How many cold cranking amps should I have for my 2001 SL1 Saturn
I need a new battery. I live in Colorado where it get below zero usually one or two days a year. I have a 4 cylinder 1.9 engine. I priced a couple of places that had batteries in the 650 to 720 cranking amp range. I found a place that had a better price for a 60 month 550 cranking amp battery. Is that enough power for my need?
By the way my Saturn is seven and a half years old and has 154,000 miles. The battery is starting to get a little draggy on cold mornings but this is the original battery. I am impressed.
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Cold can definitely be the culprit. When you say the battery is "good", what are you basing that on ? And most people in the northern climates know that they need a really high cranking amp battery to be able to perform well on cold mornings. If you have a "cheap" battery, or got your car from a southern area, chances are that your battery has low cranking amps, and won't start your car in extreme cold (or extreme heat). See how many "cold cranking amps" or CCA your battery is rated at. It should be displayed on the top of the battery. If its low (300-500) that's probably your problem. If it's high, (800 & up) and your battery is actually reading 12 volts, your problem is likely somewhere else. Also the larger motor you have, the more CCA you need. Example, a small 4 cylinder escort may get by fine with a 500 CCA battery in cold weather, but a big V8 in a large truck may not turn over with a 500 CCA battery in below zero weather. Here is a good article to read. Car Battery Know How Cold Cranking Amps and Reserve Capacity
After trying to read this a couple times to get the gist, I would definitely have the battery tested for it's cold-cranking amps. Regular voltage and power can register normal, but the cold-cranking amps are what matter when starting the car. Also, if there is any problem with your alternator, it can be draining your battery of the juice it needs. After testing the alternator, check for any belts that may be too tight, causing the starter to have to work harder than it should when cranking over to start the car.
It's the battery. Remove and have it tested at your local auto parts store. If you can jump start it go ahead and remove the negative battery cable while the car is on and if it turns off after you unplug your cable then your alternator is bad, if that's the case, then you may need to replace both at the same time since a bad alternator can fry the battery. If the car stays on after you remove the negative battery cable then the alternator is doing it's job and is OK, all you need is a new battery. Good luck
It depends on where you live. the colder environments you want high cold cranking amps. warmer climates dont require high cold cranking amps.. A buy 750 amps or higher for my cars. I live in Oklahoma. It can get below zero here. If you want a quality battery remember this. Batteries are made by two different companies regardless of the sticker on the battery. The highest quality batteries weigh more. Optima are the best, but cost $120 and up.