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Getting Long Battery Life is a Matter of Balance

December 10th, 2013 by
That's an impressive balancing act. Can your car's battery say the same?

That’s an impressive balancing act. Can your car’s battery say the same?

Getting the longest battery life can depend on how you balance three factors: the vehicle, the battery and the climate. Fortunately, there’s technical information that guides Interstate Batteries and its dealers to offer customers the right battery.

For example, we know that Minneapolis, Minn., experiences a lot of daily temperatures below 0° F (-17.8° C) between November and March each year. Miami doesn’t normally fall below 50° F (10° C) during winter months.

Our decades of experience in the battery business tells us there are certain common rules to long battery life, such as:

  • Vehicles require a higher rated Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and Reserve Capacity (RC) performance battery in northern climates and lower ratings in southern climates.
  • Batteries with high CCA values require more internal plates per cell, which results in less internal cooling ability.
  • Vehicle under-hood temperatures have risen over the last decade. High heat causes reduced battery life, especially in southern climates.
  • Batteries in southern climates can suffer reduced life when too high of a CCA value is chosen.

Cold to Moderate Climates

121013_1854_GettingLong1.pngWhen choosing the proper battery for a vehicle, is CCA the only consideration in the North? No. Consider the RC rating also. For example, if a battery has a rating of 100 minutes based on 80° F (26.7° C), it will only have an estimated 40 minutes of reserve minutes at 0° F (-17.8° C).

Now consider that with all of the electronic accessories, plus the normal vehicle’s electrical loads, a vehicle may be discharging the battery at every stop light and stop-and-go traffic situation.

Look for the battery with a high CCA value and RC rating for best performance.

Warm to Moderate Climates

If a person lives in a southern climate where the temperature doesn’t fall below 20° F (-6.7° C), then CCA at 0° F (-17.8° C) is not the biggest priority. At 20°F (-6.7° C), a fully charged 600 CCA-rated battery can produce an estimated 700 amps of power for 30 seconds.

Interstate Batteries Distributors stock the best batteries for their local temperatures, so when you visit your authorized dealer, you can receive the optimal performance and service life from our batteries.

Find a dealer near you.

By Gale Kimbrough (11 Posts)

As Manager of Interstate Batteries’ Engineering and Technical Services Group, Gale Kimbrough oversees technical training, product engineering, testing and validating electrical/electronic components.


Posted in Automotive, Mr. Battery, Tips
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1 comments
Paul Stewart
Paul Stewart

Also good to get a 100% charge on a new battery and use a battery tender ( like the Delron Battery Tender Plus)when it is parked for any extended period of time.

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About The Outrageously Dependable Blog

Interstate Batteries® sells more than 16,000 kinds of batteries—from AA alkalines and automotive batteries to critical power solutions, and everything in between. Combine professional battery services, recycling programs and the largest battery distribution network in North America, and you’ll find Interstate has EVERY BATTERY FOR EVERY NEED®. Learn more about Interstate Batteries or shop online!

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