Car Battery Capacity: Understanding Amp-Hour and CCA

January 27, 2012

You probably have heard of amp or AH hour and CCA car battery capacity, but what are they really? These are the standards that companies that make the batteries use to actually rate the battery’s output and capacity. Understanding them is not as hard as you may think, so consider the information below when you want to know your car batter life expectancy.


CCA or cold cranking amps is how they measure the number of amps that a battery should be able to deliver at zero degrees for thirty seconds and not dropping lower than 7.2 volts. A battery needs to get a high CCA rating, no matter the car battery size. The higher the CCA rating, the easier it will be to start up a vehicle in very cold weather. 

Amp Hour

The amp hour or AH is the rating that is found with the deep cycle batteries. Should the battery be rated at 100 amp hours, it probably should be able to deliver five amps for twenty hours and with 20 amps for five hours and so forth. 

Keeping Your Ratings Strong

How well you maintain your battery is very important to CCA and AH. You should make sure your battery is cleaned often. Use a solution of water and baking soda, with about two tablespoons of baking soda to one pint of water. This solution will easily help you clean the cables. The erosion and dirt that builds up can cause loose connections.

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