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Help Center Low Temperature Series What Are Cold Cranking Amps?

What Are Cold Cranking Amps?

Cold-cranking amps refer to a rating system that defines a battery’s ability to start or crank an engine in cold temperatures. Starting your engine is one of the largest concerns when it comes to vehicles, whether they are land or water-based, and not all batteries function optimally in more harsh weather. For some, mainly those who are in consistently colder climates, a greater amount of power is needed to start a car or boat battery compared to those living in locations with warmer temperatures.

A CCA rating will, more than anything, inform you as to how many amps are needed to make sure cold weather does not inhibit your ability to start your engine. To enable buyers the ability to make the optimal battery selection, the CCA rating lets you know the number of amps that are produced by a charged battery during a 30-second period while maintaining at least 7.2 volts at a temperature of 0°F (-18°C).

For batteries that need to be started frequently in cold conditions, this is vital information to have because cold weather can have a strong impact on a battery’s ability to start. Cold weather simply causes batteries to operate less efficiently and for their reaction times to slow down. If you live in a colder location, the CCA rating can help guide you toward the best choice.

If you’re wondering how many CCAs you will need, a good rule of thumb is that an engine will need about one amp per cubic inch of engine displacement. For the majority of vehicles, this means between 250 and 600 CCA, depending on the size of your engine, though buses or larger RVs could require as much as 1,000 CCA.

For more information on cold cranking amps and how they affect your engine read this article.