accessory loads of the vehicle.
For example, a private car’s engine is different from a truck. A truck’s engine is different from a racing car’s engine. So, the CCA of these vehicles depends on the different characteristics of these vehicles’ engines. Don’t worry, the manufacturer of these vehicles consider all requirements to supply you with the perfect CCA rating battery.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why CCA is used instead of HCA?
The temperature depends highly on the rating of cranking Ampere. If an HCA (Hot Cranking Ampere) is used in a cold region like North America or Europe, the engine will not start as there will not be enough current in the required duration(30 seconds). The same phenomenon will occur in the case of CCA (Cold Cranking Ampere).
- Is 800 Cold Cranking Ampere is enough for my car?
Generally, a battery with a CCA of 600-720 is enough for a car to get started in a cold climate. Keeping an 800CCA battery means you can start your car in any weather condition.
- When do I need to replace my battery?
Consider changing your vehicle’s battery when you notice these symptoms given below.
- Starting motor faces interrupted/slow turnover.
- The battery discharge light is lighted on the instrument panel.
- Loss of power in extreme temperature
- Do higher CCA batteries last longer?
Yes, if you have the highest rated CCA in your battery, then the battery will last the longest. However, one should select CCA according to the weather condition and its application.
Having a Cold Cranking Ampere in your vehicle’s battery, you can now be relaxed from the tension of facing an unwanted situation of not getting the engine started. Make sure the battery is providing a CCA rate while buying your car about what does Cold Cranking Amps mean and how much is needed for your vehicle.
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