How much do you know about car batteries? Very little? … me too! Our NAPA buddies have given us some basic information about car batteries to get us up to speed.
When looking to replace a battery, you want to consider two things: 1) the cold cranking amps (CCA) and 2) the reserve capacity.
Cold Cranking Amps
CCA are generally listed on the battery and are like the power output used to start a cold vehicle engine. Being in Wisconsin, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where the weather is milder.
In colder weather, it takes more power to turn your vehicle’s engine over to get it started. The engine has to deal with your car’s cold, sluggish oil. Also, the chemical reaction, that creates electrical energy, is less efficient in the cold weather. You should get a battery that has at least or more cold cranking amps than the manufacturer recommends.
Reserve capacity, is the number of minutes, of reserve power, the battery has at any given time. This is especially important today because of our frequent use of technology that is used on a daily basis.
Even though your vehicle may be turned off, the battery power is still being used for your cell phones, tablets, your car’s security system or remote start capability that is left plugged in. Even your vehicle’s computers (that’s right, more than one) use the battery to retain their memory.
When we think about all that our vehicles’ batteries do on a daily basis, it’s amazing that they can last an average of three years!
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