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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like a larger number of people are reporting replacing their 12V battery lately (or at least writing about it) and I'm about to be one of them. What I'm hoping someone with more knowledge about batteries can tell me is if getting a battery with too high a Cold Cranking Amps rating can harm the car? This comes from having 2 technicians tell me not to get a battery with a high CCA rating. One from Honda said not to get a battery that has more than the original (279CCA), a non-Honda tech told me to try and keep it to 400-500CCA or less.

The Optima Yellow-Tops have 750CCA, and the Red-Tops are 720-800CCA. It looks like the Hawker Odyssey PC680 has 280CCA and the PC545 has 230. I don't know what the Civic batteries are rated at, but wouldn't think they're as low as 279.

I may have just made up my mind writing this post since the Odyssey PC680 has basically the same CCA as the original and is about half the cost and weight of the Optimas. But I would still appreciate opinions about CCA ratings.
 

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Larger than the original CCA is overkill.

1. The OEM battery has no trouble cranking over the engine on those rare days when the weather is extreemely cold. 2. A really large battery will place a greater strain on the car if it goes dead and has to be recharged. 3. A larger battery is heavier. 4. A larger battery will have a greater leakage current.

The reasons I see for going larger are cost and availability. The CCA of the Civic battery is not that much higher.

The Odyssey sounds like a really fine choice. It should be better than OEM. I see where it is rated for 1,200 cc motor cycle engines that are even larger than our 1,000 cc engine! It should also have lower leakage and longer life.
 

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A battery with a larger cold cranking amps won't really HURT anything, but it does have drawbacks, most of which b1shmu63
listed.

Also, batteries with more cold cranking amps have lead plates in them closer together, so they get dendrites in them faster. (which causes them to stop working)
 

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"Too many CCA is bad." sounds like BS to me. Cold Cranking Amps is/was important when you have a big V8 with heavy oil and a fussy carburator that you need to crank for 15 secs to start when temps were below freezing. Most modern Fuel injected cars require less power to crank and usually fire up quickly no matter the temp. Too many CCA is a waste of money sounds right to me.

A more important metric is the AmpHour rating. Example: Bad case of brain fade and you leave your headlights on. In 2 hours a PC545(14AH) will be dead, while it will take over 5 hours to kill a Optima 51(41AH). And your car will not start with a dead 12V battery.

P.S. If you go Optima, get the 51, It's the correct size. Currently only available as a yellow-top and is rated at 500CCA.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input everyone. I think for my current situation of drive to and from work and sometimes during work, that a smaller battery will be better. I'm never in a situation where I need to drain the 12v to its limit then start the car. The bigger batteries have their advantages of course and I would look into them more if I needed a battery to do more than start my car and get it down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Installed the PC680 yesterday (will have pictures after I make a permanent support for it.) After the initial recal everything is running fine. The IMA battery even seems to be staying charged more. Today I did some pretty hard acceleration (from 20 to 75MPH uphill coming out of San Rafael) and the IMA battery only dropped from 1 bar to 4 bars below max during the climb. This kind of acceleration previously would have dropped the IMA to about half.

To fit, the PC680 needs to be raised about 1 and 3/8 inches and pushed to the back of the battery box for the negative cable to reach.
 

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Sounds like you were due and made a good choice. I suspect you'll see better mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmmm.... Those are pretty nice. Now to justify the extra $40... This "less expensive" battery could end up costing as much as an Optima. :roll: But it does weigh less than half as much. :)
 
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