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Batteries by the Numbers
CCA - Cold Cranking Amps is the number of amps a fully charged battery can deliver continuously for 30 seconds at 0 F (-17.8 C) while maintaining a minimum of 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts total). This is a measure of a battery's cranking power. Replacement batteries should have a CCA rating that is the same or higher than the original battery. The bigger the engine, the more CCAs is takes to crank it during cold weather.
CA - Cranking Amps, the number of amps a battery can deliver continuously for 30 seconds at 32 F (0 C). As a rule, a battery's CA rating will be 10% to 30% higher than its CCA rating. Less meaningful than CCA for cold climate applications, but looks good on paper.
RC - Reserve Capacity, a measure of how long a battery will continue to provide power should the charging system fail. The higher the amp hour rating , the better - but this number is harder to find and may not even be listed on a battery. What's more, many batteries with high CCA ratings achieve a high initial amp output at the expense of staying power.
DATE CODES - Number/letter codes that indicate when a battery was manufactured. The number indicates the year, and the letter corresponds to the month (A = January, B = February, C = March, etc.). Fresher is better.
GROUP SIZES - Numeric codes that correspond to a battery's height, width, length and post configuration. Most popular size is now Group 75, with Group 24 being second. Replacement battery group size must be compatible with application and OEM group size.
WARRANTY - 36, 48, 60, 72, and 84 correspond to the number of months of warranty coverage provided by the battery supplier. The longer the warranty, the better the battery.