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Is It Possible To Use a Battery with Higher Cranking Amps-Introduction, And Calculating

Feb 04, 2021   Pageview:285

Cranking Amps ratings refer to the output current that a car battery can provide. Most car owners come across this term when they are shopping for jump starters or battery replacement for their cars. And what's more interesting is that this rating can be adjusted as per car's mechanics to improve the performance.

At first, the term will seem confusing to you but know that it has the utmost importance. So, with this article, we are going to unveil the potential cranking amps hold and what effect it has on the car battery.

How many cranking amps should a battery have?

Before you learn how many cranking amps your battery should have, we suggest that you learn a little about the relative terms and understand the difference. Peak amps, Cranking amps, and Cold-cranking amps are three terms that you are going to hear more often. So, here is the explanation for them all.

  • Peak Amps- It is the maximum amount of power that a jump starter can discharge in the initial stage for a brief period.

  • Cranking Amps- Also known as Starting Amps, this is the amount of power that a battery can safely discharge and sustain for 30 seconds under 0°?Celsius.

  • Cold Cranking Amps- The amount of power that a battery can discharge and sustain for 30 seconds below -18°?C is considered as Cold Cranking Amps.

Now that we understand these terms, it'll be easier to determine how many amps you need for the battery. Jump starting the car battery is not an easy task. And that's why; you must know how many amps will be enough for a battery.

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For a consumer vehicle, 400 to 600 amps will be enough for cranking the battery. The required amount of amps depends on the size of the vehicle; the battery will be powering. In case you need to jump-start a commercial vehicle, the same cranking amps limit will go up to 1500 to 2000 amps. At the same time, a compact or small vehicle battery only needs around 150 amps to start.

Staying within these limits will be sufficient for the battery to ensure that it's safe to crank it up. As vehicles often face extreme temperatures, the CA number might vary. For example, if you live in colder regions, the battery of old vehicles might die or suffer from heavy discharge. At that point, you will need more power to start it. Alongside the weather conditions, other factors such as the age of the vehicle and depth of discharge also have a significant impact on the power you'll need for cranking.

Is it fine to use a battery with higher cranking amps?

Cranking amps are widely used as the benchmark measurement to compare batteries. For a very long time, the general assumption was that higher CA means more power, and hence, the battery will last longer. As a result, many manufacturers started to design batteries with excessive CA and CCA. But all this was happening at the expense of other relevant design factors for the batteries and the vehicle as well.

Yes, it is true that adding more plates into the battery generates a higher CA/CCA. But there is a downside to achieving this. The thickness and size of the plate and separator material are sacrificed to increase CA. We understand that in colder regions, higher Cold Cranking Amps are required, but using high CA in warmer regions will drive the battery as well as the vehicle to its early grave.

Up to this point, we understand that temperature plays a key role in determining the output power of the batteries. So, getting higher crank amps would be fine in cold areas. But for warmer regions, we suggest not to increase the amps as it will only increase the load on the batteries and they'll drop dead sooner.

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What happens if I use a battery with higher cranking amps?

Now, the question arises what could happen if you happen to use a battery in your vehicle with higher CA. Just like a hard strike on a ball can send it flying across a large field, the same observable fact can be used to explain what will happen to the battery if it gets higher cranking amps than necessary.

At first, let's add the fact that every battery manufacturer mentions the recommended amps for that particular battery. But some vehicle modification mechanics experiment with this power to make the car faster or in an attempt to improve performance. However, not all modifications will serve as it's intended to.

There is no doubt that more CA means more power. But if your battery is working fine and you live in a region where the temperature barely goes below 0°?Celsius, then we will advise against it. A higher CA is better when you need to jump-start a battery that is half dead or completely discharged. If not, the typical range for CA/CCA can be between 350 A to 600 A. It will also ensure that current can be applied without a voltage drop below 7.2 Volts.

With current technology development in batteries, the terms Cranking and Cold Cranking are used distinctively. The reason is that modern and old batteries' performance varies depending on the temperature conditions. That's the exact reason why you will experience a dead battery in vehicles during the winter season rather than summers.

Bottom Line:

If you are trying to jump-start a dead or discharged battery, then we can say that using higher Crank Amps is better as it offers more starting power. But for a regular working battery, staying within the limit of 350A to 600A is best. Even for battery replacement, try to choose a battery that comparatively offers a better cranking range than the previous one. Also, never choose a low CA battery than the original one, or it'll result in poor performance.


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