For years “Cold Cranking Amps (CCA tested at 0 F) have been the industry standard
of battery amp rating, but in recent years some battery marketers began testing
their products at different temperatures, which result in different ratings.
“Cranking amps”(CA), sometimes called “Marine Cranking Amps”(MCA), for example,
test battery performance at 32 F or 0 C, so the rating numbers will be higher
than a CCA rating. Since manufacturers’ specifications are based on 0 F, you
may want to base your buying decision on the CCA rating.
That’s why it is important to remember, batteries displaying higher rating
numbers don’t necessarily deliver more performance. Check your battery catalog/replacement
guide or your auto’s owner manual to make sure you are buying a product that
meets your vehicle’s requirements-and be sure to take a good look at the temperature
at which a battery has been tested and the reserve capacity. If you don’t examine
the battery label closely, you could end up with a product that is not really
powerful enough to serve your vehicle. With today’s electronically-sophisticated
equipment, your vehicle depends on your battery more than ever.
You also may see a battery rated with “Hot Cranking Amps”(HCA) or some other
unfamiliar rating. Most products marketed with an HCA rating promise better
performance in warm climates, but beware! Only CCA and CA ratings are approved
by the Battery Council
International(BCI). In fact, the BCI requires that “CA”-rated products carry a “CCA” rating with equal prominence so that proper comparisons can be made. You can’t really be sure of a rating that is not approved by the BCI.
Presented below is a table which shows the differences between CCA’s, CA’s and HCA’s.
To avoid the trap of such marketing gimmicks, you can calculate the approximate CCA from other ratings by the following formulas:
CA (@32 ) X .80 = CCA and HCA (@80) X 0.60 = CCA