Bryan Station, Kentucky
1314 Russell Cave Rd
Lexington, KY 40505
(859) 309-7647
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What Size of a Car Battery Do You Need? June 5, 2019

Bryan Station, Lexington-Fayette Northeast
What Size of a Car Battery Do You Need?, Lexington-Fayette Northeast, Kentucky

A car battery should fit snuggly in the engine compartment and produce the right amount of voltage, and the poles should align properly. However, there are several important factors to considering when determining the right size. Here’s what you should know to find the right battery size for your vehicle.

What Is the Car Battery Size?

The battery size refers to the physical dimensions of the battery. Older cars and trucks have plenty of extra room, and you can place a larger battery in them with no problems, but newer vehicles are filled to the brim with technology. In many cases, the space is limited, so you need the right size. The size is listed in your owners manual and will include a recommended brand of battery; it’s not necessary to get the same brand, but the proposed brand is optimal for your vehicle. When installing the battery, make sure the positive and negative poles are in the right direction. In many cases, the wiring will not extend farther than needed for the correct size.

What Factors Should You Consider?

1. Reserve Capacity

car batteryReserve capacity (RC) is the number of minutes the battery can supply the minimum voltage needed to run a car if the alternator or fan belt fail. This number is not usually on the battery itself but is listed with the accompanying literature. Check the car’s owners manual for the recommended RC rating. A higher RC rating may not be optimal for your vehicle and might not use the extra voltage generated.

2. Cold-Cranking Amps

Cold-cranking amps (CCA) are a measure of the battery’s ability to start in cold conditions. The higher the CCA, the longer amount of time a battery can produce the amps needed in zero-degree temperatures. If you have a smaller battery than required, you could potentially be left out in the cold.

 3. Age

A car battery has two characters—a letter and a number—to indicate when the battery was created. The letter is the month, for example; A is January, B is February, and so on. The digit represents the last number of the year; for instance, 9 is 2019, 0 is 2020, and 1 is 2021. A nomenclature of D9 means the battery was created April of 2019. A battery is usually considered fresh if it’s less than six months old.


If you need to replace your car battery or are concerned about part of your electrical system, turn to Smyth Automotive. With over 50 years of experience, they have 24 locations in Kentucky and Ohio. Based out of Cincinnati, this company knows how to treat its customers, offering various products and services for car owners and mechanics alike. To learn more about their selection of original equipment manufacturer and aftermarket car parts, visit them online or call (513) 528-2800. For more tips and tricks, listen to their podcasts for all devices, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more posts and information.

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