Car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things vehicle owners should know when looking for a battery replacement: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity.
Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power serge used to start a cold vehicle engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live…specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors being that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn it over and get it started. It has a lot of cold, sluggish oil to fight against. The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold.
So the colder the weather gets, more power is needed, but less is available. If you live where it’s cold, you need a battery replacement with more cold cranking amps than you would where there are moderate or hot temperatures. You should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as the manufacturer recommends but you may want to upgrade if you live where it gets real cold.
An important note: Batteries may also list the Cranking Amps-CA -number. It is the Cold Cranking Amps – or CCA – that is the important number here. CCA is the number to use in your comparisons.
After all this talk of cold temperatures, it’s important to note that heat is the real enemy of long battery life. In other words, the damage that’s done over the hot summer months shows up with the increased demands on the battery when the weather turns cold.
Now let’s talk about reserve capacity: It’s the measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off. So the power drawn by the vehicle security system, the remote start system – even the power the vehicle computers require to maintain their memory.
Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around town. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine.
So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer and upgrade if you need more. Talk with your Express Car Care service adviser about options. If you need more from your battery replacement, a larger capacity battery may be the answer.
Batteries are a big ticket item for most motorist, so the warranty gives peace of mind. Be sure to ask about the car battery warranty so you know what you’re getting. At Express Car Care, we have been providing quality auto service since 2000. Come in and see us.