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Low CCA Battery Symptoms-Effects and Problems:
CCA means "Cold Cranking Amperage", or cold starting current (these are Amperes). It means that so much current can be delivered by the battery at low temperatures.
The battery is an energy accumulator whose main function is to start the vehicle's engine. But there are times that this does not start. With minimal care, this would not have happened to us.
The first thing that comes to mind is to load it, although not everything is as simple as it seems. If you have already made the first mistake by having allowed your battery to reach a point where it is not able to start your motorcycle, now do not trip over another stone when carrying out a charging process that does not take into account the conditions of your model. And in the medium term, consider a correct maintenance schedule so that you do not have to go through all this ordeal again.
What are the main functions of a battery?
1. Provide power to start the starter motor and to the ignition system to start the engine.
2. Offer additional power when the electrical demand of the vehicle exceeds that supplied by the system.
3. Protect the electrical system and its components (alternator, starter motor, onboard computer, and others), stabilizing the voltage and compensating or reducing the variations that could occur within the system.
What is Cold Cranking or CCA of a battery?
This information is essential to know when we are going to use our batteries in applications where there is a high current demand or also known as a starting peak.
For example, starting an engine, maneuvering a bow thruster, compressors, etc... This type of load has a nameplate or technical data sheet where we can check the intensity they require.
Cold Cranking Capacity, also known as Cold Cranking (CCA) is the high-intensity current that the battery can provide at very low temperatures. To measure it, the battery must be subjected to a constant current discharge, under given conditions of temperature (-18o C / 0o F), final voltage, and time according to SAE standard.
The acceptance criterion for this test is that the voltage between terminals is greater than or equal to 1.2 Volt per cell (VPC) or 7.2 Volt voltage for 12 Volt batteries, 30 seconds after starting the discharge.
Difference Between Starting Capacity and Cold Starting Capacity:
The difference is given by the temperature at which the test is carried out. The cold-cranking capacity (CCA) is measured at -18o C / 0o F, while the starting capacity (CA) is measured at 0o C. This value is always higher since the battery is larger temperature has better performance.
What happens if CCA is too low?
The CCA figure is important in vehicles because the battery must deliver very high currents when starting the engine. If the CCA figure is low, it will be more likely to fail when it is cold since in this condition the battery is capable of delivering less energy and on the other hand, the engine is "harder" to start.
In case your battery’s CCA is too low then the motor will not receive the sufficient current it requires during the start-up process. Also, it can cause additional stress and heat on the parts of the motor since the electric motor will be ravenous of current.
What causes low CCA?
The most common cause of battery failure is acid stratification. A light acid confined plate activation. Also, it promotes corrosion and eventually reduces the performance of the battery. Conversely, high acid concentration on the bottom side artificially raises the open-circuit voltage. The battery appears charged fully but it only provides a low CCA.
What should we consider when buying a battery?
Interestingly, the Ah (Ampere-Hour) figure, which is the one commonly used to buy a new battery, is the least relevant of the three in automotive use (in fact there are prestigious factories that do not even indicate it in the sign). And this is interesting because weak batteries are sold with respectable Ah values.
Therefore, it is essential to look at the other two figures. The new battery should ideally have all three figures (Ah, CCA, and RC) equal to or greater than the original battery. But of these three, the number that best gives an idea of the strength of the battery (and that few people take into account) is the Reserve of Load (RC).
You can see that those cheap 55 Ah supermarket batteries usually have CR figures of the order of 60 minutes or less, while if you scale in prices the CR values will reach values of 70, 80, or more for them.
What problems can a low battery cause?
Following are some of the problems can a low battery cause.
Variable Climate Control:
Whatever the air conditioning system of your car, it will depend on the electrical supply of the vehicle and therefore, on the battery. If you start to suffer episodes of out-of-control, sudden cuts in the air conditioning or heating ... the battery may be about to run out.
The definitive clue that your battery has run out is that the car will not start, although it can also be a discharge caused by some other problem that you should assess. In any case before that total failure, the car may have given you some clues in the form of late starts, expensive, or strange noises.
The windshield wiper system also depends directly on the car's electrical supply - it drains the battery - so its failures can be correctly linked to possible problems in the car's battery. Even if it does not rain and especially when you have not used them for a while, it is worth checking their use, in different modes and/or speeds.
If you have doubts about the condition of your battery, even if you are not a professional or even a motor enthusiast, a simple visual inspection of the battery can give you some important clues and a fairly reliable indication as to whether you need to change it soon or at least have it checked. the complete and professional way in a workshop. Be suspicious of batteries with visible damage to the part itself or around it, oxides and signs of corrosion are not a good sign, also look at the cables and do not trust if they are damaged, peeled, or aged.