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What many car official distributors and dealers in Singapore here in Singapore, from Audi to Volvo with Mazda and Mercedes and all others in between, have been telling their customers is that if you replace your car battery at an outside workshop and not their official workshop, and you may “spoil your car” and your car warranty may become void – which, by the way is not true according to new law and developments for fairer customer treatment.

It boils down to this, how different can a car battery be, from the official distributor compared to another one that is installed elsewhere?

Other than the physical size of the battery (which is unlikely to spoil your car), there are only a few factors that a car battery has which affect its performance in the car, and these are:

1. Voltage Specification = 12V, DC

Car batteries are almost all 12V only some lorries are running 24V which is essentially two 12V batteries in series.

If you have a battery that is too weak such as 6V batteries (rare and hard to find and not meant for cars), yes sure, the car cannot crank to start, but no, it does not damage the car electronics or starter. The battery is just too weak to burn out any electronics or damage the car.

Can Car Battery Voltage damage your car?

Only voltage that is too high can damage the wiring and electronics and we are talking about 16V or more before such a thing could happen, this is not quite possible for any battery rated for 12V. So long as you have a 12V rated battery (same as the old one take out) fitted in, it will not cause damage to your car.

2. Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

The battery may be 12 volts, but maximum number of amps the battery can generate and maintain at a given specific temperature of 0°F while maintaining a voltage above 7.2V is called CCA.

This determines how powerful the battery is. Power is not just related to the voltage, but the amps it can push out. Almost all car cars are working at 12V level, so we need not compare the volts, we compare the CCA to know the power.

Power is V x A = watts

CCA is different from amp hours or Ah, and a higher rating CCA means a more powerful battery.

Can Car Battery CCA damage your car?

CCA is the ability to generate all those amps, but how many amps are drawn from the battery depends on the resistance of the circuit and the voltage. So if the voltage rating is 12V and the resistance of the car does not change (since only car battery is replaced, and no other part of the car is changed), then the number of amps the car draws is going to be the same even if your car battery has a higher CCA rating.

What’s the use of higher CCA then? CCA of a battery is reduceds as it is used and ages, and when it does fall below a minimum required by the starter motor of the car, then your car will fail to start. So a battery with a high CCA will take longer to fall below the minimum, and hence remains usable for longer.

3. Storage Capacity or Amp Hour (Ah)

Car battery storage capacity is measured in amp hours. In simple terms, how many amps can be drawn from the battery for how long before it is fully discharged.

So a typical car battery of say 60Ah is a battery that can provide 1A of current for 60 hours or 60A of current for 1 hour before being depleted.

The larger the Ah rating for a battery the more it can store or the bigger the “fuel tank” is that can hold electrical power.

Can Car Battery Ah damage your car?

High Ah merely means your battery has a lot of electrical power stored in it. However, it cannot damage the car unless it comes out all too suddenly. This cannot happen if the battery is 12V and the resistance of the car is standard – there is only high and sudden current when there is low resistance, such as a short circuit, which can result in a blown fuse.

And what is the use of higher Ah then? It can temporarily power your radio or other electrical devices for longer before it is depleted to a level that cannot start the car. So if you have the habit of listening to the car radio, charging your phone or such activities which use battery power with the engine off, a higher Ah battery is less likely to leave you stranded and not able to start again.

Back to the main question then…

Can Doing a Car Battery Replacement With An Outside Workshop Spoil The Car?

No.

Short of a poor quality battery exploding within the car – hardly ever happens, and if it does it is usually due to overcharging of the battery – and leaks from the battery casing which causes the acid to come into contact with metal components in the car and causing corrosion, the likelihood of a car battery causing damage to your car are slim to none, if you are careful to get a battery that is 12V (same as the old one), and has about the same specification in terms of CCA and Ah. It does not need to be exactly the same, as different brands have slightly different ratings.

While damage is not the issue, you really want to use a reliable brand such as #Amaron and #Hoppecke for longest life and greater reliability. Poorly made batteries may not damage your car, but they sure do not last as long. How should you measure the true dollar value? Calculate your battery price according to dollars/month cost!