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Understanding Cold Cranking Amps Vs. Reserve Capacity

batteries toronto

Do you need to purchase a battery for your car? If so, there are two ratings that are important to consider: the one for cold cranking amps (CCA) and the one for reserve capacity (RC). Here’s an overview of how to evaluate both of these ratings.


Cold Cranking Amps

The CCA rating is used to define a battery’s ability to start an engine in cold temperatures. The rating refers to the number of amps a 12-volt battery can deliver at -18 C for 30 seconds while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts. The higher the CCA rating, the more starting power the battery has. Therefore, if you live in a cold climate, a battery’s CCA rating is an important consideration. In addition, since battery starting power deteriorates as the battery ages, a battery with a higher CCA rating will be more reliable.

Furthermore, the cranking amps required to start an engine vary from vehicle to vehicle and depend on several factors, including the engine size, circuit resistance and engine oil viscosity. For example, a four-cylinder engine could require just as much cranking power as an eight-cylinder engine as it may need to crank faster to start. If you’re in the market for a new car battery and are unsure what CCA rating is right for you, the staff at Prairie battery can help.


Reserve Capacity

Reserve capacity is a rating used to define the amount of time a fully charged 12-volt battery at 26 C can be continuously discharged at 25 amperes before falling below the minimum voltage. This number can help you determine how long the battery will be able to operate your vehicle’s essential accessories, such as the headlights and windshield wipers if the alternator fails.

Consequently, a battery with high reserve capacity ensures your vehicle has the power to run your accessories. Essentially, the higher the reserve capacity, the less likely you are to become stranded if you run into car trouble. In fact, reserve capacity ratings have become more important than ever since modern vehicles are now equipped with several electronic accessories that require a significant amount of power.

However, you shouldn’t simply choose the battery with the longest reserve capacity you can find. It’s important to consult your owner's manual to find out the recommended reserve capacity rating for your particular car model.


Automotive Batteries in Toronto & Across The Prairies

Prairie Battery specializes in automotive batteries. We carry an impressive selection of AGM, lead-acid and gel batteries from industry-leading brands to ensure you get the best quality product. In addition, we have a large inventory of booster packs, chargers and other accessories to ensure you stay safe on the road. Contact us for expert advice and service.



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