CCA rating measures the cranking power a battery has available to start a car’s engine at 0 degrees F. Battery Council International defines CCA as the number of amperes a lead acid battery at 0 degrees F can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell.
Cranking Amp Rating is similar to CCA. Cranking amps is a measure of the number of amperes a lead acid battery at 32 degrees F can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell. (This rating is more commonly used in climates where temperatures drop to 0 Celsius)
RC is the length of time the battery can maintain the vehicle’s electrical needs in the event the alternator fails. Battery Council International defines Reserve Capacity as a measure of the time (in minutes) a lead-acid battery can deliver 25 amps at 80 degrees F and maintain terminal voltage of at least 1.75 volts/ cell.
Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It will provide you with the vehicle manufacturer’s group size and CCA rating requirements for your car. You could also ask your battery retailer to refer to their battery application materials for recommended fitment.
Remember: Never use a battery with a CCA lower than the manufacturer’s recommendation. A battery with a higher CCA is more capable of providing for the electrical needs of older vehicles, and does not adversely affect the vehicle’s electrical system.
A modern automobile’s vehicle’s charging system consists of 3 major components:
Alternator – Mechanical device driven by the engine accessory belt. It provides continuous voltage to replenish the battery while the engine is running.
Voltage Regulator – Monitors the battery’s state of charge and adjusts alternator activity as necessary to charge the vehicle’s battery and provide power necessary to run accessories.
Battery – An electrical reservoir used to store electrical energy until it is needed by the vehicle’s starting system to crank the engine and power the fuel and ignition systems.
Cold temperatures negatively affect the effectiveness of chemical reactions within the battery. This happens due to an increase in the battery’s internal resistance. This causes a reduction in cranking power as temperatures drop. Internal components and containers can get damaged if a battery is left in a discharged state. Cars require high cranking power in cold weather, due to the fact that motor oil becomes thicker in colder temperatures.
Extreme heat causes the water in the battery’s electrolyte to evaporate. Further, heat causes a battery’s positive plate grids to corrode more rapidly. Both of these conditions are detrimental to the long-term life of a battery.
All batteries contain acid and can cause injury if not handled with extreme care.
- Wear proper eye and skin protection.
- Charge only in an area where ventilation is adequate and the battery is unlikely to be disturbed.
- Never attempt to charge a frozen battery.
- Always keep vent caps in place while charging.
- Never allow anyone to smoke around a charging battery.
- Unplug charger before connecting the battery. Be sure to observe proper polarity when connecting charger leads to the battery.
- Refer to the charger manufacturer’s instructions for safe charger operation.
- Wear proper eye and skin protection.
- Connect the positive cable to the positive terminal of the discharged battery.
- Connect the other end of the same cable to the positive post on the boosting vehicle’s battery.
- Connect the negative (black) cable to the negative post of the booster battery.
- Make final jumper cable connection to the engine block of the stalled vehicle.
- Start disabled vehicle and disconnect cables in reverse order, taking precautions to keep all hands, clothing, hair and cables out of all moving parts.
Batteries are classified into two types on the basis of recharging capability. One is known as Primary Cell Battery and another Secondary Cell Battery. You may wonder what it means but remember that most of the automotive batteries sold today are WET CHARGED BATTERIES.
- Primary Cell Battery: This type covers mostly alkaline batteries used in Radio, Flashlights and small toys. The chemical reactions generally destroys or completely changes properties of inside contents leaving the battery dead. Since this type of battery entail irreversible chemical reaction. Hence, this type of battery can only be used once and are not Re-chargeable.
- Secondary Cell Battery: Such type of batteries have in built reversal chemical system and thus can be recharged after discharge. Although, secondary cell battery and its materials do have a certain age, yet they have advantage over primary cell in recharge capability and hence the later last long. When current is drawn from the battery, the lead metal plates tend to acquire each others’ properties and the acid strength weakens. This process is known as battery discharge. However, this process is reversible and when current is supplied to the battery, the inside components restore their properties, thus recharging the battery for next use. Automotive batteries fall in Secondary Cell category and they eliminate the need of replacing battery every-time one starts the vehicle.
An automobile battery is a lead acid battery. It contains several bunches of positive and negative lead plates called electrodes. The electrodes are submerged in the electrolyte solutions comprising 36 % and 64 % H2SO4 ( diluted Acid). A battery may contain several cells, and in each cell there could be bunch of several positive & negative cells bunched together but contains separator of fiberglass in between two plates.
Any two metals placed in acid solution have capability to produce the electric potential across two terminals. When connected together the current flows from negative to positive terminal. In case of a lead acid battery, the positive plate is made of reddish-brown material such as lead oxide while the negative plate is made of grayish material called sponge lead. In presence of electrolyte, when terminal are connected in circuit, electrons flow from negative to positive plate producing electric current.
Battery stores chemical energy which, when used, is converted to electrical energy. However, in case of lead acid battery the chemical process is reversible. i.e. when reverse current is applied back to the battery by alternator of vehicle; it restores chemical properties capable of delivering current for further use. In day to day life, these process are known as charging and discharging in continuous manner and hence called battery cycling.
No, Automotive batteries are generally used for short burst of high current for few seconds to merely start engine. After vehicle cranking is performed the alternator starts charging the battery for the loss of current used in starting the vehicle. Thus automotive battery do not discharge completely. Since the automotive battery are not designed for deep cycling hence any accidental deep cycle will cause excessive damage to the battery, shorten its age and at worst may render the battery completely dead.
However, in case of inverter, go-cart, marine and telecoms applications, the batteries are designed to be discharged completely thus increasing the strength to withstand frequent compete discharged. Recharging a lead acid battery can cause excessive heat that may lead to the damage of active matter of plates. Its is why, thicker and stronger grid plates are used in deep cycle batteries. On the other hand automotive batteries use thinner & weak plates.
you can then add more electrolyte or replenish it.
Yes, Lead acid battery is a hazardous product. It contains acid and poisonous lead that require extremely cautious handling. Any mishandling may lead to skin burn, poisoning or injury to eyes.
Acid is very corrosive and if your skin gets in touch with the acid, you are required to flush the contact area with large quantity of water. A mild solution of baking soda and water neutralizes the acid.
During recharging of the battery, highly flammable hydrogen gas is released and thus you are advised to keep the battery away from flames, hot surfaces to prevent violent explosion.